Gaijin Smash

Cultural Differences

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on September 26, 2005

I was having lunch at school one day when Noisy Fucker #2 suddenly blurts out – “Am I the fattest one in this school?”
I honestly don’t know how this conversation started, I wasn’t paying attention until it got to this point (don’t you just love coming in on the middle of conversations?). He’s got a bit of a beer gut, but I wouldn’t really call him fat. But as an aside, I would like to take this opportunity to rename him to Noisy Gentleman. Although he is still quite enamored with his own voice, I actually like him. He tries to speak to me in English, which is always a bonus in my book. Noisy Fucker #1 however, will remain now and forevermore, Noisy Fucker.
Anyway, Noisy Gentleman takes a look around, searching for someone who can go toe to toe on the scales with him. He calls out to a female teacher. “Hey, what’s your waist size?” he asks. “It’s 84 centimeters.” she responds simply. “Shit, I won!” Noisy Gentleman exclaims. He is, indeed, the fattest person in this school.
But wait-a-minute, back up that train for a moment. Let’s take a look at what just happened there, cause it blew my socks right off. But just in case you didn’t catch the subtleties, let’s run it through the Japanese Indirectness Translatorâ„¢
NG (To female teacher): Hey, what’s your waist size? (JIT: Hey, how fat are you?)
Female Teacher: It’s 84 centimeters. (JIT: Not that fat.)
NG: Shit, I won! (JIT: Fuck, you’re not fatter than me.)
See, this conversation would have never happened in America. I can’t imagine the amount of Bounty quicker-picker-upper paper towels it would take to clean up what was left of Noisy Gentleman if he asked a woman in America how fat she was. And then the female teacher, who isn’t even fat, casually answers the question, not feeling at all offended or ready to come down upon him with the Furies of a Thousand Hells or anything like that. That just blew my mind.