21 January 2010 ~ 5 Comments

Stop Whining pt.2

Life’s what you make it…stop whining baby…”

From “A place in heaven” by Prince

 

“Well, you’re not foaming at the mouth or anything…” he replied.

“That’s good to know,” I said as my new coffee arrived. “So, what is it? Do I walk around glaring and growling at people or something?”

“Nah, I wouldn’t say that,” he said, a little nervously. “I don’t know why…but I just feel like you’re angry.”

“Do you think that Japanese people have this same anger-detecting spidey sense thing like you?”

“See,” he laughed. “That’s what I’m talking about. Your sarcasm, cynicism and…”

“What?” I snapped. “You say I’m angry, all evidence to the contrary, and I’m supposed to just accept it as a given? Why the fuck should I do that?”

“Cuz, I know you.”

“‘I should hope so,” I said, and smiled. “You’re one of my best friends!”

“”What about your…?”

“One sec…Sumimasen!”

“Hai!” shrieked the waitress as she came running across the half-empty cafe.

“Sumimasen ga, Chocoleeto keeki mo go-chumon shita n desu kedo.” (I’m sorry but I also ordered chocolate cake…)

“Ah, Moshi wake gozaimasen…” Deep bow. “Shou shou O-machi kudasai.” (My humble apologies. Please give me a moment.)

“You were saying…what about my what….?”

“Your blog.”

“You read my blog?” I asked, genuinely surprised.

“Of course! You know, when I have time…it’s great!”

“You never told me you read it…”

“Well, I’m telling you now. And I’m telling you there’s a lot of anger in there.”

“So what. Shit, it’s a blog, dude.”

The waitress returned with the chocolate cake on a glass dish, apologizing again, bowing again, and thanking me for my patience.

“How do you say ‘Don’t sweat it love’ in Japanese?” I asked.

He replied through his laughter, “Hell if I know. I don’t think they have an equivalent expression…maybe just iie.”

I turned back to the waitress but she was already headed back across the room. This time there was no flirtatious glances over her shoulder, no twinkle in her eyes. She was all business… “Anyway, about my blog…”

“Yeah, I read one post where you were all up in arms about a woman not standing next to you on the line in a train station, or something. So you got all…”

“Yeah I know the story,” I interrupted. “I wrote it. I lived it. So what?”

“So you don’t think you crossed the line?”

“What? Assaulting her with “Good Morning, how are you and have a nice day?” That’s crossing the line?”

“This is Japan! You know how these people are,” he explained. His face was placid but his words were acrid, and the word “people” was positively poisonous.  “You might as well had spat in her face or gut-punched her.”

“But I didn’t.”

“That’s not the point…”

“Listen, man, I write to manage my anger so that I’m NOT walking through the streets spitting at people and gut-punching strangers on the subway, as much as I might like to sometimes. Writing helps me keep my balance. ”

“And that’s admirablle…but I question how balanced  you really are.”

“Why?” Everybody’s a goddamn therapist…

“I mean, we only get to hang out maybe once a month or so, but here you are wasting what little time we have whining about…”

“You really think I whine?” I whined. “I mean, when I think of whining I think of children complaining about shit out of their control. Or self-pitying people.  Does my writing sound like a child’s riffing or self-pity?”

“Well…”

“I don’t know, man,” I said mildly exasperated. “I mean, I trust you, but I don’t see what I do as whining at all…I think I’m just laying it down, calling it like I see it, the good and the bad…”

“You are. But…”

“But, what motherfucker? Don’t be gentle with me…shit. You’ve been in this country too goddamn long…let it fly, spit it out!”

” Well, you tend to focus on the bad.”

“There’s a lot of fucking bad!” I said. “And that’s not to say I agree with you that I focus on it. Um just sayin’.”

“Listen, let’s drop this, cuz you getting all worked up and defensive and shit…” He was looking at me with deep concern, which I really hate. “And I know when you get that vein in the middle of your forehead, like now, you’re getting ready to bring the noise.”

“Shut up!” I said and laughed. He knew just what to say to defuse me “Listen, Joe, I’m sorry man. I mean…I really don’t have many people here in Japan of your caliber who I can talk to. People who really get me, who…”

“Don’t sweat it, bro. What are friends for if not to support each other and occasionally listen to one another’s whining?”

