1. Bowing to strangers
In Japan I had to bow everywhere from stores to buses, and even friends’ homes. It’s a part of the culture. At home I found myself bowing to the cashier at CVS. That was when I realized I may need an intervention.
2. Apologizing for everything
Along with bowing, apologizing often is another cultural norm. I apologized when I bumped into people, when they bumped into me, when a server served me very hot matcha tea. I felt apologetic all the time, and it continues even today. Once, while waiting for a train in Osaka, a train had an unusual delay and I apologized to the crowd waiting for the next train.