Oh yes, the raised eyebrows and the disapproving looks. I have mastered the art of unboxing and recycling the amazon packaging within a few seconds of it reaching the front door. One must learn to manage under adverse conditions.
Wow I must be lucky. Every order of mine brings welcome encouragement coupled with optimism. Of course I will shortly be conquering the world with my newfound knowledge. No questions asked when the first chapter gets read excitedly and then shelved for eternity.
From the vibe I got living there, having the locals "accustomed" to westerners in the context of US military presence is probably worse than not being accustomed at all. Attitude to the US presence in japan is generally ambivalent at best, hostile resentment at worst.
The other area familiarity with whiteys isn't exactly a positive is in some towns around Hokkaido. There, the experience is with russian fishermen, and the sentiment is clearly visible on signs by the door: "no foreigners".
All that said, I never was that bothered by the mild xenophobia one experiences in Japan (and elsewhere in east asia). It's bemusing more than anything else. I would imagine that non-caucasians have it somewhat worse, though.
Edit: the article also fails to mention the huge stigma attached with "abandoned" or bad luck homes .. If there's even a hint that someone died there, or that the abandonment was the result of hard luck it can damage a property's worth. Not to mention earthquake readiness of the homes - something on people's minds a lot since Tohoku 3/11.
When I was in the Navy, my ship visited Petropavlovsk during the summer and they were on UTC+13. That was weird to begin with, what with the theoretical limit on only twelve time zones each direction from Greenwich. But then after the visit, we headed due south and then crossed directly over into the UTC+10 time zone for Guam. So one night we set the clocks back three hours.
Nice if you were asleep, not so nice if you were on watch...
> When I was in the Navy, my ship visited Petropavlovsk during the summer and they were on UTC+13. That was weird to begin with, what with the theoretical limit on only twelve time zones each direction from Greenwich.
New Zealand routinely goes to UTC+13 with the aid of daylight savings.
Our business team are in Germany, so we have three different time offsets between us over a year as daylight savings in both countries come and go.