Gaijin Smash

Chain Smoking

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on October 11, 2006

As many of you may know, I hail from San Francisco, California. Living out there, I kind of forgot that smoking was a thing that humans actually do. It’s prohibited virtually anywhere a living creature might be inhaling oxygen, which I believe leaves about a 50 km stretch out in the Mojave Desert that is actually OK for smoking. I seriously can’t remember the last time I saw someone light up. Even if you did, in San Francisco of all places there’d be no less than 10 hippies who’d rain down on you and beat you with incense and Feng Shui sticks or something while bemoaning how second-hand smoke is dangerous. …That is, unless you were lighting up weed, in which case there’d be no less than 20 hippies joining you.
Anyway, coming to Japan was kind of an eye opener for me, because this is one chain-smoking country. You see it everywhere – men walking down the street, people waiting for others, idling in the car, restaurants even have smoking and non-smoking sections, something I hadn’t seen for a long time (remember: California). I’m really kind of indifferent to it, I mean do whatever you want with your life, I don’t care. I just kind of hate seeing things like fathers puffing away in the mini-van with 3 kids in the back, or mothers lighting up at the dinner table with their infant child sitting next to them. …Kids don’t have a choice.
The smoking phenomenon, of course, trickles down to the nations junior high school kids. I got my first taste of this my first day on the job actually. Before I’d come, for whatever reason I had this image of squeaky-clean, upright model Japanese students. Everyone wearing their uniforms perfectly and frantically taking notes to pass those standardized tests they were supposedly so much better at than us American kids, and trying not to fail the entrance exams so they wouldn’t ruin their lives at the tender age of 15. The JET Orientations didn’t do much to destroy this image either, only telling us things like “your students may be shy.” (In retrospect…I want to find all the people who said that to me, and beat them with something large and pulpy.) Upon meeting my predecessor, I asked him if I’d ever encounter any bad students, and what to do about them. He took about a second to think about it, and then said “Well, at one of the schools the kids can be quite bad…sometimes I catch them smoking under the train station. I usually just pull out a cig of my own and join them.”


