Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Gaijin Tales! Spooning and the Curse of Years


A lot of foreigners here talk about getting stared at, and I certainly had that experience a few years ago, yet now that I live in a much smaller area I don't. Even my dormmates talk about it, and yet I'm spared. So what's up? Can they smell the Japan on me? Have I developed a distinctly Japanese gait? Have they finally succeeded in converting me?

I did, however, catch the sidelong eye of a half-cut 20-something as I was walking home after some Midnight Nakau, her swaying along in my general vicinity. After the third round she saw me seeing her and scurried away a bit.

Girl: いぇーい。
Me: (thoroughly amused) 何か?
Her (giggles, starts to go into a restaurant)
Me: 楽しんでな!
Her: うん!

*

“Wait a second,” I say. “At the tabehoudai just now I ended up getting four beer for 500 yen. And at this bar I just paid 600 for one.”

My four Japanese companions raise their glasses in unison: “Welcome to Japan!”

*

The last time I bought ice cream at the Circle K, the girl behind the counter gave me, not one of the tongue depressers they usually dole out, but a real, honest-to-god plastic spoon, with star shapes cut out of the handle, even.

Me: You know this means she has a crush on me.
Anarchy in the UK: Today, it's a spoon, tomorrow, spooning.

*

Hecuba: I'm cold.
Me: Are you kidding?
Hecuba: This is like a Hong Kong winter.
Me: This is like Canada in the middle of July.

*

Walking through down the Sanjoubashi riverbank I saw an older white guy forlornly seated on a low wall. In at least his 50's, he looked morose and dejected, beer in hand, all alone. I imagined that he was probably out for some young pussy, banking on the rumours he'd heard of Japanese girls being crazy for the white dick, and so he'd come to this hangout spot only to find that nobody was interested in a sad, ugly old man. What a loser, I thought.

And then I thought, oh God, that's going to be me in a few years, isn't it?

*

I'd been too busy and too lazy to buy a Halloween costume for the dormitory party, but in a flash of half-assed inspiration I realised that if I pulled some stuff out of my closet and arranged it in just such a way, I could totally pass as a cowboy.

"What are you," people asked me, "a serial killer?"

It's nice to know that when I wear my normal clothes, I look like a serial killer.

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