How do you see Japan? Do you have lots of stereotypes of how Japanese people live? Because the Japanese sure as hell have their own ideas about how Brits live. Many are bizarre, some make me want to cry, and a lot are very outdated: they are all stereotypes though.
Today, I was chatting with my pre-intermediate granny class about what English books they read outside the classroom. One told me she's just read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and, as the others grannies in the class knew the book, I asked her if she liked it. She replied she loves books like that because they tell her so much about British culture.
To refresh your memory: Charlie and his family are shit poor. His four grandparents share a big double bed in the one-bedroom house. Charlie's mum looks after them all and his dad has no job. None of them fight and they are always happy. Charlie then meets a creepy man who likes children and he eventually becomes Charlie's friend.
Anyway, to stir things up, I told my grannies that life would never be like that in the UK and that the family would be rich, as all four grandparents would get lots of money from the government and Charlie's dad would get redundancy and dole money. I went on to say they'd be living in a lovely house paid for by the government as well. And that the old people would get everything for free as they were old.
Seeing the glints in my grannies eyes and hearing them ooohing and aaahing over how life for old people must be so wonderful in the U.K. I set them a bit straighter by saying that actually they'd all be in old people's homes and wouldn't be able to survive financially on the government's money anyway.
But they would get free bus passes.
They still seemed to prefer that idea though to having to move back in with their kids here. As they pointed out to me: the average 'kid' leaves home in Japan somewhere around 35 - 45 years old anyway.