lesson at a café in Yokohama with a Japanese private student
Student: So, what is your book about?
Me: It’s about some of my experiences in Japan…
Student: Really? That sounds interesting.
Me: While we’re on the topic, do you mind if I ask you a question?
Student: No problem…what is the question?
Me: Well, I’d like to publish the book in Japan. I want to attract Japanese readers…
Student: I see.
Me: What would you like to read about in a book written by a foreigner living in Japan? You understand the question?
Student: I think so…I want to read about what foreigners feel are Japanese people’s good points and bad points.
Me: Really? What are the Japanese good points in your opinion?
Student: Good points wa ne. (Scratches head vigorously.) Ja, we always smile. Japanese people always have a smile all the time.
Student: Yes I think so.
Me: And that’s a good point?
Student: Maybe it’s a bad point da ne.
Me: I don’t know. I want to know what you think the good points are.
Student: Ah…Japanese don’t answer questions clearly…like when…”
Me: This is a good point?
Student: Well…yes, um, well…good point, bad point, nan darou…
Me: Ok, let’s drop it. Muzakashii deshou.
Student: (Grumbling, head scratching for almost two minutes) Ah, I got it! Japanese are more faithful than foreigners.
Me: I wasn’t asking for a comparison, just a good point. What does that mean anyway?
Student: Well, for example, When we work at the company our Japanese co-workers will support us, but in the US and Europe, zenzen. US workers don’t support each other…
Me: I see…why do you say that?
Student: I have a counterpart, an American, and he doesn’t support me. He only does his own work. Japanese people do other people’s work, too, even if it is not their responsibility.
Me: If it’s true, that would be a good point. Any more?
Student: (Growls, scratches head) I give up. I should ask my wife.
Copyright © 2010 Loco in Yokohama / All Rights Reserved
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
One big circle going round and round
Words by: Sly Stone
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