Hiro, her Hero

Y’all know me by now. Every now and then I gotta release. And since I’m non-violent  I use my keyboard like a punching bag. Poor keys!

Anyway, last night, I had to exercise such restraint, when I boarded the train at Kikuna Station and a guy was standing near the door with a girl, perhaps his girlfriend or classmate… The train was a little crowded and about to get a little more so once the people on my line got on. As usual the people who boarded ahead of me sprinted away from the door so they wouldn’t be near me and the people behind me I was sure would board and go the opposite direction from the one I took. It’s the norm.

The girl’s back was to the door and the guy was facing the door. She didn’t budge until I reach the door. The guy noticed me, all of the cheer in their conversation vanished and he swung her around so that he was now between her and I, stiff shouldered and what not. Glancing over his shoulders out of the side of his eyes, and adjusting so that he was squarely, mathematically so, between us. You would think I was attempting to reach her by his behavior. The sudden swinging had alarmed his protectee so much she peeked around him expecting to see a Machete wielding maniac, but it was just me. But you wouldn’t know it by the look in her eyes; feeding his rationalization for acting out like he had and was.

She turned into a damsel formerly in distress, the ever-so grateful Sweet Polly Purebred.  Hiro, you’re my Hero.

As she awaited further guidance, if necessary, her eyes warmed over with gratitude for his having demonstrated his manhood and willingness to put himself between her and a clear and present danger.

Yes, me.

So, he used me to get laid, basically. It’s actually kind of clever…

I know,  I know, but I can no more ignore that kind of crap than I can ignore someone shoving an ice pick in my ear.

But as long as I can rationalize I’ll keep it together (-:



4 Responses to “Hiro, her Hero”

  1. February 3, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    This whole living in another culture thing is so different! I am not used to being stared at – it’s funny – some people look at me with complete disbelief and some smile. I wish I knew what they were thinking! It is very unnerving sometimes.

    I am glad you are writing more again!

  2. 2 ItAintEazy
    February 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Thank God for the right-thinking Japaneseses, right?

    All seven of them.

  3. 3 obidon
    February 8, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    (or may you live in interesting times)

    I love your blog.

    I am about to relocate to Japan and am studying the Nihon-go frantically. Let me correct that, I should be studying frantically but am engrossed in hours after hour of reading your work. You are talented and it’s way past the time for you start smoozing publishers: Get on with it, you are ready. But enough adoration, I felt an unusually strong urge to drop an alternative viewpoint

    Racism is ignorance. Nothing we didn’t already know, but stop and think about it for a few minutes.

    Most Japanese people have no experience of any foreign culture. Few travel, and with a gaijin population of less than 0.1%, any knowledge or beliefs held must be pre-conditioned. Every Nip (and I use it as a term of endearment) I have quizzed has given the same set of answers:

    1. All Brack man is big, noisy and (subsequently) scary
    2. All Engrish man is gentlemen and kindly (Yeah right, but I am not going to fight it)
    3. All Arabs man is rich and religious (tell that to the dish-dash I saw with 2 cheap hookers and drinking scotch last night)

    Where do the misconceptions come from? My own view is that Honne and Tatemae are not exclusive to the Japanese. Everybody has them, each one tailored but influenced by social background. Each social group has some commonality in Tatamae, a method if you like of blending in to the group. Didn’t you put on the mask on your return to NY for the elections? (Home Alterations Part 1)

    The Tatamae of the mass creates the stereotype, which is projected to the world and absorbed by other social groups. We as individuals are often puzzled when others chose to believe the image we project and frustrated when people don’t see us for who we really are. It takes a lot of one-on-one interaction to break through the Tatamae and see the Honne – think friends.

    You and I come from Cosmopolitan environments. Our tolerance, understanding and friendships with other races are bourne from circumstance rather than intellectual superiority. You know its taken generations to achieve and it is still far from perfect.

    “Kill Whitey’ said Michael Moore in his book, Stupid White Men. I am ashamed to say that this book exposed my subconscious and ingrained misconceptions. But by exposure, the sickness can be treated and healed. Because of our particular circumstances, it is our common interest to start and fuel the debate: to achieve harmony.

    The Japanese nation has no impetus to debate this; our gaijin numbers are small. The only way this debate will start with any sincerity is when our numbers increase. And I for one, in a totally shameful and selfish way, don’t want that. Won’t that kill everything we love about Japan?

    Be careful what you wish for

    PS: Sorry for the ramble, I didn’t intend to hijack your site

    • February 8, 2009 at 7:11 pm

      Obidon-san, WOW, thanks for the long thoughtful response. And you know what, you’re absolutely right. Only when I’m face to face with the nonsense that I feel I want Japan to change actually. When I’m enjoying the benefits of the ignorance I don’t feel so eager for a change to occur. So, I’m torn as my blog so painfully exposes.
      Thanks for the adoration LOL. All I need is another 100,000 or so heads to feel as you do about my brain farts and I’ll be able to make a living doing what I love to do: create.
      I want to say more but I’m a little hectic right now but I wanted to quickly let you know that your feedback is appreciated.


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Please know that this blog is my original writing and may not be reproduced in any way without the expressed written permission of the author (that's me!) Thanks!

Words I love…

Everybody is a star
I can feel it when you shine on me
I love you for who you are
Not the one you feel you need to be
Ever catch a falling star
Ain't no stopping 'til it's in the ground
Everybody is a star
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