Upstanding fellow, he was.
The school he mentioned was, of course, the Ghetto School, and again in retrospect, if I knew then what I knew now…..you know, the beating with something large and pulpy for the Gross Understatement of All Time. But yeah, Ghetto School boys smoke cigs. We see them do it. Once, I was going to a Ghetto School drinking party, and as I happened to run into Ms. Forehead along the way, we went to the train station together. Inside of the station, we found probably the worst sannensei boy, puffing away on a cig. Ms. Forehead went over to him, pulled the cigarette out of his mouth, threw it on the ground, and stepped on it to put it out. The boy responded by pulling out another sig, lighting up, and then blowing a nice puff of smoke in Ms. Forehead’s face. Ms. Forehead had to sulk away in retreat, since the train station wasn’t exactly school grounds and she had no power here. …Although even it if was school grounds she wouldn’t have been able to do anything anyway. She admitted later that when she got the face full of smoke, she wanted to give the boy one of her pattented head-butts, which would have really set him straight, but didn’t because if she had, the PTA would have rushed her shit down faster than grease lightning.
We see them doing it in school too. Once I was minding my own business in the teachers room when I noticed two of the older teachers (one of whom I refer to as Ultimate Nag) had cornered one of the bad sannensei boys. They were a bit out of ear range, so I couldn’t tell what the conversation was about, but just from body language I knew they were lecturing the boy, who was denying something. After maybe ten minutes, the boy finally produced a pack of cigarettes from his blazer pocket. In almost that exact moment, Ultimate Nag reared back and slapped the ever-loving-shit out of that kid. I’m not sure, but she might have slapped the Japanese right outta him, it was that fierce. I don’t think I saw her hand actually move, just after-images or something. In all my life, I have only seen two other space and time warping smacks that exceed this one. One was Jack Bauer’s legendary teleport punch in Season 3 of 24, and the other was Ms. Americanized whacking the kid who asked if she was still a virgin.
And if you’re wondering why Ultimate Nag didn’t fear the PTA like Ms. Forehead did, it’s because Ultimate Nag is a Japanese Obachan and they simply feel no fear nor pain of death. This is why you can’t make a movie or anything featuring a little old Japanese lady in mortal danger, because it just doesn’t work. You could have the monster from Aliens breathing it’s hot, musty breath into the Japanese obasan’s face, and then it would open its ferocious-toothed mouth and the little Alien head would emerge and also breathe it’s hot, slimy breath on the obasan, and she’d just slap the shit outta both of them. And then she’d take the alien’s seat on the train, cause that’s how they roll.
Eventually, the teachers at the Ghetto School just kind of gave up on the sannensei in general. Their final solution was to just clear out one of the classrooms and let them use that as their personal space. At any point during the day you could find several sannensei boys in the open classroom smoking, fighting, reading manga, listening to rap music, and all sorts of things you’d never imagine would take place within a school. I’d love to tell you more, but I kind of considered that room to be lost ground, and made it a point to kind of steer clear of it.
How do 15-year old boys obtain cigarettes, you might ask? Why, from vending machines, of course! This is the country where you can buy anything from vending machines, from dinner to schoolgirl panties. And the beautiful thing about vending machines is, they don’t discriminate. One day, I went to the local convienence store and found some of the bad sannensei boys there. As I bought my stuff, the cashier asked me if those boys were students of mine. I told her that yes, unfortunately they were. She told me that they often come in and try to buy cigarettes. Obviously, they’re just junior high kids, so she refuses them. They then just walk outside and buy cigarettes from the vending machine outside.
The schools do at least make an effort to steer kids in the non-smoking direction. Every now and then I see them playing “The Dangers of Smoking” videos for kids in the health classes. Sometimes, the video plays back in the teachers room, and it’s funny because the male teachers always take great offense to it. “Shut that shit off!” one teacher said once, and before the video could get to the part where they show a blackened human diaphram, the video was unceremoniously shut down. I kind of wonder how effective the school’s anti-smoking campaigns are, when the majority of the male teachers (and some of the female ones too) rush to the break area immediately after one class in order to puff down on a cig before the next. One of my male English teachers used to keep his cigs in his shirt pocket, which was always clearly visible right there in class.
Once I went into the break room at the School of Peace to make some tea, and I ran into the mathmatics teacher who was enjoying a cigarette. He casually asked if I smoked and I told him that I didn’t. He said that the number of smokers in Japan is going down (I don’t see it…) and the number of places where a person can smoke are also decreasing. He said this with such sadness in his voice too, as if instead of smoking trends he was talking about how his favorite puppy had been brutally murdered and casually mixed into a can of Pork ‘N Beans. In the spirit of continuing small talk, I said that it seemed that Japan was gradually heading towards a non-smoking society. He gave me a look as if not only was I the one who’d killed the puppy, but I’d eaten the puppy Pork ‘n Beans as well, said “Hmm, maybe that’s true”, and then simply never spoke to me again.
And no, I don’t think Japan is heading towards a non-smoking society. The Japanese would just as soon tear off their own limbs than give up smoking.

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50 Responses

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  1. Alex said, on October 11, 2006 at 4:20 am

    Great keep up the good work…just KEEP IT REAL

  2. Kosetsu said, on October 11, 2006 at 5:08 am

    Oh, wow… that’s actually kind of scary. All those Japanese middle school boys smoking cigarettes – and I bet quite a number of the girls do as well, huh?
    I wonder how smoking tobacco became such a big part of Japanese culture?
    Geez, I need to warn my asthmatic Japanophile buddies.

  3. Kansuke said, on October 11, 2006 at 6:16 am

    Hmm, that is kind of strange, since I had an impression that Japan is a stronly anti-smoking place, with “no-smoking” signs nearly everywhere. But maybe that’s just a difference of contrast, with me living in a country, where everyone smokes… really 😉

  4. xercess said, on October 11, 2006 at 6:27 am

    Here in Utah you have to be 50 yards away from a group of 25 to smoke outside.
    Also the only clubs you can smoke in are the hooka bars (even then it’s hookas only)

  5. Maikeru said, on October 11, 2006 at 12:05 pm

    The one notable thing that you didn’t mention about Japanese Cigarettes is that they have much less Tar and Nicotine than North American Cigarettes do. As such, the instances of all those lovely cancers that even Second-Hand people have been getting back home don’t really show up like that here; they just write those things off as being caused by something else. The other thing is that lobby groups are not as present here as they are back home, instead of blaming the cigarette companies and such, they just silently accept their defeat like they do when we Gaijin Smash them…it’s sad sometimes….

