A Clarification

I got a nice comment from an anonymous visitor "Sarah" who wanted to
know what I meant by this quote from my Sept 10 blog:

We talked about the bad rap that English teachers get in Japan from
those who have no empathy or clue about cross-cultural differences.

I think the last part of the sentence was ambiguous. Sorry. What I
meant was that some English teachers who teach in Japan aren't very
sensitive to the fact that there are cultural differences in the
classroom and on the street betweeen Americans and Japanese. This
frustrates the insensitive English teachers and they may act on this
frustration in inappropriate ways. Instead of seeing behaviours, such
as hesitancy to speak in class or ask a question of the teacher during
class, as wrong, they should see them as different. That way, the
visitor to Japan can begin to see that culture is like an iceberg: you
only see 10% of its mass on the surface, the majority of the cultural
force behind a surface behavior is deep below.

I know that adjusting to a new culture can be frustrating for anyone.
I don't want to judge those whom I am stereotyping at the moment. I
just want to encourage those who are planning to or currently live
abroad to hone their cross-cultural skills to the point where his/her
awareness of cultural issues may trigger the hunch that, "maybe
something cultural is going on here and I shouldn't take offense to
the behavior until I learn more about it."

From my experience so far (2.5 weeks!) of living in Japan, I find that
well-educated English teachers are paid well and the country has many
technological and infrastructural features that match or surpass the
USA. But just to come here for the bucks or the gadgets would be like
going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, not giving a donation
for admission in order to save $, use the cloth towels and touchless
faucets in the restroom, and leave. This country is rich in cultural
artifacts, behavior, and language; I intend to get beneath its surface
before I leave here, whenever that is.

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Countries I have visited

Where I've been in the USA