Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
I have been trying to reconcile my guilt for leaving my home in its hour of need to go ahead with rather timely travel plans booked months ago. Yes, home. Tokyo will not be my home forever and while I may not appear to be her most likely resident, I am one. I have a healthcare plan here, an employer, shitloads of taxes to pay, an apartment lease, a vehicle (albeit small, two-wheeled, and pink), bank accounts and credit cards, a very expensive kimono, a secretary who drives me crazy and of course, what for all intents and purposes is family. It was not exactly a viable option for me to just up and leave, although I certainly can't begrudge those who have. I did, however, have a ticket out for a few days, which I decided to use after much pillow biting, if only to restore a measure of my sanity that had seemed to evaporate all at once when I was sent home early from work one day with no assurance that it wasn't because they thought we were destined for a major nuclear disaster.
You never think it will happen to you, but you should. (Morbidly enough, this sentiment put me in mind of a self-defense class in high school where the instructors told us to assume we would be raped at some point.) The sheer number of people who have contacted my family, from mildly estranged relatives to the woman who runs the Italian grocer we always shop at, was so humbling it physically hurt, causing my throat to squeeze up and tears to quiver in place, threatening to spill over as I read another email from my mom telling me who had called that day. Would I have done the same? I always tell myself that I am so disconnected from everything and everyone when in fact, there are a lot of people looking out for me. I will try to be better, but I still can't promise much improvement from the shockingly rude inner dialogue that seems to flow of its own accord when I am here at home in Tokyo. I haven't verbally assaulted anyone recently, so maybe my temper has been tempered.
I count myself extremely lucky to have had very few brushes with real fear in my years until now. Vastly different from millions of others on this earth, if I were to pinpoint the times when I've feared for anything close to my life, it would have to be a couple adventurous family vacations in New Zealand involving a lake and later, a volcanic mountain (when I mention this to my family, they are surprised that I felt so "strongly" about the whole thing, so maybe memories change).
Sometime around midday some days into the tragedy, the Kaisha suddenly sent out an email ordering us all home within the next hour, citing vague reasons. When they finally got it together to send out an English translation, some poor soul had thought to translate this vagueness into "one of the reactors has broken." Well then. The secretaries started tittering and one particularly panic-stricken co-worker informed me that his wife had already spotted the radioactive cloud creeping over Chiba from one of the plant explosions. Well then.
Up until this point, it had been a bleak few days, with the news on during all waking hours, reports of friends leaving just beginning to filter in, and the overwhelming sense that I no longer had any interest in a trip I had so looked forward to only days before. The initial days of work after the earthquake went by, with my concentration at an all time low and one eye on news websites and a couple tweeters who seemed to have overwhelmingly good sense. I felt like if I went on my trip, I wouldn't be able to keep an eye on things at home, as if my watching it unfold would somehow make it better. As a co-worker and I walked to the station together that day, my until-then calm began to swell into a thick panic. He stopped to buy a face mask and insisted we take the closest underground passage, thus limiting our exposure outside. Was this really happening? Across the globe and 24 years ago when I was little, my parents staged demonstrations against nuclear energy and now here I was in Japan of all places on the edge of a nuclear crisis.
Parting ways at the station was horrible. Co-worker indicated that he would be moving his family out of the Kanto area and implored me to do the same. We shook hands and he held on too long in that this-is-goodbye-too-much-eye-contact way and I started to get choked up. What the fuck, I know. I was there. The dark edges of panic started to creep to my peripheral when I got home and saw the beau. Nevertheless, I thought, even though there is no immediate reason for us to leave Tokyo, let's just head south for a couple days to put some distance between us and the situation. I would much rather leave and feel like an over reactive idiot on the way home than stay and realize we should have left and now ohmygod we can't. I couldn't even get over the roadblock in my imagination where we would actually have to leave Tokyo - for that would mean everyone else would have to leave Tokyo - and how exactly do you propose we evacuate 13 million people? That's what I thought. It's so unthinkable it almost makes me giggle, except I wasn't laughing, I was fucking petrified.
