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An American In Japan

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 2:55 pm - October 2, 2006.
Filed under: Travel

PatriotPartner is on loan from the US to Japan for a couple weeks for his job.  It is his first trip to Asia (he’s one up on me), and has a “Top Ten” list of observations thus far….. 

  1. You really can get by on “Konichiwa,” “Arigato” and a smile here
  2. It takes more than a week to stop feeling jumpy every time you turn into traffic when making a right in a country that drives on the left
  3. These people are more car-crazy than Americans and they keep them freakishly clean (of course you can be ticketed for driving a car that is too dirty)
  4. I am still not sure what I ate the other night but damn was it good!
  5. Never trust a restaurant named Pizza House Jr. – especially in Japan! And where the heck is Pizza House Sr. anyway?
  6. I would give my coworker’s right arm for just a 1/10 of the coffee/tea/soda/water vending machines on the streets here to be relocated back home
  7. From the items I have seen for sale in stores, Justin Timberlake is a fashion trend-setter in Japan; well except at the Afro-Carribean/Jamaican store across the street (what’s with that anyway?)
  8. Kobe beef – good; bitter melon, egg and Spam – bad (it’s the prefectural dish of Okinawa and it can stay here)
  9. You haven’t really lived until you have heard Billie Holiday’s God Bless the Child crooned in Japanese
  10. The teen angst in Dawson’s Creek is just as palpable in Japanese as it is in English

Stay safe, PatriotPartner!!!  We miss you.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)



  1. He forgot to tell you how houses are numbered by when they were built, so that an address in Japan is impossible to find other than driving up and down the street and looking at the numbers.

    Comment by rightwingprof — October 2, 2006 @ 3:38 pm - October 2, 2006

  2. Tell him:
    “number one” is good
    “number ten” is bad

    Also, if he wants to say “thank you very much”, to say “don’t touch my mustache”

    They will understand, and giggle.

    Comment by Mikell — October 2, 2006 @ 6:23 pm - October 2, 2006

  3. crap.

    That should have been:
    If he wants to say “You are welcome very much”, not thank you very much.

    Anyone who has listened to music in the last 30 years can say “thank you” in Japanese.

    Comment by Mikell — October 2, 2006 @ 6:26 pm - October 2, 2006

  4. Never trust a restaurant named Pizza House Jr. – especially in Japan! And where the heck is Pizza House Sr. anyway?

    The restaurant chain that became Roy Rogers was originally known as “Hot Shoppe Jr.”. It was started as a fast-food style spinoff of Hot Shoppes, the Washington DC area restaurant chain on which the Marriott empire was founded.

    Comment by Frank IBC — October 2, 2006 @ 7:52 pm - October 2, 2006

  5. Fried Rice at Mcdonalds.

    Comment by sandy — October 2, 2006 @ 11:22 pm - October 2, 2006

  6. Always let the other person bow first. And your bow should be lower than theirs – it shows respect.

    And I had to giggle at the “you’re welcome” comment since it brought back memories. I was at a Japanese restaurant once with a fag hag friend of mine (picture a Hispanic Rosie O’Donnell, and that’s my friend Celinda). We got seated at the table and the waittress – a very nice, petite, unassuming Japanese woman who was obviously new – greeted us and offered the specialty of the house.

    Celinda turned to me and said: “How do you say ‘thank you’ here?”
    I responded: “Domo.”

    So she turned to the waittress and said “domo.”
    The waittress smiled, bowed and said “you’re welcome,” which of course is “Do itashimashitay.”

    In a voice loud enough for the entire restaurant to hear, Celinda exclaimed in a shocked voice: “Don’t touch yo’ WHAT???”

    It took quite a few bottles of sake for me to recuperate from that episode. Still, after 10 years, we still laugh about that.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — October 3, 2006 @ 12:28 am - October 3, 2006

  7. Is Kobe beef any cheaper there, or does that go on the expense account?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 3, 2006 @ 1:11 am - October 3, 2006

  8. I hesitated to even attempt to spell it correctly, Peter. It has been way too many years.

    Comment by Mikell — October 3, 2006 @ 6:09 pm - October 3, 2006

  9. Mikell, the next time you’re down here in Houston, the first round of sake is on me. Banzai!

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — October 3, 2006 @ 11:08 pm - October 3, 2006

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