A Piqniq in Japan

Living in a foreign country as an expat can be rough. There’s the language, of course, but then, depending on where you live, there are also a host of other cultural issues with which you must become familiar so as to not offend the local population. To wit: when I lived in Thailand, I was unaware that it was offensive to Thais to show people the bottom of my feet. It is also offensive to touch people on the head. Never mind the cultural reasons behind these two customs, suffice it to say I violated both of them in short order, the first with my boss, who was Thai and who politely reprimanded me and explained the issue, thus saving me from subsequent vocational calamity.

Well, of all countries across the globe, Japan is perhaps one of the most culturally sensitive and cultural complex. Making it there as an expat, and being successful, can be a very difficult experience. Emotional turmoil, in the words of a friend of mine who lived there for several years with her husband.

Well, for those considering or actually living in Japan, Piqniq is a social network for English-speaking families that would like to use the internet to help themselves get along. The goal of the site “is to create a Japan-specific online community and information resource to help you and your family get things done in a country where simple tasks can easily become complicated.” I did not sign up and have little further idea what Piqniq is about, but I thought it was an interesting site, concept-wise. I’d love to hear from anyone who’s used it what they think.