Monami Hibi – Journal Entry 4

I will write about tipping and the Japanese Embassy tour in this Journal. I hang around some places on the free time, so I saw lots of things which is different from that in Japan. I think tipping is one of the biggest differences between the US and Japan. In addition, Japanese people including me have difficulty being used to tipping culture. Also, the Japanese Embassy tour was my precious experience. We rarely go into the embassy, so I am happy to have visited there.

All our meals in DC are on our own, so I paid tip by myself many times here. I was getting used to it and I thought what this tipping culture influence. I paid more tip when the staff was kind for me not speaking English fluently. In my opinion, by tipping, I can explain my gratitude in detail. That makes me relieved because I was nervous about bothering the staff because of my lack of English skill. Therefore, for me, tipping culture is good once I am used to tipping. However, I heard tipping badly affects working staffs’ motivations. We should consider about tipping culture more if Japan would adapt it.

Moreover, visiting Japanese embassy was valuable experience. Outside of the building is the US, but I think inside was just like Japan. I had expected Japanese people working there behave like people in the US, but it was not true. One different behavior I found is when Japanese people listening to someone, their mouth is smiling, and they are always nodding. On the contrary, people in the US tend to just gaze one’s eyes. I have no idea which is good. However, since I am from Japan, I can speak easily when the audience is former. In addition, I think this difference comes from the notion that American people care about a mouth and Japanese people care about eyes. This notion can be seen their emoticon and emoji ( :), 🙁 and ^-^, T-T).

Staying in DC is valuable experience for me. The housing is far different from that in Japan. The behaviors of shop staffs are also completely different. I want to make best use of this experience in the future as Iwasaki-san did.

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