  6. DJ-Panic said, on October 11, 2006 at 12:59 pm

    “The Japanese would just as soon tear off their own limbs than give up smoking.”
    As would I my friend 🙂 Great story though man.

  7. Cameron said, on October 11, 2006 at 1:22 pm

    Vending machine smokes are available everywhere in England. Completely defies the purpose of age limits on these things… How long is it before 10 year olds can buy a pint of cider from a vending machine?

  8. chaosrainz said, on October 11, 2006 at 2:15 pm

    Wait till they start having to watch each other die slowly from emphysema.
    I’m in Kentucky (tobacco belt)and everybody I know has gone thru that at least once with a family member.
    It’s really horrible.
    You wanna talk them out of it, send the to me!

  9. Travis Bickle said, on October 11, 2006 at 6:02 pm

    All of Asia seems to be heavy smokers

  10. backwards7 said, on October 11, 2006 at 6:54 pm

    The great thing about being beaten with Feng Shui sticks is that they leave bruises in places that increase your chi levels, promoting earthly wealth and physical wellbeing. The increased chi also allows you to fight in the style of a hero from an anime film, leaping into the air and meeting your opponents blows several feet above the ground.
    Smoking is bad for chi, unless you are smoking Feng Shui sticks, in which case the positives and negatives probably balance out.

  11. Chase said, on October 11, 2006 at 8:49 pm

    I don’t think I could agree with you more. I’m from Oregon, and walking into a McDonalds to find half the people inside smoking always drives me nuts. One day i’m going to lose it and dump a milkshake on someone smoking next to their toddler, I just know it.

  12. Cam said, on October 12, 2006 at 7:44 am

    What can I say man? Us smokers feel a special feeling for smokes that I can’t really describe. You miss it when you can’t have it anymore, and you get sad/pissed when someone threatens to take it away. I think that feelings called “addiction” but I’m not sure, never been addicted (blatant lie). I’ma go have one now actually.

  13. Google said, on October 12, 2006 at 2:54 pm

    Azrael is my… DAD!!

  14. securitysix said, on October 12, 2006 at 4:41 pm

    And here I was under the impression that hippies were supposed to be pacifists… Loudmouthed, beligerant, intolerant pacifists, but pacifists nonetheless.
    I’m not a smoker, but I don’t hold it against folks who do want to smoke, unless they try to do so in my truck, then they have to decide what’s more important: the cigarette or avoiding being bounced down the highway at 70+ miles per hour.

  15. Anonymous said, on October 12, 2006 at 5:27 pm

    You need like a young vershion of R Lee Ermy to break up in that class room and bust some heads and make human beings out of thise ass hats.

  16. Anonymous said, on October 12, 2006 at 5:27 pm

    You need like a young vershion of R Lee Ermy to break up in that class room and bust some heads and make human beings out of thise ass hats.

  17. Tyra said, on October 12, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    It’s funny how different people are from their sterotypes. I was really shocked when I first came here. In Canada we have similar rules as Cali does about smoking. It seems like also Everyone smokes here, especially in the Tokyo area.
    And with the food – Hello undercooked bacon and fatty meat.
    Awesome post!

  18. Isen said, on October 12, 2006 at 11:24 pm

    I know the feeling, I reeally hate smokers. There’s something about cigarette smoke which tightens my chest, breaks me into coughing fits until I can’t breathe.
    Does anyone else imagine violent deaths on the part of inconsiderate smokers? You know, the one’s you can’t avoid and who stand around entrances, undercover or in tight groups. I swear one of these days I’m going to mistaken fantasy for reality and disembowl them with great vigor.
    I think it may just be me.

