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Paris syndrome

01/27/2007

Japanese people have a totally distorted image of Paris. They think it's a perfect, magic place where everybody is nice and elegant...Every year, reality comes as a shock for a handful of Japanese people in Paris. A rude remark from a waiter can trigger what is called the "Paris syndrome", a traumatic shock that can even lead to repatriation with psychological support on board the plane for the most serious cases.

The Paris syndrom was first mentioned in the 80s. A dozen (or a hundred, according to another source) are concerned every year, which is ridiculously low compared to the amount of tourists, nevertheless it has become popular in the last couple years. There are many articles about it on the net, for instance:

I think it's really hilarious!

The culture shock seems to be the cause of the syndrome. And also the fact that most Japanese people probably imagine the world as a huge Disneyland-like amusement park (this one's a personal opinion, of course I am exaggerating)...

In Japan, it's totally unconceivable that a customer might be treated in a rude way. I don't even see how it could happen unless an employee suddenly loses his mind. Here, the customer is almost considered as a god. If you have a problem, they'll do anything to fix it, even if it's entirely your fault! They apologize for making you wait for 3 seconds, they apologize if YOU make an article fall, they apologize if they're not able to answer your question, etc etc. Don't even think about leaving a tip, it's almost insulting. Indeed in Japan, the customer is grateful for the client come to his shop.

Can the opposite syndrome happen? I reckon that I love the Japanese service, but sometimes it just gets on my nerves to hear thoses excuses all the time. But I'm not going to get traumatized either...well who knows, some day I might appear on the national French news with an "Okazaki syndrome" title!

Category: Society

2 comment(s)

Japanese bath

01/24/2007

Japanese bath

The bath plays a major role in Japanese culture. Its main specificity: the bath is filled once and all family members then bathe in turn. Dirty? Not at all, but it deserves a little explanation...

Category: Everyday life

1 comment(s)

Nagasaki in 3D

01/21/2007

And for the first time, here is a post that is not directly related to Japan. Stereoscopy is a technique used to recreate a 3D effect from plain, 2D pictures...

Categories: Travel - Stereoscopy - Kyushu

4 comment(s)

Internet cafe

01/18/2007

Internet cafe

When I stayed overnight at Nagasaki, I decided not to go to a hotel but try something different instead...so I spent the night at an internet cafe! Yes, you can actually spend a nice night there and I'll show you why...

Categories: Leisure - Accommodation

9 comment(s)

The art of onsen

01/14/2007

The art of onsen

The jigoku-onsen I showed in my post about Beppu are an exception. Onsens are usually for bathing and you don't want to miss that experience if you go to Japan!...

Categories: Everyday life - Onsen

6 comment(s)

School restarts

01/11/2007

School just restarted today and it's already going fast! Feels like this term is going to be pretty intense too. I had 4 elective classes to choose, this time I picked two cool ones: cooking and manga. Cooking because it's something I like to do and manga because it's a topic I hardly know anything about...

I also have 4 private classes. I made requests about the teachers I want to study with, I hope they'll be fulfilled. Indeed, teachers are generally pretty good but there are always exceptions (I had one last term) so...

Besides, I've planned a nice project for next holidays, I'm going to gather more information and I'll tell you more about it later.

And now that I think about it, I (at last!) want to thank my brother and my sister-in-law who made the graphics of my web site 3 months ago, and I just added links to their respective web sites.

Category: General

2 comment(s)