Dec 30, 2006

Anecdotical Little Bits

I have plenty of amusing little conversations here in Nihon. "Do you have X in America," seems to be a perennial conversation topic. Here are a few of them:

Happy Birthday to That Guy

The 23rd was the Emperor's birthday, and therefore a national holiday. We had the day off. The day before, I was talking about this with Hip-Hop and asked him, "What's the Emperor's name again?"
He stared off into space for a while.
"Uh... Oh shit."
"You don't know?"
"It's not like the Emperor matters," he said.
"This is your country, you should know stuff like this!"
"Sorry, dude."
We had to look it up on Wikipedia. The Emperor's name is Akihito.

OMG! You Can Eat! Part I
I was eating an octopus salad for lunch, when the Lady Manager looked at me in sudden astonishment.
"You're eating octuopus?!" she said, her eyes bugging out of her skull.
"Do you like it?"
"Yeah. It's chewy and stuff."
She was still surprised, "I thought that only Japanese people liked octopus."
I was slightly put out by this.
"Nope," I said, "I like it. Especially fried. Squid's good, too."
"Do you eat octopus in America?"
"Yeah. Not all the time, but we have it."
"Wow," she said, her eyes still enormous. I'd have been less surprised by this if I didn't know that she'd lived abroad for two years in Australia and Canada.

"Do you have Street Fighter in America?" asked my Guy Manager.
"The video game? Yeah."
"You do!" He looked at me as if this was the best thing ever.
"Yeah, I love Street Fighter!" I said.
"SONIC BOOM!" He shouted, making Guile's hand gesture.
"HADOUKEN!" I replied.
This went on for a while. I guess you had to be there.

OMG, You Can Eat! Part II
I was out with some other teachers and a few students and...
"You're using o-hashi!" (chopsticks) said a student.
"Wow! When did you learn?"
"I don't know."
"What do you mean, you don't know?"
"I don't know, I've just always used them."
"What? You mean in America?"
"You have o-hashi in America?"


Eric said...


Joseph said...


Kori the tomorrow lady said...

they say a picture's worth some large amount of words or something. so, judging by your picture, it looks like Japan has made you into a baddass.

not to imply that you couldn't have been one before (ahem, bookworm, cough).

Colin said...

Yeah man. I learned in China. Anytime the Japanese piss you off you should act surprised that [x Japanese traditional item] can be found outside its native China. That'll put them in their place.