After a little half-hearted begging on my part, I realized the beau was not to be convinced that we should leave Tokyo, and in case there was any question, by god, I'm going to work tonight. I considered working myself into a hysterical fit and throwing myself in his path on his way out the door, but inherently understood that that would be a futile endeavour as well. Besides, I had to save some of the ugly crying for later. Which I did. That afternoon I began a Skype marathon so that it felt like for the next 72 hours I was always on with someone. First order of business: break down in front of my parents and wail and snuffle about how the beau wouldn't budge. Never one to care whether I marry or not, my dad gave me permission to relate to the beau that going somewhere with me would be looked upon as a personal favour to him and would weigh heavily in the scales when it came time to give our official union his blessing. Nice sentiment but I knew the beau would see through it. Friends called asking for advice I was not qualified to give, and I knew not what to tell them. My brother who is busy getting through school and his own life even seemed worried, and made sure to keep more in touch than he had as of late.
I was told work would continue on as normal bar any further developments and I stopped going in. I couldn't. How could I possibly give my all to work when there was news to be closely watched and hands to be wrung. Evenings were spent alone keeping vigilent watch over the TV and trying to intersperse that with some mind-numbing shows from the States. There were none of those variety shows or close-ups of steaming food on TV, it was news 24 hours across the channels (as an aside, I would recommend turning off the TV before starting to have sexy times). I began to watch Twitter for the first time ever, finding a few people to act as my guiding lights. Personal hygiene went down the tubes and I tried to drum up an appetite (this was a personal first).
I appealed to the beau's mom, thinking she might hear my desire to leave Tokyo for a few days and command the beau into action. No such luck - she basically intoned that if there was a large-scale meltdown, we would all be fucked anyway. I know my parents were worried but they did a pretty good job of not telling me to come home, only that they would take care of us if we did need to leave. At one point my dad suggested I at least get stuff packed up and ready in the event we did need to leave but as I looked around the apartment, the possibility of trying to tie up our life here in 24 hours was was the cool kids call "ridic". I also realized that if we did really have to leave, I would be able to simply take off with a passport and the clothes on my back. All those possessions amassed over the last few years suddenly didn't seem very worth it at all.
The beau would come home in the middle of the night and I would still be up. Sometimes there would be crying and others very calm and practical conversations. He told me to go ahead with the trip because even if it did come to leaving, he would be able to get out faster on his own. We talked contingency plans and meeting in places like Hokkaido and Korea. I slowly came to understand that me leaving for Osaka for a few days would do nothing if it got really bad and furthermore, it was much cheaper to go on the planned trip. I finally decided 24 hours before we were scheduled to leave that I would in fact, leave. I was devastated to be departing without the beau but there was no moving him, not even further south. Rather than remain in Tokyo with fear giving me the trots daily and a never ending haggard appearance on Skype, it seemed best to get some distance, if only for a small piece of mind.
As soon as I set the ball in motion, I started to get all my affairs in order, as they say. Halted preparation for the trip aside, I set up an email and Skype account for the beau and wrote out a page-long information sheet with passwords, addresses, and numbers, and laid his passport on top. A small suitcase was placed nearby. On my last night here, I was up as usual when the beau got home and we sat around with some wine until it got light. I was seeing it get light a lot those days and even after only three hours sleep I would be upright ready to take in more bad news.
The beau kept reassuring me that by the time I got back from "vacation," the reactor situation would be under control. I made him promise to bolt at the smallest sign of something bigger. As the elevator opened I managed to hold it together as we said goodbye and only after the doors had closed on the brown door to our life together, did my face get hot and my eyes wet.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I'm safe, as is the beau and our family and friends in Aomori. I'm not sure what to do with myself at the moment, other than stay glued to the news while the aftershocks roll in and out. I've often lamented how lonely and isolating it can be here at times, but the number of people who have contacted me from overseas and have contacted my parents to make sure we are all right makes me weak with gratitude. Clutching onto a fence on the sidewalk yesterday to ground myself to the pavement so desperate to buck me as the surrounding buildings visibly swayed and shuttered as if a quick breeze was blowing through, I wasn't convinced it would ever end.
Friday, March 4, 2011
How can you not like this month's edition of Tokyo Manners, there are schoolgirls featured! Why these lovely lasses haven't made it onto the posters earlier, I cannot imagine. The schoolgirl image here is like the popular girl at school - girls want to be her, boys want to fuck her (or should that be infantile women/pervy men?! I'm not judging). It also looks like Family Creepy is still together, despite his philandering and her brushes with hot young men with impeccable manners. I think even Creepy Baby is growing and before long will be sporting hair and glasses just like his daddy, and creepin' on strangers.