“I told you I don’t whine, motherfucker. I ain’t gonna tell you again.”

“Alright, alright, alright…” he said, laughing warily at my crazy ass. “So, what’s this third option you mentioned?”

“Well…”

to be continued…

Loco

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5 Responses to “Stop Whining pt.2”

  1. 24 January 2010 at 4:56 pm Permalink

    私もお話のお相手の方と同様、ロコさんの一連の投稿にある種の怒りを感じます。
    また、日本人も外国人の方々を固定観念的にとらえている人々もいますが、ロコさんを含めて他の外国人の方も、日本・日本人に関して固定観念的にとらえている、ところがあります。相互に無知と誤解がある。
    いずれにせよ、内輪で愚痴をこぼしていてもなんにもならない、と思います。
    より多くの日本人の人々と対話してみてはどうでしょうか?

    私のブログで日本人の人々に問題提起してくだされば歓迎します。

    なお、

    Don’t sweat it http://eow.alc.co.jp/Don%E2%80%99t+sweat+it/UTF-8
    とあります。
    当該文脈では、「問題ないですよ」とか、「気にしないで、大丈夫ですよ」とすれば、コミニケーションがうまくいったと思います。

    また、Sumimasen ga, Chocoleeto keeki mo go-chumon shita n desu kedo
    では、正しくは、「すいません、チョコレートケーキも注文したんですけど」で、「ご」をつけるのは、ウエイトレスさんからお客さんに対してで、客から言う場合には不要です。

    • Locohama 24 January 2010 at 2:07 pm Permalink

      Sora-san, long time no see! Thanks as always for your thoughtful and helpful responses.

      To my readers: If you want to read a blog filled with interesting insights into race and other cutural issues, from not only a Japanese perspective but a global one (and if you can read Japanese…if not it’s a great way to brush up on your kanji as well), then Sora-san’s blog is an excellent resource. I highly recommend it.
      Please click on the following link:
      http://blog.goo.ne.jp/kentanakachan

      English responses are ok. sora-san and many of his readers are Bi-lingual. As for other languages, I’m not sure

  2. Chris B 24 January 2010 at 8:54 pm Permalink

    “And that’s admirablle…but I question how balanced you really are.”

    “Why?” Everybody’s a goddamn therapist…

    Yup their therapists Loc.
    I recently had someone question my attitude and how it relates to teaching children. They didn't bother to surf my site and see that I deliver a level of cultural exchange (American/Hawaiian) that is off the charts. I spend more time preparing for Beach parties, Pig roasts, Haunted houses, Christmas parties etc than most. Teaching? Forget about it. I could deliver knowledge better than any 2 tenured professors combined. I got several kids who are 1 and 2 in their schools and top 20 in their prefecture. These are nationally based grammar tests against kids going to big name Jukus that teach that stuff exclusively. I help them kick ass at that AND they can chat up the teacher in English if the TEACHER can handle it.

    I got BIG mouth and fast fists but that don't mean anything.
    My kids excel not INSPITE of my character…They excel BECAUSE of it.

    The parents know ME. They keep em' here because I don't take anything less than best. I get paid. And when it's showtime I bring game. I teach it. My parents are highly educated, educational minded, results based people. If you can't hang then your gone. I can spot em' during the trial lesson ( the kids who study because Mommy wants them to as opposed to them wanting to) and turn em' down. You could open another school using the ones I didn't accept and I STILL got a full schedule. And people still waiting to get in cause I do it like nobody else.

    I'm angry and got complexes. My complexes got complexes but it makes me great.
    Instead of analyzing others dear "therapist". Please go save a tree or a whale or put that deep concern to some good use.

    "The blind stares
    of a million pairs of eyes
    lookin' hard but won't realize
    that they will never see
    the P"

  3. Locohama 24 January 2010 at 11:13 pm Permalink

    Chris, your school sounds the bomb! If and when I have kids I will make sure they find themselves in the care of an educator like yourself, someone who knows how to bring the edutainment and keep the kids interested and motivated to learn things essential for a balnce perspective and an open mind in a rapidliy shrinking world
    Thanks as always for your thoughtful and thorough responses!!!!
    Loco


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