  19. Hoopajoo said, on October 13, 2006 at 8:18 am

    I wonder if anime and manga played smoking as being un-cool would it make any difference with the kids there?

  20. Kate said, on October 13, 2006 at 10:58 am

    The ever-present smoking is the one thing I really, intensely dislike about Japan. I’m from New York, where we’ve had Smokers Are The Antichrist laws going for a while now, so the whole idea of smoking sections in restaurants seems very archaic and quaint.
    Today, en route to school, I passed one of my (HS) ichinensei boys smoking. It caused quite a stir when I reported him. The only time the smokers in my high school caused that much of a fuss was when one rather dim kid dropped his butt into a bin of paper towels and proceeded to effectively evacuate the school for a few hours while the fire trucks did their thing. Ah, good times.

  21. Jake said, on October 13, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    It’s similar in Taiwan–although a lot of people seem to dip rather than smoke. Possibly there are more smokers in Asian countries because the cigs taste better there, none of this Parliament crap.
    (Although I’m a smoker, I try not to do it around friends who are sensitive to it, or lil’ tots, or in enclosed spaces…etc.)
    Anyhow, great article, as usual.

  22. Genevieve said, on October 13, 2006 at 6:14 pm

    Here in New Orleans, quite a few people smoke, but ever since the Storm (you know the one), we’ve had a huge rush of people from all over the country come here to “help us rebuild”. Actually, all they REALLY wanted to do was boycott our market places and bitch about everything we do wrong. apperently, smoking is one of them. I remember a group of fussy old ladies standing outside a famous restraunt on St. Charles Ave with posters and shit, boycotting the place because they had a smoking section. No lie.
    On the other hand, I don’t like it when I see kids smoke. Some of the freshman and 8th graders at my high school (I’m a senior) think it’s soooooo kewl to smoke. I saw one light up one day after school at the bus stop, but it was obviously still new to her, because she was trying her hardest to suppress the coughing. Bless her soul. Needless to say, I couldn’t help but add my opinion.
    Me: Excuse me, but… why are you smoking?
    Her: ^.^ I got ’em from my older sis’ room. She’s 21, and I think I look closer to her age when I smoke.
    Me: *looks her up and down* No. You don’t. You look like a kid that just found a lit cigarette in a ditch somewhere and doesn’t know how to use it. Put it out before you hurt yourself, kiddo.
    She got mad at me, but she put it out. I think I made her cry…

  23. nanashi said, on October 13, 2006 at 6:16 pm

    Smoking cigarettes is tame compared to what they did in my middle school. One of the girls in my class was honestly a real sweet girl despite the fact that she’d hide pills in her locket-type necklace and pop them or give them to other students in between classes. And she was only 13 at the time. Kinda makes you think what they do when you aren’t looking…

  24. GLC said, on October 13, 2006 at 9:43 pm

    God, I hate smoking.
    The worst part is that they then come over to New Zealand to study at university, complete with filthy habits such as smoking and spitting. THIS AIN’T RURAL CHINA, THIS IS THE AUCKLAND CBD!!! SPITTING IS FOUL! SO IS SMOKING!
    … Lousy Asian smokers.

  25. Nick said, on October 14, 2006 at 9:43 pm

    True about the vending machines, but I have also seen ones that require you to scan an ID before you can buy things. Though that was beer. Seems to me there is abit of duality in Japan. I have seen non-smoking streets, but I have yet to find an arcade that isn’t full of it

  26. Denshaotoko said, on October 15, 2006 at 6:23 pm

    mmmm….weed:)

  27. chad mullet said, on October 15, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    What an intolerant lot you are apart from a couple of notable exceptions.
    All you rabid anti smokers are quite happy to accept the benefits from the taxes smokers pay.Hypocrites!!
    I note that some anti smoking Nazis say they would like to physically attack some one who lit up next to them – I hope someone tries it with me some day!

