After coming back to Japan from the US, I often recall the memories of the William and Mary, Washington D.C. and all the people I met and saw there. The perception of them may changed after the experience this cross border program. Then I want to talk about the perception of the US in some aspects.
First, I can saw the society of the US. Before visiting Washington D.C., my perception of it was very different from the real. Washington D.C. is the capital city of the US, so I thought that there are many government officers or business persons in the center of the city and there are many office buildings which has 30 floors or so. People are busy with their jobs and city works all day long, for it is the center city of the US. However, the real situation is very different. The thing which surprised me the most was the closing time of the shops. First day of staying in Washington DC, we had free time in the evening. We walked around to go to the white house and the Washington memorial and thinking of eating out but most of the restaurant has closed at 9:00 pm except bars. And in the daytime, there are so many tourists in the city but I couldn’t see the view of business person who go to lunch in the noon. In Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, many office workers come from the building all at once to go to lunch. The Japanese embassy staff said that Americans get up early and go home early while Japanese get up late and go home late so the shops adapt each life styles. It was very interesting because the working style of American is more efficient than Japan’s I think. Business person can’t spend much time with their families and we always care about the last train in Japan. It is a so vicious circle that we should follow America’s example to live a healthier life and spend more time with our family.
Also, I felt keenly the gap between the rich and the poor in Washington D.C.. In Washington D.C., there are many expensive brand shops, museums, expensive restaurants and luxurious hotels. While there are so many people who hold the paper in which says “give me money” or the people who sound money to attract attention of the passerby. They don’t do anything but waiting alms. I was surprised the number of them. There are less people like that in Tokyo. Further more many stallkeeper near the museums and memorials. They try to sell T shirts or souvenirs to tourists. They have money but they don’t have jobs which provide a regular income. So I afraid to go outside in the night. I think Washington D.C. is less safer than Tokyo. It must be a problem of America. The gap between the rich and the poor become wider and wider. To solve this problem, the government should try to increase the employment and care about the poor. The capital city can take the lead in decreasing the gap.
They are my perception of Washington D.C. and the most shocking impression of this visiting the US.