I used to think there were three possible answers to any question: yes, no, and whatever’s not covered by yes and no. Like, when the waitress asks, Do you want another beer? That’s a yes. Isn’t it about time you thought about going home? That would be a No, not until I get that beer I’m waiting for. And, Would you at least please stop bothering the other customers? That would would be a Well, if that’s how you feel about it, then I’m leaving. Just as soon as I get that one more beer.
It’s interview season in Japan. Continue reading “What Do You Think of Japan?”
Everyone knows Japanese people aren’t exactly Masters of the Universe when it comes to speaking English, despite receiving six years of English education. Six years? Are you kidding? You could build yourself a Great Pyramid in less time. I’m pretty sure. Just chop up some limestone and stack it up. Probably take you a couple of years at best.
But okay, there are clearly some good reasons why Japanese folks can’t speak English. And if you study Japanese, you also need to avoid the same traps. Continue reading “Why are Japanese so Bad at English? (5 Reasons)”
I’m the most popular guy in town. And given that about a million people live in my town, that’s quite a distinction, seriously. So recently I bought a jump rope. Look, it’s not easy keeping in shape in Japan. Like I’d just gotten home last Thursday night when I got a call from this old guy that I teach English to. He’s about seventy years old and some president of a company or something. Actually, I don’t even know his name. I just call him President-san. Anyway, I pick up the phone and he says, “Can you sing The Beatles?” And I’m like, “Who is this?” Continue reading “How to be Popular in Japan”
If you want to be a success in Japan, there are only two things you really need to nail. The unfortunate small problem is, they’re opposites. But perhaps a colorful story will help to illustrate.
So I was in a “standing bar” a couple of weeks ago, which is like a normal bar, or really a restaurant because they serve food too, only without any seats. It’s just about the worst invention the Japanese ever came up with. Like, who wants to have drinks and food standing up? Would it kill you to put in some barstools? But anyway, so I’m standing there having a conversation with this rather attractive Japanese lady and I order some fish in a can on toast. And things are going pretty well between us, you know, until suddenly her husband shows up. So that was a little disappointing. But whatever, he turned out to be a really nice guy and bought me a beer and I Continue reading “Two Japanese Life Skills You Must Master”