“I can walk normally on the road” What impressed me again when I returned to Japan after staying in Southeast Asia for a few months | Column | Livhub

“I can walk normally on the road” What impressed me again when I returned to Japan after staying in Southeast Asia for a few months | Column | Livhub

For the first time in four years, I left Japan for just a few months, staying overseas (Thailand and Vietnam). I thought that was all, but after returning to Japan after a long time, I realized a lot of things, so I want to write them here.

The first thing that struck me was “Isn’t Japan easy to live in?”

Whether you’re just wandering around town, looking for destinations, drinking tap water or using the toilet, all of these things can be done very smoothly.

In other words, I had a feeling when I was abroad (wow, inconvenient!). Looking back, the first time was when I arrived in Krabi, a small town in southern Thailand.

Krabi Town has one traffic light, or rather two, as one has been added in the past decade. There may be a pedestrian crossing, but anyway, there are only two places where you can definitely cross at traffic lights. Pedestrians can only check left and right and cross the road quickly when there are no cars or motorcycles coming. It’s rare even in Japan, but it would be a pain if every action was like this.

Then I moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand, and things got worse. After all, the traffic flow has more than doubled, and the wave of cars and motorcycles is uninterrupted. I live in a very convenient location between Nimmanhaemin and Santitam, there are three traffic lights in this area. Two of them are propelled by pedestrians to cross the road, after which the car starts moving even if the light is still green. Crossing traffic lights is always a thrill, but crossing the road is more serious.

Also, in Chiang Mai, there is another problem with walking the streets. This is a big hole in the ground.

A huge hall appeared! |Chiang Mai

The hole is so big that dogs and cats could fall in without being noticed, even us. Below the hole is a murky stream that looks like a mixture of dirt and sand. Avoiding openings and walking also require concentration. It’s still fine if there’s something to let you know there’s a hole by surrounding it or making it protrude, but most are holes that pop up. Walking and using a smartphone are dangerous in Chiang Mai, so be careful when walking.

On top of that, construction started during our stay which made things worse. Sidewalk-like roads that otherwise barely existed have been dug up, almost everywhere. Sidewalks on Main Street! Pedestrians have no choice but to walk on the road, which is also quite stressful.

Japan is very comfortable composition

Determine where to take a step|Chiang Mai

Da Nang, Vietnam, where I stayed next, was even more amazing. It’s amazing how many bikes there are! A Japanese who lived in Da Nang for a while said with a smile: “Cars have only been around for about 10 years, and before that, everything was a motorcycle!” The power of this bike…! In addition, they run extremely fast, and they are likely to run into pedestrians at a distance.

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The same is true at the entrance of the cafe|Da Nang

Of course, the roads are bumpy and there are places where weeds clog the sidewalks. Of course, there are only so many traffic lights. Locals who are not used to the traffic light system may bump into pedestrians even if the light is green, so you need to check first, and walk over regardless of the color of the traffic light. traffic light.

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Almost no road surface|Da Nang

“Walking the street” and “crossing the street” are everyday activities, so I’m eager to make it a little smoother. Even when renting a house at my lodging, I simulated a place to go without going through traffic lights. I laugh now, but at the time I was really serious.

Also, there is the issue of water. It may be a well-known fact that tap water is not drinkable in countries like Southeast Asia, but I would add that you can’t flush toilet paper. Used toilet paper was thrown into the improvised bin next to the toilet instead of being flushed because the drainage system was not in place and the sewer pipes were clogged. I got used to it pretty quickly, but the hygiene issues kept bugging me.

After living in Thailand and Vietnam for a few months, when I set foot in Japan, I was moved as I said at the beginning.

What a wonderful comfort it is to have flat roads, sidewalks for pedestrians, tap water to swallow, and used toilet paper to flush down the toilet! Plus, Japanese toilets are among the cleanest in the world, and they’re free to use.

When traveling around the world in the past, I always returned to Japan after traveling in places such as India, Nepal, and the Middle East. Humans are creatures of habit and forgetfulness. A few years later, I had forgotten about it, and this time, I was touched again, with a fresh feeling.

On the other hand, there are other values ​​besides convenience and comfort in our life that we want to cherish.

It is the joy of being able to communicate with a local who does not understand the language temporarily, the sense of reality that can be felt every day (I am still alive!), and the experience that only you can have. Things to do, like eat local food.

This time I introduced the inconvenient places where I have been to share my insights, but it goes without saying that Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Da Nang, Vietnam are both beautiful. Da Nang adds vitality to it.

I think both repeat travelers and nomads understand the beauty of Japan, but they also want something beyond that, and they will aim for exotic places from Japan that are convenient and comfortable. Be it the potholes or rough roads, countless people have been mesmerized by Chiang Mai and Da Nang and come back again and again, and I am sure I will be one of them.

Even so, the easy life in Japan is admirable, and I’m really glad it’s a place I can come back to anytime, a respite from travel and nomadic life.

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A born writer who lives like a traveler | Travels the world with a backpack. After traveling for four years, moved to Australia and lived there for about seven years. In my mobile life, I find myself turning into a more relaxed minimalist. Writer for travel magazines, information magazines and web magazines. Based on my experience, I will give you some suggestions to make your travel more environmentally friendly.

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