Anything to add gentle readers? I'm out.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I probably sound entitled to you, Dude on a Bike, and I think I am to the extent that I should be able to get down the street most of the time without being forced to bend to the will of an ornery salaryman or a Vuitton-toting bitch. Tell your friends to cut me some slack and let's try to cooperate as we coexist on Tokyo's streets. That said, I'm sorry I told you that you should be on the other side of the sidewalk and that you're an idiot, most people don't deserve that. This is my second verbal confrontation with a stranger in Japan and while after the first, I felt smug for responding so appropriately, this time I wasn't provoked by your words, but by your actions, and I am shocked at how quickly those nasty words came shooting out of my mouth. You may be an asshole, but I should have refrained from calling you an idiot.
The other thing I wanted to tell you, was that I hope you don't make the mistake of thinking all foreigners are barbarians after your encounter with me, for there are gaijin much gentler than I. I'm also not that bad in the scheme of barbaric foreigners: I don't look at all-you-can-drink plans as a way to get my money's worth, or ride the train while exclaiming loudly as I make sweeping generalizations about Japanese people, or try to school other foreigners on the proper way to "navigate the intricacies of Japanese culture". I probably act meaner than I look, but I never claimed to be perfect. I know it's hard not to equate one irate foreigner with all of the others, I mean we all look alike, but just as I won't write off every Japanese guy as a bull-headed asshole, I hope you'll realize that my frustration and anger come not from being a foreigner, but from being a girl constantly shoved around. Deciding to say those nasty words to you probably does come from being a foreigner, though.
With any luck, you will have written me off as a slightly crazy whitie who has maybe reached the end of her rope. That's certainly what it feels like sometimes. So again, Dude on a Bike, I'm sorry for my words said in anger. Next time, maybe you can consider biking on what is generally considered the correct side and not threatening to collide with others.
One thing our unit bath toilet didn't have, was a flushing sensor, which adds a whole other element to the fishing game. I've toyed with fate too long, made too many broken promises, so of course last week my bag falls over, puking into the toilet, if you will, a hair clip and an antique locket (and my pride, if you must know). The hair clip I can do without but the locket? It was given to me by a close family friend for my Bat Mitzvah and while it spent about ten years being too grown up for me, my style has now come around. There was no time to think, really, I knew I had about 20 seconds tops before the ever-efficient toilet would sense my panicked body in front of it and whisk the locket away to, I don't know, somewhere off Odaiba. In my hand plunged, out came the locket, and stall peace was restored. Except now you can add sticking my hand in the toilet to the growing list of things I've done behind the stall door at work.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
It's a well known fact that I am a territorial ho and have been feeling a little put out recently to hear Baby Mama talking to the beau's parents using informal language, even going so far as to call them mama and papa. If you held a truth gun to my head, I would tell you hearing her address them in that way makes me throw up a little in my mouth. Despite my interpreting duties at our recent international conference, I tried to keep one ear on BM to gather more evidence in my favour. I haven't yet worked out how exactly this is in my favour.
In our post-conference debriefing, I lamented for the annoyingth time that BM was all up in their informal grill and woe is me the left behind whitie who will never truly be part of the family. Why the beau decided to finally set me straight on the subject, I will never know, but I have a strong inkling it's because I am so persistent, if not an annoying motherfucker, on the subject. I won't lie and say that I don't know why I feel so done wrong by - I am an accomplished young lady, docile when I want to be - because it's pretty obvious and fairly pathetic. I've been trumped by a baby. The wedding was one thing, the official signing of papers does nothing to one-up my history with the beau, particularly since I haven't given anyone the impression that I am gagging to get my kokkon (read cock-on). So why this feeling when I don't even want children of my own at the moment? Because I can't beat a granddaughter at this stage without producing one myself. The beau sits at the top of a line of boys, each one expected to be a girl. The beau's parents were dying for a daughter and while I am an OK substitute, a granddaughter (and her mother) is some tough competition.
So there we were, me whining like a door coming off its hinges and the beau setting me straight. According to him, BM's casual form of speaking and address is her strategy for getting in with the family. I've had years to do so, but as someone suddenly married and producing offspring with no prior contact, she uses informality to try and get closer, faster. And to show that she is a kind and easy-going person. Does this mean I should have been employing informal language all along? No. It was then pointed out to me that the beau's parents get that I take pains to speak politely to them and realize what a challenge that is, which now that I have heard it, I wonder why I would have ever thought otherwise. Of course they understand the implications of the way I address them, they are Japanese of a certain generation. Just because they aren't giving me a running commentary on what they are taking note of while we are all together, they do see what's going on.
