電武士

news and views from michael rollins in tokyo

Some Things We Need Words For

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!
  1. 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.
  2. Walking while staring into a cell phone, PSP or DS.
  3. Any slow-walking group of three or more people who block the sidewalk by walking abreast and chatting.
  4. Pretending you’re asleep to avoid having to give up your seat.
  5. The conversational format whereby both parties forego their own native language and stubbornly speak in the native language of the other.
  6. Trying to look cool when flipping open your clamshell cell phone.
  7. The variant of “Japanese” whereby foreigners end fully-formed, complete English sentences with words like でしょう? or ね.

1 Comment

  1. Sabrina Senifili

    March 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    and that feeling you get when a lift goes down.

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