I worked today. Yes, a Saturday. If it was in London, Id have resented going in, been in a bad mood and felt a fool for excepting to go in. But, in Japan, I was looking forward to another day at work. How freekish have I become? Am I turning into the Japanese work-a-holic??? ***worrying***!!
Im not, dont worry!
But I have noticed a few things about the Japanese people an dthe way they think while working at a 'proper' (no-gaijin) company. One of the main things is that the question "How was your weekend/evening?" or "What are you doing for the weekend" is a taboo. Nobody asks it, and when I did, there was nervous giggle and silence, as if Id just asked them how many times they have sex a week. But you see what I never realised is that is how they perseeve the question 昨夜はどうだった？ sounds to you and me like a friendly conversation starter, but to them, it sounds like you are inquiring about their sex life.
Another is, that yes, as in the question above, the Japanese mind is always in the gutter. They are constantly thinking about sex. At breaktime, they ask me if I know what ちんちん means. I say I do and try to move on, but they seem to enjoy the conversation and ask me for the English slang with the same meaning.
Also, they also ask me taboo questions, about race and cash. They ask me how much I get paid, something I wouldnt dare to ask another workmate in England, but they feel totally fine asking me. (whether its a gaijin-thang, i dunno). Whether its just the people I work with, or whether its because Japan is relatively a one-race nation, they seem very open to talk racistly. They said to me "Do you know black people in Japan turn white because of Japanese water. Is it the same in England? Do they turn white?" How can you even ask a thing such as this....??
I wish I could then take on their taboo questions in the same manner they take on mine - a nervous giggle and silence. But, being the gaijin, they wont. They think I dont understand if I try and avoid the subject, getting out their dictionary and looking up ちんちん....
After all this, you probably wonder why I enjoy working there?
IM GETTING PAID TO PRACTISE JAPANESE!!
No better reason than that! :)
Ive decided studying Japanese through reading is dull. I get to a kanji I dont like and give up. I get to a word I dont know and Im tired to keep looking in my dictionary, so I give up. Its dull. I dont like it. Talking = learning. Im scared as soon as I return to the land of London, my Japanese will all fly out the window. So easy to forget what you dont have to use.
Some kids in Southend threw ice-cold water at my friend last weekend 'for a laugh'. My friends boyfriend shouted at them, my friend desperately trying to stop him, fearful the youths - 14 ish - had knives. The best option is just to walk away and not give them the satisfaction of showing your anger. They are just youths you say. They'll grow out of it. They'll grow up. When, exactly? Lots of 'yob youths' in England dont grow up. Lets look forward to the future generation. Yippy, come to London, the land of yobs. There are youths in Japan. There is less areas that youths can go in Tokyo, it being concrete city. But you dont see them trying to pass the time by flicking a lighter in your face as you walk along, by throwing stone at you in the street, by chucking ice-cold water at you as you sit by the sea.....
England sucks at it. If a child swears, in the UK, its considered cute, and parents laugh. Dont they realise the kids going to think that their parents like that as he just made them laugh, and next time he wants to make his parents happy he'll say "FUCK YOU!"
Im sorry for the moan. Going back to London in December... Im lookng forward to some things. But not to others.
Gonna be damn strange not having to seperate your rubbish!! もったいない naaa?