Living in Japan, you’re basically trapped in a tiny spaceship, peering down through clouds and picking up intermittent snippets of news floating skyward from earth. I first heard “Poker Face” in a smoky Shinjuku karaoke bar, when some girl belted out Mum mum mum mah. Some complicated lyrics, those. And I learned the results of the U.S. election in a similar joint in Oita prefecture. Okay, so I do a lot of karaoke. Beer helps. Anyway, what I mean is that it’s not easy keeping touch with Western culture, and even harder understanding why singers are now called Gaga and Presidents Trump. It’s like the world’s gone crazy, and English with it. For example: Continue reading “Strange English I can’t Understand”
When I turned around from the chalkboard, there was chubby Mr. Kamei with his plump fist stuffed inside his waistband. We were in the middle of English 301 and he’d either developed one fearsome case of poison ivy in his pants or was masturbating like crazy. This is what it’s like teaching college in Japan. Continue reading “Are Japanese People Retarded?”
Has it already been two weeks? Jeez, where does the time go? So yeah, a couple of weekends ago I went to a Japanese fireworks festival. Seems like only yesterday. Anyway, suffice to say that watching fireworks in Japan is just like watching fireworks in the U.S., except better in, uh, every single way. Except one. Continue reading “Japanese Fireworks, Better in Every way but One”
Summer is a wonderful season in Japan. It’s finally warm enough to peel off down parkas and ski gloves, it’s nice to relax in the park drinking beer, and the girls all wear short skirts. Actually, they wear those in winter too. What a country, seriously. Probably sucks to be a girl here though, having to walk by the park all winter long being ogled by some white guy in a parka drinking beer with ski gloves. If anybody asked, I figured I’d just say I was a member of the ski patrol, although sadly no one ever did. Continue reading “The 4 Big Japanese Beach Essentials”
At first, you might think the Japanese place great importance on addressing others properly. After all, it’s a nation where even elephants get called Zou-san. That’s Mr. Elephant to you.
The reality is that this naming convention works flawlessly until someone who looks “foreign” enters the scene, at which point thousands of years of custom go straight out the window. Continue reading “The Great Japanese Name Switcheroo”