Within the last two years, Japan has been one of the most wanted travel destination for a lot of people, Indonesians included. Especially since the existence of E-Passport allows us to travel to Japan without a visa, Indonesians are very much eager to travel to the land of the rising sun. Now it seems like everyone you know is going to Japan. In almost travel exhibition, travel groups and airlines are busy highlighting Japan as the most promising getaway destination, for solo travelers, best friends who travel together, families, pre-wed hunters, or honeymooners alike.
Now, you might have heard or collected the must visit touristy spots, or the must try cuisines from Google, blogs, or even from your own friends. So, let us give you some uncommon facts, like etiquette, that might come in handy during your stay in Japan.
In most culture, including ours, this would sound a bit inhumane. If we ever do this in a restaurant, the other tables would most likely give us that condemning “holier than thou” look. In some other countries, you have no choice but wait until the server comes over to your table. Normally, it won’t take long as they will make sure that you get everything you need in the hope of getting a big tip from you. But in Japan, yelling to the waiter or snapping your fingers is also okay to do. The waiters won't even get offended. Simply yell out “Sumimasen!” and someone will come over to help you out. It might feel a bit strange at first to shout for a service in a restaurant, but that's what the locals would do. Go ahead and try it!
Tipping is quite a “must” in these modern days, even in Indonesia (even though we already have service charge taxed into our bill). From waiters, bartenders, cabdrivers, and hairdressers. Everyone loves getting tips! But apparently, not in Japan.
Tipping in Japan could make anyone who receives the tip confused as to why you gave them money. It won’t take too long before they insist for you to take it back. Some people would even feel guilty for receiving that extra money. They would struggle whether they should report it to their superior or whether they should pay the tax from that “extra income”. If you don't want to put them in an awkward position, keep the change.
This is a big NO-NO in most countries. Slurping noises, whether you are in the middle of enjoying a bowl of noodles or soups, are simply intolerable. But in Japan, slurping is equal to politeness. When eating ramen, soba, udon, etc. don’t be afraid to slurp! Some say it helps to cool down the temperature, some others say it enhances the flavor. Besides slurping, you’ll also find Japanese people burp audibly throughout their meal as a polite sign that they are enjoying the feast. The louder, the better! So go ahead burp and flatter the cooks. It’s the only time when you can forget all you ever learned about table manners.
What do you think? Does reading about all those three kinda tickle you to actually give it a try? Or, not? Well, whether you want to do it or not, make sure that whatever moment you create in Japan is captured by our photographer, then you can bring home the memorable experience back home in the form of sweet photographs!
Many of you fitness enthusiast and health-conscious Escapist might be wondering how can you stay fit and healthy during Ramadan. We are fully aware that keeping your work out regime on track is not as easy to be done while fasting and your energy level is considerably lower. Worry not, for your fellow fitness enthusiast Jennifer Bachdim is sharing her fitness tips and trick during Ramadan to inspire all of you to stay healthy!
So many of my friends and followers have asked about work out during Ramadan; what should they eat, when should they work out. I think what's most important is for us to have a good and clear goal for this month. You shouldn't target to lose weight or gain muscles or to hit your best personal record during Ramadan, you should just aim to be healthy, active and fit. Keep the level you have already, or even if you have to adjust your level a little bit it's fine because you're fasting and you can't train during the day. That should be your fitness goal during Ramadan: to be active and healthy.
I think the best time for working out is definitely before iftar, maybe an hour before. Get a good 20-30 minutes of work out and after that you can cool down and eat your iftar meal. Conversely, you can also do it after breaking your fast. Have a simple and light meal like oats with fruits so that the digesting period is not too long, and then you do your work out. Afterwards, you can have another meal and drink.
Basically, you can do your work out whenever you feel is best for you. If you're exhausted at the last hour before iftar and you don't feel like working out, then you shouldn't. But if you still feel fit and you still have the power then you should do it!
Also, many Indonesians like to do bukber (Buka Puasa Bersama – eating iftar meal together). I suggest that before you go for bukber you do some simple exercises first so you can really enjoy your meal, or else you'd have to only eat a simple and light meal so that you can do your work out afterwards.
As I've mentioned before, your fitness goal during Ramadan should only to be fit and healthy, not to gain muscle, lose weight, etc. To help you stay fit, you can just do 5 to 6 types of simple, at-home exercises, repeating it 3 to 4 times.
Complex carbs like brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and oats are filling and will keep you full longer. I usually mix it up with some fruit, or you can mix it with chicken for a savoury option. Always eat fruits and vegetables because you want a good supply of fiber and vitamins while fasting. You shouldn't eat too much fried food! I know a lot of Indonesian cuisine has a lot of good fritters and fried dishes, but you should refrain from eating too much of them.
If you're a coffee drinker, maybe you should reduce a little bit of caffeine and you should not take too much sugar. Instead of sugar, you can use honey or dates! I know dates are very popular during Ramadan and it's a great option to break your fast; they're delicous and naturally sweet, so you can use dates instead of sugar.
Drinking enough water is also very important. Drink 8 cups of water a day. I would suggest you split it into four times of two cups: 2 cups during Sahur, 2 cups at iftar, 2 cups after Taraweh, and 2 cups before going to bet. Of course if you can drink more, you should definitely do that.
Most importantly, just enjoy the special month of Ramadan! Be happy and don't forget to spend your time with your family, friends and loved ones!
Watch Jennifer's full tips and tricks video down here!
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