  28. Hinatanko said, on October 15, 2006 at 9:59 pm

    about the smoking thing: man, i remember seeing several in the one week that i was in japan O.o funny how they’d sit in the smoking sections of a restaurant and never smoke, but smoke themselves to death outside. and even MORE odd: i found it to be a lot more tolerable than American second-hand smoke. O.o scary now that i think about it O___o;;

  29. Azurite said, on October 16, 2006 at 7:25 am

    I came here by way of a rec from a friend, and laughed so hard I promptly introduced the site to the other ryugakusei here at Tokiwa University up in Mito. I must say, this is almost always hilarious- or insightful, and almost always both.
    But you’re from San Francisco, too!? I want to be another one of those “weird foreigners” that just walks up to you and goes “You’re the guy from GaijinSmash!” *fangirl fangirl fangirl*

  30. Tracy said, on October 17, 2006 at 5:21 am

    I’m from Montreal, Canada. Here there are many people that smoke, I’ve even heard about kids from grades 5-6 smoking. O.o I don’t smoke, but when you walk down the street, it’s worse than walking in Tokyo (trust me… I was there last December)it seems like 1 out of 5 people smoke here.
    But since June 2006, people can’t smoke in bars, clubs and restaurants. ^.^
    I knew how bad smoking is in Japan, it’s just nice to see how things are dealt with there. (Not saying that it’s good how they deal with it.)
    I just wanted to mention that I found this site just browsing the web and I found it very amusing and informitive. ^.^ But I shall read more later, ’tis bedtime (5am here now). Oyasumi nasai

  31. Marisa said, on October 22, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    Oh, jeez. I know what you mean. When I was in Japan, though, both my host mom and host dad were former-smokers, and were very disappointed that their daughter (a mother of two) had gotten into cigarettes.
    Funny, though — the daughter and I had a cute inside joke. She was addicted to nicotine and I was addicted to Coca-Cola. So every time I grabbed a coke she’d be like “Goin’ out for a smoke, Marisa?” And I’d laugh and point to her cigarette and say “Don’t drink too much coke now.”
    I juar hope her two kids (they’re two right now) don’t take up smoking. T_T They’re too cute to turn into bad kids!!

  32. AntiSoul said, on October 23, 2006 at 12:01 am

    This article made me want to smoke :\

  33. TyRoNe said, on October 23, 2006 at 7:26 am

    I feel your pain. After spending the last few years in Cali and now living in BeiJing I think I have lost my sense of smelling after inhaling all the random cigarrette smoke out here! When cigs cause 3 yuan a pack(ie 40+/-5 US cents) and there are ‘fake’ cigarettes here too, you just don’t want to know what you are really inhailing….I feel my life expectancy declining daily…ughhhh

  34. Sabina said, on October 27, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    what I found weird being in Asia was the female smokers are treated differently, not so much in Japan but in Korea particularly. My family’s from Kobe and with the older crowd there, females smoking wasn’t entirely frowned upon but you still got those glances once in a while from the obachans down the street, but when I went to Seoul, wtf?!? Everyone was staring at me like I was some kind of 2 headed monster. Even the US Army guys in Itaewon were looking at me like I was doing something wrong.

  35. Anonymous said, on November 4, 2006 at 1:18 am

    i didnt read any of the comments because im a stereotypical american who has no love for the shift key, but what episode and possibly what seen is referrenced by the “teleport” punch in season 3 of 24?
    (Az’s Note:
    SPOILERS
    When Jack and Chase split up and are looking for Nina in Mexico…Nina ambushes Chase and has him radio in to Jack that everything’s fine. Suddenly, Jack comes from OUT OF NOWHERE and whacks her. It was insane. People tried to screencap it but Jack moved too fast for even the pause button.)

  36. Anonymous said, on November 4, 2006 at 1:18 am

    i didnt read any of the comments because im a stereotypical american who has no love for the shift key, but what episode and possibly what seen is referrenced by the “teleport” punch in season 3 of 24?
    (Az’s Note:
    SPOILERS
    When Jack and Chase split up and are looking for Nina in Mexico…Nina ambushes Chase and has him radio in to Jack that everything’s fine. Suddenly, Jack comes from OUT OF NOWHERE and whacks her. It was insane. People tried to screencap it but Jack moved too fast for even the pause button.)

