札幌 アメリカ人 英会話講師 Allen アレン
I'm Allen, from Los Angeles. I came to Japan in 2009, and now I live in Sapporo. I have many hobbies - reading, fencing, archery, riding my bicycle, hiking, and so on.My favorite hobby, though, is studying. I studied many different subjects at University, and before I came to Japan I was a cram school teacher in America. I love math and history, science and literature, economics and psychology; but my favorite subject is linguistics. I like watching people learn, so I always have fun teaching. I'm looking forward to seeing you in my class sometime!
Why I am happy to live in Japan – Part 8: Smaller Sweets
I love sweets! Japan is a great country for sweets – even cheap dagashi sweets are so delicious here. Of course I also like chocolate and cakes from European countries, and some American sweets are quite good, too, but I think that Japanese sweets are the best overall, and certainly offer the best cost performance.
Perhaps the best thing about Japanese sweets is their size. Many people here eat sweets, but not so many people are fat or overweight. This is probably influenced by many factors, but I think one important thing is the small size of most portions here. I feel like most sweets are made to be very delicious and also not too big. One piece of cake in an American restaurant may be enough food for three people, and generally the quality will not be as good. I prefer to have a smaller amount of a better quality dessert, and that is another reason why I am happy to live here.
Why I am happy to live in Japan – Part 7: No Tipping
I grew up in a country with a tipping culture. People in the service industry in America generally get tips from customers. For example, we pay tips in places like restaurants and bars, but also for taxi service, at a hair or nail salon, for bed making and room service at hotels, and even for window cleaning or valet service at some parking areas.
As customers, we always have to be aware of tips when we order food or other services, and choosing the correct amount to tip can be difficult. It is stressful, and sometimes confusing. On the other hand, service workers often get very low hourly wages, and need to get tips from customers in order to have enough money to live on. These workers can’t always expect how much they will be paid for working one day, because tips can be decided by the customers. A worker might get good tips one day, and very poor tips the next day. That adds a lot of stress and pressure to the lives of people in the service industry, and I also think it makes some customers have rude behavior.
In Japan, the service at all of the areas I mentioned (hotels, bars & restaurants, salons, taxi companies, etc.) is extremely good. Customers get good treatment, and workers get regular pay based on how long they work, so it is easier for them to plan. I think this is a better system for both workers and consumers.
Why I am happy to live in Japan – Part 6: Clean Streets
Today’s entry is more about Sapporo than Japan in general; there are some cities, even in this country, with really dirty streets! I see garbage on the street, litter on the street, spilled drinks and oil, chewing gum, graffiti, and sometimes even urine. There are many reasons why a city might have dirty streets, and of course each city has its own character, but to be honest, I don’t like walking on the street when there is a lot of garbage and mess everywhere.
Sapporo has the cleanest streets of just about any city I have ever visited. (As I remember, Salzburg also has very clean streets, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been there.) I think that there are mainly two reasons for the clean streets here in Sapporo. First, people don’t litter that much. I think it is easier to litter if there is already a lot of other garbage on the street. However, if the street is very clean, people are less likely to leave their garbage on it. The second reason is that we always have a lot of people working to clean the streets. I see many people, both volunteers and employees of various companies and organizations, out cleaning the streets every day. People sweep up leaves, collect garbage, and clean up spills very quickly. I have never encountered a bad smell or an unsanitary situation anywhere in Sapporo. This is another reason why I am happy to live here.
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