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 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.
Why I am happy to live in Japan – Part 5: Gas Stations
People who live here might not notice it, but I think Japan has wonderful gas stations. I grew up in America, and we are an automotive society, so we have a lot of gas stations. Basically, they are the same as Japanese gas stations, because people go there to get gas. However, there are some important differences, and some good things about both styles.
First, I will describe American gas stations. Almost all gas stations in America are “self service only”. This means that you have to pump the gasoline yourself, take care of payment yourself, and clean the windows of the car yourself. Also, if you want to get air or water, or even just check the air pressure in your tires, you must do it yourself. Air and water are not free – you generally have to put some coins in a machine to get service.
The good thing about almost all American gas stations is that they have a convenience store. You can get food and drinks, use the restroom, and fill your tank all in one place. Gas stations also sell maps and books with information about the area, and the attendants can often answer questions you may have about local road information.
I love Japanese gas stations because of the great service. Many gas stations here are full service – I can get my tank filled, my windows, cleaned, and air in my tires, and don’t even have to get out of the car. Gas station attendants give customers wet towels to clean the inside of their cars, and they also take away any garbage that customers may have. I am happy literally every time I go to the gas station here, because of the friendly and polite service.
Why I am happy to live in Japan – Part 4: Taxi Service
Growing up in California, I never used taxis. In fact, the first time in my whole life that I got into a taxi was when I visited Japan at age 20. In Los Angeles, life can be very difficult without a car, but here in Sapporo, it’s easy to find a taxi on the street at almost any time, and calling a taxi is also very simple. I have lived here for over 8 years, and I have never had a bad experience with a taxi driver. All of them have given polite service, and taken me just where I needed to go. Taxis in Sapporo are clean, and they never try to take longer routes or cheat passengers into paying high prices. Even late at night or early in the morning, it’s always easy to find a taxi home.
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