  37. Anonymous said, on November 13, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    In Canada you can’t smoke in any areas where there may be other people, you pretty much have to be in the middle of the street. It’s actually a pretty good set up.

  38. Anonymous said, on November 13, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    In Canada you can’t smoke in any areas where there may be other people, you pretty much have to be in the middle of the street. It’s actually a pretty good set up.

  39. Fan from Mexico City said, on November 24, 2006 at 12:39 pm

    I just love your site Az, keep it up, it’s hilarious. I think my favorite story is the suppository meds and how crappy Japanese doctors are according to your broken collarbone experience.
    I feel your pain. Over here in Mexico people have no sense of civility towards non smokers like myself. I don’t mind restaurants having smoking and non smoking sections cuse people generally respect the rules, but I hate it when I go out with my own FRIENDS and they are all huffing and puffing 20 cigs an hour right in front of me while I cough and sneeze cuse I’m allergic to the stuff (as if the 2 dollars per box wasn’t expensive enough and the price of cigs here is raising madly every year; I can’t believe people have the money to even buy ’em!).
    With friends like that, who needs enemies? ¬¬ At least by Federal law nobody can smoke in Federal buildings, hospitals (in my personal experience people do obey it almost 100% of the time) and I think schools (but not universities) are putting more pressure to ban indoor smoking.
    I’m a medical student and I know damn well what happens to people who smoke. I’ll say this: lung cancer seems like the least painful death from firsthand smoking. By the time most people have symptoms of that disease, the cancer has already spread to their bones and it’s usually not sensitive to chemo. Getting a diagnosis for lung cancer to me is the same thing as a death sentence. You’d be lucky if you live 6 months, a lot of people only live 6 weeks. Chriss Reeves’s wife had the least agressive type of lung cancer (and she wasn’t a smoker) and even she died from the disease. I believe the disease still has about a 50% death rate in the first year of diagnosis and it hasn’t dropped much since the 70’s.
    Emphisema is pretty bad stuff and once the damage is done, there’s no way to magically restore the lung. You can’t breathe and the air that you put in can’t go out so it’s very desperating for the person cuse they have a bag of air in their chest that’s useless that can’t get out. You need to have a tube of oxygen in your nose 24/7 to stay alive. The oxygen treatment costs roughly 5,000 US dollars per month in my country. And since most people don’t earn that much money, they don’t really live that long.
    I think the worst death from cigs is when the blood vessels in your brain break and you have internal bleeding. Intracranial hemorrhage isn’t only caused by being overweight and diabetic.
    If you smoke, you have an increased 15 times risk of having brain bleeding someday when you least expect it. Half of the time, the person luckily dies before even getting to the hospital. And if you live, well, it’s a russian roulette of how screwed up you will be: vegetable, comatose, paralyzed, you maintain your intelligence and conscience but you can’t move your body at all, etc… The fate of Ariel Sharon (who still hasn’t woken up from his coma as far as I know) doesn’t seem to ring a bell in smokers anywhere around the world.
    I’d think common sense from the huge expenses to try to keep these people alive and try to rehabilitate them would enter the brain of the Japanese Ministry of Health but it obviously doesn’t. The US is spending billions a year as it is and the Mexican public health system is bankrupt because it can’t pay for these people but I guess the programmes to teach this little fact to smokers isn’t going in. People still buy cigs despite the big Smoking causes cancer warnings.
    I’m fine if people smoke, it’s a free country. But they should be educated to know that they won’t have a fast and relatively painless death from lung cancer, they will die from brain hypoxia and they may end up paralyzed for life if they are unlucky enough to survive it.
    That teacher that hates you now should visit some of these patients and see the real bling bling firsthand. He would probably think twice before smoking again.
    I’d really like to see former smokers that give talks to Japanese students about what smoking did to them. People with oxygen masks that can barely speak and have to be taken in the classroom with a wheelchair. I bet it would be a great shock to the tykes.

  40. Mel said, on December 3, 2006 at 6:16 pm

    Japanese have the highest life expectancy in the world, right?
    Yet more proof that smoking is good for you.
    QED.

