Japan: Are you alright?

Me: Yeah. Why?

Japan: Well, you don’t look it.

Me: What? What’s wrong?

Japan: Nothing it’s just that you western people can be a bit bizarre sometimes.

Me: Really?

Japan: Yeah. You think i’m strange? You’ve got hairy faces and too much waistline and you always seem to stumble about clumsily, cluttering up my trains, waving your arms about when you talk and getting in everybody’s way. And that’s just the women.

Me: That’s a bit harsh.

Japan: Is it? Is it more harsh than spending twelve hours in an office everyday and then having to stand next to couple of fat, hairy, ugly men on a squashed train who don’t really talk but seem to prefer to vomit words at each other, trapped in some kind of social bubble unaware that other people may be within hearing distance of them? Do those guys have volume control?

Me: Ah, yeah, those guys.

Japan: And who are those lost, unhappy people? The silent ones who never say a word to anyone. Not even other lost foreigners. Who are they? Where do they go? And why do they always look so incredibly lost?

Me: They probably look like that all the time. Don’t take it personally. Either that or they’re on holiday.

Japan: Why have some of you Japanafied yourselves? Some of you haven’t so much immersed yourselves in my culture, more purposefully drowned yourselves in it. These people have been to places and know things about me that even my people don’t know about. They happily inhale anything about me as much as possible even to the point where they look a bit weird walking around not being fat in bright clothes and green shoes, reading manga and talking perfectly in my language.

Me: But you never stop and tell them they look a bit odd, do you?

Japan: I don’t stop and say anything to anybody. That’s one of the reasons you guys like me so much. I don’t even say anything to the foreigners who obviously think that it’s compulsory to have some kind of alcoholic beverage in their hand no matter what time of day or geographical location. For them life is one big drinkathon. Do they have an extra kidney and a spare liver or something? I bet some of you probably have a beer while you’re vacuuming or during sex or whilst hang-gliding.

Me: You’d be surprised.

Japan: No. No i wouldn’t.

Me: I can never understand the people that talk about a place where they can buy great doughnuts or coffee or pizza or some other food “just like back home” and eat cheese burgers everyday and gawk and baulk at anything that doesn’t contain bread. Why are they experiencing you at all if they’re not even prepared to try a bit of sushi?

Japan: Yeah, they’re pretty bad. But they’re not the worst.

Me: Who are the worst?

Japan: The know-it-alls. The old hands or the people who think they’re old hands because they’ve done a bit of travelling and been to Shikoku. They sit and listen to other conversations making sarcastic comments and snide remarks, have a beer and then they go home and write a shitty blog about it, trying to appear superior to everybody else and instead just sound like a stereotyping machine with a broken record playing on it. I hate those idiots.

Me: Idiots? Really? I, er, i quite like those people actually.

Japan: I could go on. There are all sorts of strange looking foreign people hanging around me. You really are a weird bunch sometimes.

Me: Well, it’s good to know the feeling is mutual. See you later.

Japan: I hope not.


March 15, 2012. Uncategorized.

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