This shall be a fairly image-heavy post.
and geekery galore.
(Baka Gaijin = Japanese for Stupid Foreigner) Let's make this clear first: I am an American, proud to be one, always will be. Obviously, as I married a US Sailor. Not to mention half my family is in the service somewhere. Even when I don't like everything America does, I love my country. That said.
Americans, you can be big ol' IDIOTS when you are in another country, Japan is no exception. Sure, everyone makes a cultural faux pas or two. You didn't know you're not supposed to talk on your cell on the train, you missed the sign that said take off your shoes, you mispronounced something, etc. Usually, if you're respectful and apologetic about your mistakes, the locals totally understand and are very gracious and helpful. Laugh at yourself, and they'll laugh with you!
But then there are those visitors who have absolutely no respect for the people or their customs. Or simply aren't aware of them. To you, some common sense tips! The Locals Speak English:
"Omg, that was so racist!" "Pshht, it doesn't matter, they don't understand me!" Yes, I heard this yesterday, following a very racist comment from an American chick on the train. And while it's true, most Japanese people are not fluent
in English, English is a required class in most schools. In fact, it's required in most schools in most highly developed countries. And you can bet they've learned to keep an ear out for certain words. See that lady there? She's glaring at you! Baka Gaijin. Be Polite:
Really, is it so hard? Even if you don't speak or read a word of the language or know any of the customs, a polite and apologetic attitude will go SOOOO far. Remember what your mama told you. Please, thank you, excuse me! I mean, really? Do you ever use those words in America? Sometimes I wonder. Then again, we in America have learned to tollerate a much higher level of rudeness. Which brings me to my last point. Stop Expecting ANY Other Country To Be America:
Yes, pointing out differences between your home and another place is always fun! But to do so disdainfully, as if you are entitled to have things be exactly the way they are back in the States, as if you're in an amusement park of pagodas and sushi and at night you'll be going back to a familiar world, is dumb. You are a guest in this country, a place where people were living and functioning in a complex society THOUSANDS of years before The United States was even a blip on the radar. Yeah there may be western-style toilets in the rest room and Brad Pitt might be on the billboards, but you're still a long way from home. ENJOY IT! And stop being a jerk. You make nice people like myself, my husband, and our friends embarrassed to be Americans. And nobody likes that.
Okay, scolding over! Here are some blogs I think you would enjoy :DAdam: Old Skipping Record
. He may be young, but kid knows his music! Always an informative treat to read. Also pretty ridiculously amusing.Dayna: Gingerbread Haus
. An otherworldly girl who may or may not have actual wings. Thought-provoking entries, and general loveliness abounding!Dylan: Stereotypical Cinematic
. My first source for all things geek, film, and fantastical, especially the really great, underrated stuff that tends to fly under the radar. Also the only other actual Jedi I know.Kater: all this happiness
. Lovely and ethereal fashions, a great etsy shopkeep, and a wonderful friend to boot!Lorelle: Luscious Letters
. A grand source of inspiration, especially when I find myself all caught up in writer's block. Also a fantastic and beautiful human being.