  41. Anonymous said, on December 5, 2006 at 10:14 pm

    Hearing about people smoking inside etc just seems weird to me – I’m in Australia and the only inside places people generally smoke are in designated areas in Restuarants. I think pretty much all public places are non-smoking now and they’ve just introduced the ban on smoking inside clubs and pubs. People have to go out to the beer gardens etc now if they want to smoke. Personally i like it…don’t have to scrub myself of the smell of smoke whenever I go out for a drink!
    Hilarious post btw

  42. Anonymous said, on December 5, 2006 at 10:14 pm

    Hearing about people smoking inside etc just seems weird to me – I’m in Australia and the only inside places people generally smoke are in designated areas in Restuarants. I think pretty much all public places are non-smoking now and they’ve just introduced the ban on smoking inside clubs and pubs. People have to go out to the beer gardens etc now if they want to smoke. Personally i like it…don’t have to scrub myself of the smell of smoke whenever I go out for a drink!
    Hilarious post btw

  43. Nils said, on December 8, 2006 at 5:40 pm

    Here in Germany, cigarette vending machines have been equipped with card readers for special chip cards lately, and you can’t get one of those cards if you aren’t old enough…

  44. Anonymous said, on February 3, 2007 at 9:59 am

    Yeah lets force everyone to stop this habit. Who do they think they are smoking, like that, outside, in public, what freaks of nature.

  45. Anonymous said, on February 3, 2007 at 9:59 am

    Yeah lets force everyone to stop this habit. Who do they think they are smoking, like that, outside, in public, what freaks of nature.

  46. eViL_tEnNyO said, on February 27, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    hmm, even here in vegas, they have those cig vending machines. and even though smoking has now been banned indoors at food establishments, Vegas hasn’t forced this law on anyone yet, so it’s like it doesn’t exists (lol).
    And although we don’t have panty machines (wtf??) we do have ipod and dvd vending machines, which disturbs me…

  47. ModusOperandi said, on April 3, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    I wonder if i should go to Japan if they really smoke that much! Ever since I had strept throat and the flu (same time, no less…) my lungs have gone.to.shit. My lungs might collapse and I’d have to go to the hospital where they’ll tell me to lose weight and my lungs will get better… 😦

  48. Jonadab the Unsightly One said, on November 9, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    Wow, if I had any thoughts of ever going to Japan, I think you’ve just killed them. I could sit in a room full of people eating raw fish, okay. I wouldn’t be eating raw fish myself, but I could sit in a room full of people doing it and mind my own business. Kancho, while it wouldn’t make me happy, isn’t really that much worse than the wedgies and purple nurples and swirlies and whatnot that kids do to eachother around here. Kids are mean to eachother in every culture, I think. The crotch groping… okay, that’s extremely weird and rather disgustingly unpleasant, but I’d either wear some extra padding or not and deal with it one way or another.
    But I don’t think I could handle a working environment where people smoke. I don’t even like when patrons come in to my current workplace having obviously smoked shortly before leaving home and still smelling like it. *That* makes me want to retch. If I actually had to be in a room where people were actively smoking… I’m pretty sure I’d be on the next flight out. Because I can live with bad or limited food, or even with poor or limited sleep, but I draw the line at bad air. I have to breathe.

  49. Christopher Mohr said, on June 17, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Jonadab – seriously, the raw fish thing isn’t so bad. At one of the mom and pop places I went to often (Mifune’s in Saitama, still the best and craziest) the chef took the fish out of the tank and made sashimi on the spot. My friend and I ate while he poured beer on the fish to keep it breathing. I have photos.
    As for the smoking thing – I have to agree with everyone saying it’s just odd. I can’t tell you all the number of times I saw some random dude puff and walk and almost nail a shogakusei in the eye with his tool of death.

  50. Cameron said, on August 9, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    “And if you’re wondering why Ultimate Nag didn’t fear the PTA like Ms. Forehead did, it’s because Ultimate Nag is a Japanese Obachan and they simply feel no fear nor pain of death.”
    THAT’S what I’m talking about! Only an obachan could knock the monster out of my own grandmother, the only person she would face with civil and sufficiently nervous reverence was an obachan who smacked her down.


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