Traveling to different countries lets you learn a lot about other cultures but it also lets you learn a lot about yourself. You are pushed outside your comfort zone and forced to become an independent individual in a different society than your own. Let’s hear from Ana Puatu as she talks about her “lessons learned” living and studying in Japan.
1. Although I still can’t manage to peel the skin off a fruit with a knife, I learned that I have a talent for cooking. I also have a talent for doing household chores.
2. I am a human Waze – I am very good at deciphering the intricate Japanese maps and their elaborate train and subway system.
3. My aptitude to learn a new language is gone but I am able to get by with the little Japanese that I know and through observation and listening.
4. I’d rather live in a town where nature and modern conveniences still co-exist rather than living in the middle of a bustling city (I’d rather live in Beppu than Tokyo )
5. One of the reasons why I wanted to study in Japan was because I wanted to experience winter. Later on, I discovered that although I still love snow, I have very low tolerance for cold weather (10 degrees and below)
6. Although I think that I am not very affectionate towards my family, I actually discovered that I am a family-oriented person. Whenever I go out shopping, I always think of my family first.
7. I am a neat freak especially when it comes to the kitchen, the toilet and the shower.
8. I am very bad at the UFO Catcher.
9. When I am homesick and feeling lonely, my comfort food is a cheeseburger set from McDonalds (because it tastes and smells the same as the ones served in the Philippines)
10. While I have a lot to be grateful having been given multiple opportunities to live and study in Japan, my purpose is to bring what I have learned back to the Philippines. I love Japan and the life I had there but I was made for the Philippines
Ana Puatu is a PhD Student at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. She has always dreamed of living in Japan and was given the perfect “excuse” to do so when she was given the opportunity to study there. She is now busy trying to manage the responsibilities that came with the privilege (aka doctoral dissertation)。がんばります！
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