Monthly pickup! Interview of foreign women living in Japan

Interview

Women from various countries have participated in events and workshops at JPsalon. We introduce and interact with Japanese culture and each culture.

It’s such an opportunity to know more about other women living in Japan. I would like to pick up one woman every month and do an interview.

How does she enjoy her life in Japan and what are the difficulties? Please enjoy while having new awareness and empathy!

Interview for Caroline

First lady whom I’d like to introduce is Caroline! She’s from France. She has a wonderful family, husband and two kids(one daughter and one son). I met her at parents meeting in my son’s school. Our sons are in the same class.

She came to Japan 1.5years ago because of her husband’s assignment. I work with her as PTA at school and I can tell she must be a hard and excellent working woman in France before she came to Japan. She always has various and flexible opinions for better solutions.

At the same time, she’s always perfect in fashion. She makes homemade sweets and elaborate dishes. She is such a perfect women/mom/wife!

Let’s see how she lives in Japan!

Her working experience

Q=Question by Ayumi, A=Answer by Caroline, (〇〇)=Additional explanation by Ayumi in parentheses

Q: Could you tell me your back ground and working experience?

A: I learned Finance at school. I worked at a leading company of helicopter manufacturing industry for 10 years in France. I was in finance department and the last position was a manager. (She was the first and only female manager in the department!! She often traveled for business too. Such a career woman!)

Q: You have a good English skill but where did you learn English?

A: After I joined the company I noticed it’s an international work environment and I needed to learn English. I was in London for 8 months for training and studying English.

Q: Any other living abroad experience before Japan?

A: 8 months in London for training then came to Japan in 2019 August.

What is her life in Japan?

Q: Can you tell me your daily time schedule?

A:

  • While kids are at school- Mondays, I go to town to enjoy me-time. Shopping or walking around etc. Except Mondays, I go to gym. Then do the housework such as cleaning, laundry and cooking. Sometimes making recipes (as she teaches French cooking randomly) and reading etc.
  • 15:30- Picking up kids
  • 16:00- Watching older kid’s homework, playing with kids, lessons for kids. I always try to finish housework before kids come back home so that I can give all the attention to my kids. (Wonderful!)
  • 18:00- Kids shower time
  • 18:30- Dinner time
  • 19:30- Kids getting ready to sleep
  • 21:30- Relaxing time with husband
  • 22:00- Going to bed

Q: What is the joy/happiness/good/convenient parts in Japan?

A: Everything is perfect. It’s safe, clean and everyone is respectful for rules. So quiet in a train. When my mom came to Japan from France, she was so surprised how quiet it was in the Japanese train! People’s behavior is totally different in Japan. And Japanese Food is awesome. I can go any restaurants as I know all restaurants never disappoint me except… natto. (Yes, natto is a bit strong food.. haha)

Q: What it the struggling/difficulties/bad/inconvenient parts in Japan?

A: My family and friends in France are too far.

Q: What do you think Japan should learn from France?

A: Be more flexible. (She shared the funny story.) I went to the gym one day. I wanted to join a lesson and tried to get a ticket. I was at the reception at 9:59 and asked a lady for a ticket. But the lady didn’t want to because it was still one minute before the time that she can give it to the guests. She was saying like “Ah…, eh…, well…,”. One minute later, we heard the sound announcing 10:00. Then the lady became so happy and finally she gave the ticket to me. Just one minute! I cannot believe she waited for one minute.

(It’s a funny culture difference story! The lady must have been really relieved when she heard the sound of 10 o’clock!)

Q: Anything that you wanna challenge?

A: I want to drive more in Japan so that I can be more independent. Also, sewing clothes for my daughter and cooking.

Q: What are the things in your heart?

A: 20% – Daughter, 20% – Son, 20% – Husband and 40% – Friends and family in France and Japan

Q: Then in Mind?

A: 75% – Family and friends, 25% – Holidays, recipes, projects

Her message to all

Q: Do you have any comments that you wanna tell to the readers?

A: Organization is very important. As we have many things to do(busy) and think as a mother, a friend and more, you need to organize well if you want to be perfect at everything. Organizing gives you more time and it helps. Well-organization is the most important tips for better life. Then you can stay in your comfort zone.

(Wow, it’s a good study!! I’m always in rush especially in the morning.. haha. Thanks for the good tip, Caroline!)

She joined our Matcha experience event

Afterword

Caroline seems to enjoy a more relaxing time in Japan, although there are some conflicts about quitting her job and becoming a housewife. (She still keeps the same job and will work again when she is back to France.)

When she was in France she was very busy with work and didn’t have much time with her kids but now she can spend more time with her kids.

She always plans a trip well without forgetting to collect information, and although it has only been 1.5years since she came to Japan, her family has visited various places such as Hokkaido, Hiroshima, Okinawa, Tokyo and more thanks to her organization. Such an active women! She is very positive about this opportunity to live in Japan and I am impressed by her active desire to see a lot of Japan she doesn’t know yet.

During the interview, she was so friendly and open mind. Thank you, Caroline!

Let’s drive a lot and learn more about Japan together!

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