ZooとThoughts is created to motivate your learning of English. A language is not only vocabulary and grammar, it is also grown from culture. By learning about culture, the language becomes even less foreign because you are able to understand the nuances within the vocabulary and grammar. If you are in a conversation with someone and you are discussing a topic it is important to understand the words they are saying, the context in which they are saying them, and the culture that helped shape that opinion. That’s what this page is meant to do – help you understand on a deeper level.
Hey Everyone! I’m sorry I’ve been gone for a while, it’s been really hectic where I live, but this page will resume a regular schedule again. So I look forward to talking to you all again!
One of the things that I noticed while I was in Japan was the large number dentist offices. Once I could finally recognize the kanji for tooth, I could see that there were dentist offices literally everywhere. Of course you can walk anywhere in Japan practically and find pretty much anything you need, unlike in the US, but it was a very new experience for me to see just how accessible dental healthcare was.
Obviously, I’m not Japanese so, I don’t know a lot about the healthcare system there, and I don’t want it to seem like I’m dissing the United States. I just want to explain that, from my own experiences of daily life in the US, I do not see as many dentist offices here. I’m also restricted in the US when I want to see a dentist, because when you have health insurance in the US, you pay for it through company A, and Company A has only a few healthcare professionals in their network that they will work with. So I can’t usually walk down the street to whatever dentist office is closest to me. Right now my eye doctor is 20 miles away, and my dentist is probably 10 miles away from where I live. America is very wide, but that doesn’t mean that we all love spending half our day in traffic trying to get the dentist. It is not uncommon to take the morning off from your job to go to the dentist office.
That’s another thing, for doctors like eye doctors, dentist, or your general ‘personal’ doctor, those offices are not usually open on the weekends. I remember growing up and having to take time off from school because eye doctors are not open on the weekends, and it’s the same with dentists. Unless it’s an emergency, you can only get in contact with your dentist through the week, 8am to 5pm or 6pm if you’ve found an office that stays open late.
I’m sorry if this is a little bit boring this time, but I think the issue of healthcare is really big in the US right now and perhaps this will help you understand a little bit more about an average American. I actually don’t have full coverage health insurance in the US right now, and that has definitely posed some difficulties. I do have health insurance through my university that I pay for, but it doesn’t cover normal care like eye doctors or dentists. It doesn’t mean that I can’t go to the doctor, but it does mean that it’s more expensive when I do go. For example, if I go to the Urgent Care down the street from my home they have a price sheet for their 50 most common procedures, most of which start at $100 with no insurance. When I got sick in Japan, they did a rapid strep test on me. My total bill for the doctors visit in Japan is how much the strep test with no Insurance in America costs.
Here’s what’s really astounding to me, my SO and his dad didn’t know what strep was. In my limited knowledge of Japanese vocabulary, I knew that since the doctor was swabbing my throat and the test was going to take 10 to 20 minutes that he was testing for strep. I’ve been tested for strep a few times in my life, I would think most Americans have. Usually we’ll start off with what we think is a cold and we’ll stay at home for a few days, but then if it doesn’t go away it can turn into strep. As I’ve stated before, Americans don’t like going to the doctor because of how expensive it is. But sometimes when we don’t go, or don’t have access to it a minor problem like a cold can turn into something more serious.
I apologize if this topic was boring to you, but I hope that you were able to learn a little bit. Please tell me what you want to learn about! As always, we want to grow our community here, so please share this site with your friends and if you have English speaking friends who are even a little bit interested in Japanese, please check out japaneseaquarium.com. See you next time!
I want to know, what your thoughts on this culture point? Leave a comment below. Is it important to you? Do you have a deeper understanding now? Is it important in your culture or family culture? Please let me know what you think, what you would like to learn next! Please share this page with your friends so we can grow our community!