Now, should I continue on in the same way when I speak with them? Not necessarily. The beau thinks they would be thrilled to be addressed by me as mama and papa, because it denotes a certain closeness. While okaasan and otoosan is fine and perfectly appropriate, I can get away with the more informal versions. How to do this without feeling weird? If they were so attuned to my utterances before, would this not seem like a sudden move? I do not know. But I have made a point to start addressing them this way when I email them, and when we are in person, I am going to start making an effort to use informal language, even if it feels wrong at first.
I had always wondered at what point it would be appropriate for me to speak casually with the beau's parents, mostly because they are so laid back with me and it feels utterly awkward to be the only person in a group using polite forms of Japanese. We'll see how it goes. I have to say that at the end of our conversation, I felt a little bad for BM, she's just trying to make it through what is a pretty fucking awkward situation - god knows what's going through her head - and her communication style speaks to the pains she is going to to ingratiate herself with everyone (granted, I prefer to be called "princess" rather than "G-chan"). The beau's parents brought an amazeballs gift for my parents, which I will talk about another time, but suffice to say, neither BM or her family is getting anything similar. This, the beau told me, speaks to his parents' affection for me - that they would offer such a gift on meeting my parents for the first time (and no ring on it). This could not have failed to make an impression on BM, so I think it's time to cut her some slack. I certainly won't be dialing down the snark, but I will try to be a little more thoughtful when it comes to viewing her as someone to admonish.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
And speaking of kokkon, families beau and geisha did sit down as planned and try to hammer out a deal for the transfer of one white disobedient office ho'. Me, in other words. It wasn't half as barbaric as I expected and they didn't even look at the size of my ankles when deciding on a fair price. Weddings and concrete plans were hardly touched on at all in fact(thanks for attending BM and BD!!), and the conversation remained fairly close to the surface most of the time. I can barely remember what we talked about, which is the occupational hazard of the sole interpreter in the room ("yes dad, let me just explain to them that you were only joking about going to a sento together"). Instead of thinking about lulls in the conversation as awkward, I simply took the opportunity to suck down some more alcohol, which the beau was sure to ply me with as well as securing a steady supply of food to my plate. I'm surprised he didn't just start feeding me from his chopsticks quite frankly. The one time I snuck off to the bathroom, I came back to the whole table trying to look up "Saitama" in my old crusty electronic dictionary (definition: don't go!) and debating the finer points of whether a yakiniku joint should be called a restaurant or a yakunikuya-san ("yakiniku joint"). As you can see, there wasn't much time for emotional chow-chow about the future.
A few notes my addled brain managed to take:
-Do not sit at the end of the table when you are the centre of attention
-DO sit between your parents so that one doesn't miss out on entire chunks of conversation
-DO eat at a restaurant where dishes are shared
-DO drink alcohol
-Do not allow babies, unless you want to provide a cute focus for conversational dead air
-Do not not discuss seating arrangements beforehand
-Do not worry about what the fuck you are saying in Japanese, trust that whatever mangled shit you've pooped out will have to suffice
-Do not plan to bring a photo album of snaps of you and your lover from the past few years (both as conversational fodder and an old "fuck you" to those in the family who may have had a shotgun coupling) and then run out of time to make one
-Do explain to your parents beforehand that any comments not satisfactory to the interpreter will be censored out (see: comments about naked communal bathing)
-Do think of a few conversational topics to interject with if the need arises
-Do not beat yourself up about it when those topics fly out the window as soon as you start translating for everyone
-Do come to peace with the fact that some stuff once processed through your dirty and perfunctory mind and mouth will simply not sound as interesting as it did in its original language
I really wish the beau and I could have attended the much more sombre and official Meeting of the Parents 2010 for BM and BD, just so I would have some frame of reference for what one of these affairs might look like for a 100% Yamato Coupling (trademark pending), minus the oven bun and plus way more time getting to know each other. I entered into this wondering whether it would be easier or harder being a mixed couple with no language crossover. It seemed like it could go either way: harder because of those language and cultural barriers that bring people who share them together, or easier because of the same differences and freedom from having to act according to the dictates of Japanese manners and decorum. I now see, and probably could have foreseen then, that none of that really matters, much of it depends on how naturally people gel with each other. Still, I find myself fervently wishing that there was a magic language potion. My family is incredibly dear to me and it's deflating knowing that in the future, new members of my family will not be able to communicate with the original members. I suppose though, that I could just as easily have ended up with someone from a family of royal assholes, in which case speaking different languages would seem like a blessing.
