*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Κυνόσαργες

Friday, 30 September 2011

'Ware-ware Nihonjin'-tte kankei-nai, kisama!

I am the paragon of 'internationalization': the cliché of my Japanese alma mater, the JET programme.

I made a traffic error* on the way to school this morning by bike, and had a charming conversation with the driver who almost clipped me.  I was nominally in the wrong#, but I didn't feel apologetic when:
- I saw it was a BMW (please...)
- the tool pulled over and started yelling out of his window (but would never have had the balls to get out)
- given the car and the feudalism in this country, you know he's a doctor or lawyer (corrupt, incompetent as he's never studied since he got into his university, expects a hand-job from strangers)

Still, I was nominally in the wrong, so I was happy to ignore him and continue on my way, until he said just what you'd expect that type to say:
Nihon-dakara... (This is Japan, so...)
Could I be expected to help myself?  No, I didn't think so either:
Hai-hai-hai, 'ware-ware Nihonjin'-tte kankei-nai, kisama!  (Whatever.  This has nothing to do with Japan, asshat).
I didn't waste my time to see his reaction, but I'll bet he hasn't had anyone tell him what he is for twenty years.  Do him good.

*That is to say, I jumped the light, while a car rocketed through the intersection at twice the posted limit after approaching the same intersection blind from behind a hill.
#Most Japanese cyclists do the same.

15 comments:

  1. On a positive note, pedestrians are highly favored in Japan, regardless of what actually happened. Drivers are almost always held responsible for the incident. Though this is why hit-and-runs are not uncommon.

    Be safe!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great stuff. One of my favorite things is when non-Japanese handle themselves well in Japanese... contrary to what many people seem to think, there's no power in "yelling at them in English" but much more to be said for making your feelings and point clearly understood.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't get to use 'kisama' much. I had to use the opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jay, you give me too much credit. As I said to a colleague the other day: "For someone who's studied Japanese at university for two years, and lived here off-and-on for four, my Japanese is completely unexceptional."

    ReplyDelete
  5. Almost makes a person wonder if the higher up on the economic food chain/social hierarchy the less likely people feel the need to pay attention to where they park.

    Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Will, it is exactly that which made me switch from a naive 'fiscal-conservative' to something like a raging anarchist. Teaching in poorer schools, then in wealthy schools, is not good for avoiding class-consciousness. The poor kids and families have their issues, but had some excuses; the wealthy have as many issues, with all the chances the poor won't get. But don't buy it from me. Read the following:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/fashion/02studied.html

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mr.S: Just read the article. Am tempted to say that the offspring of wealthier folk don't typically need to worry about being able to read emotions in such things as 'interviews' or whatever those formalities might be called.

    ReplyDelete
  8. haha, I have been on both sides of the spectrum... guess that this time the brownie points won't go to me :(

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mr.S: Just popped in here to add a little to the idea of 'brand recognition' in Japan:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPS24Svdb3c

    To balance things out, I do know that there are people who could be thought of as being higher up on that socioeconomic than most who could be described as very decent...but they tend not to draw attention to themselves...just the issues.

    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Going out on the road in any sort of vehicle scary here~~ >< I really outta put on my helmet.

    ReplyDelete
  11. How in the fuck have I not seen this site?

    I woulda' spit on the hood of his car and then asked sarcastically if it was a Japanese car.

    Fucking tool. He needs a slap more than anything else.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Chris, thanks for the comment. I am not as full-on as you, sempai, but there are days where I don't feel far off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your "Japanese" makes no sense, so the driver is the one that got the last laugh

      Delete
    2. Your English makes some sense, but you can't write to save your life: 'Japanese' goes inside single-quotation marks, a period at the end, and 'the one who' not 'that'. Fuckwit.

      Delete
  13. 'Anonymous' pussy troll shows up here too!

    ReplyDelete