So I’m in Japan – Summimasen. Blogu Postu des.

And no, there’s no punchline. I’m actually on vacation in Japan. Jet lag being what it is, I’m awake a time that no human should be awake. Separated from the herd in a country that is uniquely and emphatically about the herd.
Before I left, a Korean friend of mine commented, “You will like Japan. The Japanese people are quiet, but nice.” I thought it an odd turn of phrase. (And as my stock-in-trade is the odd turn of phrase, I should know. ) But they are quiet. , polite and fast. And, frankly, a little strange. If given enough biru (beer) a megaphone that could reach all of Tokyo, I might say something like this –
“Chisai Nihon nihongo. Kikinasai! Dai o kashii des!”
Which translates – “Tiny Japanese people. Listen to me! You are very strange.
In Tokyo people rush to work with the an intensity that is only seen in other countries when people flee national disasters. Yet what makes rush hour so errie is that it is surprisingly quiet. There are a lot of footsteps, but no voices above a whisper. No laughter. No one talking on cellphones on the train. There is a thumb-joint ruining level of text messaging. Just footfalls.
I was walking around early in the morning. Before the trains were running (jet-uu lag-uu- I don’t remember the exact phrase for this in Japanese, but the literal translation is “time stupid”) and
Even the alarm is polite here. My alarm at home produces an angry honking noise designed to vibrate the brain stem directly into a fight/flight/shower and go to work response. Here the hotel alarm chirps politely as if to say, (Excuse me. It might be time to wake up if you would like to wake up now. Excuse me. You round-eyed and frighteningly hairy beast, time stupid beast. It is time to arise and spread your rude ways and easy laughter throughout our quiet orderly country.)
So I have no real conclusions, but I am having a fun, if time-stupid time.

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5 replies on “So I’m in Japan – Summimasen. Blogu Postu des.”

  1. I’m so jealous! Have fun and try to find time to visit a karaoke bar.

    PS If you bring some Banana Pocky back for me I’ll be your best friend forever.

  2. Vacation in Japan! How fun…god that had to be a long flight from the east coast….24 hours…26 maybe? No wonder you have jet lag.

    After several years of studying Japanese language the most relevant and useful phrase I learned to sputter to my sensei was, “Otearai ni temo i desuka”. It was detrimental to your health in her class if you didn’t know it 🙂

    You must tell us all about it when you return….any incidents with Fubu….Geisha gone wild…come on, man….let me live vicariously!!

    ~Carmen

  3. Ok, where the hell did that extra “not” come from and what happened to the “it” I put in there.

    Sheesh.

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