I came away from the evening with about a thousand feelings all nattering away inside my head deconstructing what could have been said, what wasn't, and the meaning behind what was. I'm not really in a fair position to judge the evening, it wasn't for me after all, and if I were to go by the glowing reports from each side received later, I would say it went very well. There's nothing specific I would have changed (the inclusion of BM and BD maybe, and that's a very big maybe), except maybe my great expectations. I didn't think we would all go riding off into the sunset together in a stretch limo but I did have some private inarticulated expectations about the evening. If I can try to look at it with some distance, it did go well and I'm not sure what kind of amazing experience and conversation I thought would take place by putting these two caring families together with no common language for one night (one night only!), not to meet again for the foreseeable future. It can't all be accomplished in the space of three hours and you are a fool to think it can.
The only true fail part of evening was at the very end when the beau and I were seeing everyone off before we could run back inside to drink away the stress and dissect the evening in detail. My dad had taken it upon himself as we were getting up from the table to issue some kind parting remarks (with no prior approval) to the beau's dad, which I tried to approximate. Maybe this would have been the time to say "official goodbyes" before we went outside for photos and cabs. All I know is that the photos were done, I was having a word with BD and BM, and I turn around to see the beau's parents running into the middle of the street for a cab without a word. I think the beau had told them to hurry up because taxis were scarce that night but it was a little disconcerting to then have to explain to my parents that "I guess we had said our goodbyes."
In the days following, I passed along my parents' regards to the beau's mom and she in turn said how well it had all gone. When I mentioned that it would have been nice to have more time together, she suggested that next time, we all go to an onsen for a few days, which I couldn't help but laugh about as it would mean my dad realizing his ongoing joke about both families visiting a public bath together (yes, I come from one of those families).
After reading everyone's supportive comments on the BM/BD debacle, I started to feel pretty bad. Granted, I'm glad I didn't get any "bitch, you cray cray" comments, but it did give me pause on the whole thing. In the end, it wasn't ideal having them there, but with such a small window of time, I did want my parents to meet everyone. I will say though, that having less people and no baby may have encouraged a different conversation, simply because there are less faces around the table. We had planned a dinner the following week with my just parents and BM/BD, but ultimately had to cancel it. I found out later that when the beau had cancelled, BD had said that BM's parents had been slated to join the dinner! THANKS FOR THE NOTICE BUDDY BOY!!! And thank fuck we had to cancel anyway, because obviously I would have been tha-rilled to interpret through a dinner with a set of parents I don't even know. The beau admonished me for saying as much, as did my mom, because wasn't it just obvious that BM/BD were trying to pull out all the family stops? Yes, yes I do have a black heart. So there you have it, no major international incidents were caused or treaties terminated. I have a slightly new perspective on things now thanks to a later conversation with the beau and although I am still a jealous biatch who wants to be number one at everything, I am working on being OK with there not always being a number one (more on this later).
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I was kind of hoping there would be a poster this month specifically targeting the Secretary next to me, the quiet one, who has developed the unfortunate habit of letting out single coughs throughout the day without covering her mouth. It brings to mind the brilliant character in Little Britain who does the "computer says no" routine. It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.
I'm not too much of a priss when it comes to germs, but really? Not covering your mouth during a cough? Just bad manners. I even cover my mouth when I am coughing whilst enjoying Mavis's leather saddle. I keep semi-glancing over at the Secretary when she coughs hoping this will instill some fear or shame, but to no avail. This is the Secretary who tries not to make even the smallest amount of noise when hanging up the phone or opening an envelope. How is it that we have ladies gargling (presumably to fend off colds) at the sink at work in the morning, really getting into it and making all sorts of disgusting sphincter-tightening sounds, and then we have people walking down the street coughing and hacking openly at unsuspecting passersby? This is definitely one of those "Japan is an enigma" moments.*
Thoughts on the poster? It actually looks like Creepy was getting ready to play grab ass and this poor woman who works for Subway corporate HQ is just putting some physical distance between them utilizing the objects at hand, like any good salarywoman would. We all know if it was me, I would be actively ramming the suitcase against his shins without a second thought.
