As a foreigner living in Japan you have access to not one but TWO richly descriptive languages. Nonetheless, there are some things we experience on a daily basis for which no word exists in either. I’ve identified some of them here. Candidates welcome!
- The disappointment you feel when finding that the dish you ordered after seeing it on the menu it is nothing like the photo, or when peeling open a half-empty conbini sandwich.
- Walking while staring into a cell phone, PSP or DS.
- Any slow-walking group of three or more people who block the sidewalk by walking abreast and chatting.
- Pretending you’re asleep to avoid having to give up your seat.
- The conversational format whereby both parties forego their own native language and stubbornly speak in the native language of the other.
- Trying to look cool when flipping open your clamshell cell phone.
- The variant of “Japanese” whereby foreigners end fully-formed, complete English sentences with words like でしょう? or ね.