Saturday, 28 September 2013

Gaijin Tales! Wrapping up

I accrue Gaijin Tales anecdotes gradually and throw them up on the blog when I have a bunch. I've maintained a fairly consistent schedule of doing one every 2-3 months, but that doesn't always have much to do with when a particular story took place, as I often remember and then write down things that happened long before. Keep that in mind as you read what will be the last Gaijin Tales for a while.

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Rude Boy: three strangers in two days have treated me like a normal human being!
Jugs: Nice!

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Insufferable Dumbass, listen to me. You're not taking on an enemy army. You're not fleeing the cops. You're not even performing a complex and sensitive science experiment. You're making dinner. Calm the fuck down.

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On my last visit to the Pokemon Centre, during Deranged Dave's stay, I picked up a few more Pikachus. Until that point I'd actually assumed there was only a set for the respective city of each store; I was dead wrong. It may have been limited sale, but anyway, I picked up some representatives for Kyouto, Koube, and Nara. The Kyouto one was Pikachu wearing a Shinsengumi uniform! Only, this raises the question of whether or not I now have to collect every single one produced.

Um. Let's say no.

Then Mother Russia went on vacation and brought me back an Okinawa charm as a present. It's Eevee, which is different from the rest of the set...but it's from Mother Russia, so who cares. :3

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One thing I've noticed about drilling Korean vocabulary is how useful it is to see the hanja. It seems that Korea still uses traditional characters, but obviously I can still read them for meaning even if I can't write them. This is quite helpful for remembering not only the pronunciation of many words (such as seonbae, a direct cognate from 先輩), but even the words themselves; “desk,” for example, is chaeksang, which is fine and all, but much easier to call to mind if you know that is written 册床、i.e. a “book-bed.”

This raises a question: I would assume that most beginning English-language Korean textbooks don't show the hanja, since it would be meaningless for most, so how the hell are you supposed to learn all these words? I guess it's just rote memorization, which, admittedly, I had to do to learn both the equivalent Japanese words and their kanji, but I sure am glad I don't have to start from zero again.

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For a while there, every time I would go to 7-11, Cologne would ask where I was headed. Rather than simply answer him, like a normal human being, I would always say “Your mom's house.” This continued until finally one day he asked me: “So, do you wanna make a trip to my mom's house?”

Somehow we managed to get everybody, both English- and Japanese-speaking, to start calling it “Cologne's mom's house.” We're going to Cologne's mom's house, I wonder if they sell that at Cologne's mom's house, etc.

Yeah, it's one nonstop party in this dorm.

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I just realised that my World of Philosophy class is a huge confluence of a bunch of otherwise unrelated spheres of my life, as I have now seen that my classmates include three girls from English Club, a guy from English Club, a guy from my Enjoyably Study Korean, and one of the girls who works at Cologne's mom's house.

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Cologne to Tiny Chinese Girl: So on Thursday, just shower after you eat takoyaki!

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Japanese teacher: I teach Japanese language to foreigners, of course, and I also teach Japanese students how to be Japanese language teachers. And I guess the main difference is, when I ask foreigners if they understand, they all yell “Yes!!” and scare the living daylights out of me. And when I ask the Japanese students if they understand, I get silence...and then I ask again, and if I'm lucky, I get (nods slightly).

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Politics teacher: You treat this classroom like it's an extension of your living room!
Rude Boy: Makes sense, I treat the living room like an extension of my bedroom.
Everyone who lives with me: (laughs mirthlessly)

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Mother Russia: i don't think i can go, i popped an inlay so i have to go to the dentist
Rude Boy: omfg are you ok???!!!
Mother Russia: thanks...yeah it's fine as long as i don't bite anything...best diet i've ever had, haha

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I've won a lot of nice things from the periodic draws at Cologne's mom's house, but I also once won a little bottle of this absolutely vile-looking old guy energy drink that no one in the history of the world has ever wanted.

Two days in a row.

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Rude Boy: Why do you feel the need to write your name all over every single thing I own? Fucking look at this shit...my textbooks, my homework, my computer, my arm...what, are you fucking marking your property or something?
Mother Russia: Hahahaha, I'm like a dog!
Rude Boy: Then I go to read my fucking book one day and I find this! (Indicates bookmark, which she pulled out of the book, placed on top, and wrote “HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!” upon next to a picture of a smirking pig.)
Mother Russia: Hahaha! Did you find your page again?
Rude Boy: Yes, because I remembered the number for some reason.
Mother Russia: Oh. Damn.

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After watching like 25 episodes of Sailor Moon in three days, my way of speaking became extremely girly for the next several.

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President: U drunk?
President: Lol
Rude Boy: maybe
Rude Boy: but not as drunk as you're about to be

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Rude Boy: Jesus! It wasn't raining at all when I left the house.
Clerk at Cologne's mom's house: That's right. It wasn't raining up until just a little while ago, yes?
Rude Boy: Yeah. Man, I didn't even bring an umbrella.
Clerk: (to second, older clerk) Oh, there was an umbrella, wasn't there?
Second clerk: There was! (runs to the back)
Clerk: There may be an umbrella that someone forgot at the store.

There was, and they gave it to me. This is why I love 7-11 service. Also: Bullshitting with strangers 1, shyness 0.

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Insufferable Dumbass: (to family over Skype) Yup, I think I lost the Speech Contest because I was meant to be a soccer referee.
Anarchy in the UK: (under breath) No, you lost the Speech Contest because you're awful.

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Mother Russia: (pauses movie, removes headphones) Is this enjoyable for you?
Drunk Rude Boy: Kinda yeah.
Mother Russia: You can't even hear!
Drunk Rude Boy: (intentionally overselling) Just being with you is fun enough!
Mother Russia: Wow. Barf.

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Rude Boy: What's Stonehenge actually like? I imagine it being like surrounded by city now, like that thing in the middle of Mecca.
Anarchy in the UK: No, it's in the middle of a giant field...that's actually so big the army uses it to blow things up.

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Insufferable Dumbass: A lot of the people in this house don't speak well English.

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I saw a girl walking down the street, carrying an entire door. Couldn't even decide if that seemed strange or not.

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Lithuania: Do you know this site? It's like, for finding pen pals.
Rude Boy: A fucking website for finding pen pals? That's...that's like teleporting to the train station!

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Cologne: I don't know if I want to go there, I hear it's just a bunch of Germans.
Rude Boy: You should totally go. You're great at German.
Cologne: But I don't really feel the need to practise.

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At YVR I recognized a girl I'd sat near at Incheon.


A few days later, I saw her at my university.

2 comments:

  1. hey nice post meh, I love your style of blogging here. this post reminded me of an equally interesting post that I read some time ago on Daniel Uyi's blog: Overcoming Shyness .
    keep up the good work friend. I will be back to read more of your posts.

    Regards

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words man! Of course the difference here is that I struggled with shyness in a foreign language rather than in a more general sense, although I did struggle with social anxiety for many years when I was younger. Thanks for the comment, maybe I'll see you around!

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