*If the sarcasm was not apparent, you should probably get out while you can.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Scene: last week some time. Enter: me, stage right. Or whatevs. This year we are seated instead of standing (except for a cocktail reception) and gathering in January rather than December, but I have nothing new to report that hasn't already been said. I am so used to the performances put on by junior members of the Kaisha and the faux sluttery displayed by the females of this group for thier validation as contributing members of society, that it almost doesn't register any more other than as a time-keeper. The secretaries are doing some kind of para para meets Beyonce dancing on stage in hot pants and midriff-baring tee-shirts? Time for me to make an exit.
The one thing that did occur to me this year, however, is that I have a naughty hand. Not naughty as in I-can't-stop-copping-a-feel-with-every-Professional-who-ignores-me but as in doesn't listen to instructions and tends to go rogue when I am not devoting full attention to its exact location.
Japan is a lesson in minimal physical contact. Regardless of the compulsory touching and crotch-pressing that gets done on trains (if it can't be avoided, it doesn't count), there is very little casual touching that goes on between people. I continue to feel like an awkward gaijin lump when, after almost a year apart, we see the beau's parents and nothing more than a "welcome home" passes between them/us. Or when I see a Japanese-Japanese friend (not to be confused with a Japanese friend who was educated overseas or is some kind of hippie) after a span of two years and we stop short with half a metre between us. Exceptions between families and friends aside that I'm sure you could give me, nowhere is this no-contact culture more prevalent than at work. Tell that to my right hand.
As we know, at work the good people of the Kaisha are safe from me in my small white ghetto (population: 1), but let me loose during a schmoozey cocktail hour before dinner and there's no telling what my hand will get up to. I tried to implement my personal one-woman PR tactics and unconciously stepped it up a notch with some good old-fashioned arm petting. I don't know where I learned this behaviour from (Mad Men perhaps) but give me a drink in one hand and my other hand will get lonely and start travelling sans visa to the arm of any male to my right with whom I am engaged in conversation. Now it's not like I put these guys into a death grip or anything, I do have my nails to think about after all, but I can't help myself from an occasional pat or short-spanned laying of the hand on the shoulder when talking to someone. What can I say? It's my thang and in some places may even be considered personable or charming. Not at the Kaisha, however.
My hand was given the side stink-eye, looks of surprise, shock, and horror, and unmistakable eyebrow twitches akin to having something uncomfortable on your face (a fly? sweat?) during a job interview but not being able to do anything about it. Picture me straining to act sociable, friendly, and normal, and believing myself to be exactly those things with the help of my wine, and then, oh! There goes that creepy hand, creepin up some poor Professional's arm. I don't know what my hand was thinking! There I was talking to men I have worked for for a decent amount of time and my hand thinks it's appropriate to lightly touch their upper arm while trying to emphasize some point about the weather. If it wouldn't have looked completely cuckoo I would have used my left hand to restrain my right. There I am, talking, smiling, nodding, and there goes my arm, Oh! No you don't. No, I didn't.
By the end of the evening, if any Professionals I knew made eye contact with me from across the way, I would immediately scoot over to them and try to make small talk. This includes the guy who wants me to set him up with my non-existent lady friends and the guy who thinks I am dating down. When facing permanent ostracization, it is not the time to be picky. Funny how none of them have anything to say to me and are looking kind of surprised that I singled them out. Last time they ever make eye contact with me! The night was a smashing success really. You know how I know? On the way to powder my tall nose, a group of Secretaries in my department were all posed for a group photo and as I passed by, a couple of them shrieked for me to jump in "because you're so cute." These are women who will barely say a thing to me when we pass in the hall and with whom I haven't exchanged more than perfunctory greetings. At least me and possibly my cleavage will be forever remembered as "that Whitie" when the Secretaries are showing the photos to their new husbands and babies a few years from now. Success at last!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Did the guy who designs these posters send this one to the printers after a bonenkai party? The angle on that poor foreign woman is all wrong in the first picture: what happened to her armpit? Did that giant spotted muu muu gobble it up? And what's with that huge beaver tail mound of hair overwhelming her left side? A rendering of what her hair looks like when she turns her head?
This is all wrong. I would say that it looks like a white male eikawa teacher designed this portrayal of the Evil White Woman in Japan but I can't even bring myself to resort to what is one of the oldest and most tired shots in the book - gaijin girl vs. gaijin guy: let's take out all our misery and insecurities on each other!!!
Who knows, maybe she is a member of Japan's national volleyball team. Or maybe a Russian sumo wrestler on his way to the hairdresser. I'm all out of ideas...