Further to my fruit love post, I also meant to question how people here know to peel their fruit? What are parents doing to turn their children into Peelers? Is it simply that they follow the examples of those who came before or do they verbalize it to little Michiko and Hiroshi?
This brings to mind a few other learned habits that I have been thinking about as of late. They mostly relate to women but gentlemen, I would appreciate any Y chromosome input as well. First, how is it that any Japanese woman worth knowing knows to carry a hand towel, folding umbrella, oil-blotting papers and small stationery store in her purse? If you're away from home and need something, chances are its in the purse of the woman standing next to you. Now maybe I'm of the simple-purse-contents camp, which is regardless of culture, but damn these women are prepared!
Another example: the toilet paper triangles. I doubt men have experienced this in public washrooms but if they've had a Japanese lady friend over, they may have witnessed the elusive TPT. The purse stuff I can see coming from one's mother, maybe. But the TPT? Here's where it gets a little more tricky. For the uninitiated, I have been in more toilet stalls in Japan in which the end of the TP roll is folded into a neat, polite little triangle. We are not talking about hotels where the last person in the washroom was the attentive maid, this is in toilets across the nation. It's like the Japanese secret handshake for women, folding our TP ends into triangles for the next woman down the line. I usually skip the TPT, not being accustomed to doing origami while using the toilet, but I have added it to my ever-growing list of Japan paranoia. For example, if I am at a small bar and I use the washroom, the TP is getting folded. Who knows who will use the washroom next, discover a non-origamid TP end, and come to the conclusion that I am unfit to be a lady, having grown up in a non-TPT environment. I know I'm crazy, but what would you do if you had to contend with TPT everyday?