27 February, 2008

Did YOU feel the earth move?

I've been in a Japan for a while.
To some people, I have been in Japan an eon.
To others, i appear to have been in Japan too long.

And while i love being here and it is my home, there are some things that annoy me.
One thing is when some Japanese people tell me that Japan is the only country that has 4 seasons:
'We have four seasons in Britain too, you know'
'Ah, but the seasons in Britain aren't proper seasons. Japan is the only country with clear distinct seasons'

In my first few years here, i tried to convince those uneducated few that we do, indeed, have four seasons. But it was pretty useless, and i have now realised the futility of it. Now i just tell people we only have 2 seasons: rainy & rainier.

One of the other pet peeves is when Japanese people educate me on how cold British winters are & how much snow falls. Well, i guess that would be true if you were from Snowdonia, North East England or Scotland, but most parts aren't actually that cold. Yeah, they're cold, but no where near the imagination of most Japanese people i have met.
I will grudgingly admit that British winters feel colder because of the dampness & greyness.
I will full on embrace the fact that Japanese winters (while cold & a bit dark) are WAY better than evil British ones.
Stoke On Trent is *so* depressing in the winter - go to school in the dark (around 8.30am) and come home in the dark (around 3.30pm) and the weather is constant drizzle.
But the average temperature is pretty much the same as Tokyo.
Here are the averages for Birmingham (the nearest city to Stoke) and Tokyo.
Just look at the average sunlight....

But the one thing that is not really a pet peeve, but something that no one believes.
Not even some of my fellow Brits.
When Japanese people tell me how scary earthquakes are, i readily agree.
When Japanese people ask me about my first earthquake experience, i tell them about growing up in Stoke when we would have earthquakes every couple of years.
NO ONE BELIEVED ME. Not even other British people believe me. Started even to doubt myself. Did i hallucinate those earthquakes of childhood?

And then there was this headline today.
A 5.3 earthquake in england.
Yeah, SEE, we DO have them!!!! And i think the big one i remember was the one in 1990 - a 5.1 in Shropshire which is near Stoke.


arumanda said...

i have to say when i heard the news i took a quick second look to see that they had the place right. i never knew. if you had have told me, i would have been surprised, but i wouldn't have not believed you.

i hope everyone's ok.

Sigsy said...

I remember in about 1983, we had just moved into our new house and there was an earthquake.
My Mum thought she'd been sold a dud house!

Craig said...

Stoke is so depressing in the winter?

In the winter? Stoke is despressing everyday of the year.