I was actually responding mainly to another poster that felt oppressed by the focus on fines and people all facing the same way and not talking on the MRT (hence the perceptions comment). We did not get that vibe at all (in our admittedly short time there). Although here in Tokyo not talking on your phone or disturbing other people is considered politeness and not a symptom of oppression or fear of being fined. We have lived in a variety of places from tasty to mild (e.g. Egypt, Beijing, Germany, Tokyo) and have enjoyed them all to a great extent for different reasons. Our current gigs near Tokyo are probably too good to give up so we probably won't move again until we retire but we do like to travel, check out possibilities and keep our options open. I'm a firm believer in different strokes for different people. I can't imagine wanting to live/teach in the ME or South America but if it works for others then I am happy for them.