Saturday, October 18, 2008

Left is the New Right

It’s all reverse here. Driving, walking, and even the escalators are all reversed - they drive on the left side of the road, walk to the left side of the street, and even the up escalator is on the left side. As if the language barrier isn't enough of an adjustment, there are also these little nuances to remember. I’ve found myself standing at a cross walk not remembering which direction to look for oncoming traffic. While everyone looks right, I look left. Could be a hazard if I don’t master this one pretty quickly. Then there’s the escalator. Instinctively I veer right to take it down, but then I’m wrong again. Now I'm just in the way of everyone getting off...on the right side.

Another funny one is the number for emergencies. In most countries this is 911, but in Japan it is 119. Is this because they read from right to left so 911 got interpreted backwards? That's the only thing I could think of. There are many, many other funny differences between the US and Japan, but that's another topic for another day.

2 comments:

Ray said...

Dave -- Don't get hit by a car! Be careful. Seriously, I hope you and Kim have a great experience. This is a great opportunity. Maybe I'll get out there in a year.
Stay in touch,
Raymo

Esther said...

Kim...how come you didn't tell me you have a blog? :P
Well, I am sure you will be able to survive there! We all miss you here...

You need to update us on more funny stories :P