Tuesday, 19 May 2009

PostHeaderIcon An Englishman, an Irishman and a Welshman walk into a sushi bar...

Good evening. Today has been one of those days where I might have actually earned my wage. I'm knackered and about to head off to bed but I thought I should write about tonight's advanced English class. One of the old ladies gave her presentation on some Japanese "jokes". She used the setting of a restaurant and described the reaction of many different nationalities when they found a fly in their soup:

The British man makes a sarcastic remark but doesn't complain. The American threatens to sue the owner. The Russian man is too drunk to notice. The Frenchman insults the chef and refuses to pay.

It was basically playing up to stereotypes and I was nodding along politely despite being slightly bored by it. That was until we hear about the Chinese man who noticed the fly but ate it anyway. Then there was the Korean man who blamed the Japanese for the fly and burned a flag.... that last one really took me by surprise.

Alright alright fair enough. Chinese people are filthy animals and Korean people hate you. As long as we hear a wee joke about the Japanese being stupid and apologising for noticing it or something? Nope... the Japanese man doesn't make a scene in the restaurant. Instead he quietly calls over the waiter to have it replaced. This is because Japanese people are well-balanced, polite and don't give into emotion. That was the punchline apparently. Look at all these other stupid foreigners compared to us.

She then asked me what I thought of Japanese character. I told her that when we tell these jokes at home then we tend to include ourselves in the mocking. I then asked her if she knew what sarcasm was as most Japanese have no idea. She asked me what I thought of Japanese character. So I asked everyone else instead.

Later on, a new couple admitted that they didn't come to my class last week because I had travelled to Korea. They were scared I would bring back swine flu from a country that had one confirmed case when I left. Ironically, Japan is now the most infected country behind North America. It's first case was announced last Friday and now there are about 200 confirmed in and around Osaka. A friend I know who went to America was quarantined in her house for a week because she was on the same flight as one of the initial carriers. They're acting a bit over the top over here at the moment though. Closing down schools everywhere, cancelling school trips and sporting events. One never does get tired of hearing infrrruenza on the television...

The punchline to my joke is: They ask the owner for some booze but get angry when they are served salmon instead. Confused... they burn the place down and go the pub.

On the way to the pub they meet their Scottish friend who has just returned from Japan. He explains the two meanings of sake. Irritated... they ask their patchy bearded friend if he studied the language because his country doesn't have one of its own. He kills them.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Craig can be funny?? This is not the Craig I know.

Ahoy hoy said...

What are you talking about? I'm hilarious.

Anonymous said...

I heard you walked in to your eikawa last week and kept on writing n*gg*r on the board?

Matto said...

Was it Miko that told this - one of my over-riding memories was how racist they are in the ekaiwa - phrases such as the "dirty Chinese" rolled freely off the tongue. Their jokes ARE odd too.

Ahoy hoy said...

It was Miko yes. I tell them they're being racist but they don't care.

I wrote 'buraku' by the way...

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About Me

I am a 24 year old Scotsman currently teaching English to Japanese schoolchildren. I live in a small town on the east coast of Kochi prefecture.

Shashins