Gaijin Smash

Parental Smash

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on November 18, 2008

It’s not at all unusual for those of us living here in Japan for our parents to come visit us at some point. For them it’s a nice vacation and for us it’s a chance to show the folks where we live and work. Since Japan is a safe and developed country, we only have to worry about our folks ducking under too-small doorways and whether or not they can stomach raw foods.
However, I’d been here for over 5 years, and my parents had not yet come to visit.
This was mainly because of my mother, and her paralyzing fear of airplanes. She used to fly – she was in the Army at one point, and had been stationed overseas. I always thought that she’d watched too many airplane distaster movies on the Lifetime Channel, but as she explains it, one day she was on a small plane and they were hit with heavy turbulence. Not the kind of shaking that you blow off as a part of air travel, but the kind where oxygen masks drop from the ceiling and you start to see the flight attendants freak out a little. My mother prayed, and said “God, if you let me off this plane and on the ground safely, I swear I’ll never get on one of these things again!” Up until now, she’d kept good on that promise. She’d said that she would only brave the airplane and come to Japan for two occasions – my wedding ceremony, or to see her grandchild.
Well, one down.


With me getting married here in Japan and no plans for a ceremony stateside, Mom was forced to put aside her fear of planes, and for the first time, my folks came to visit me in Japan.
I’m sure many of you may be expecting wacky adventures and hilarious hijinks, but there just weren’t any. They weren’t able to stay for very long, but while they were here, everything went smoothly. Despite the language barrier, they got along wonderfully with my wife’s family – something that doesn’t always happen even when the two families speak the same language.
It was also nice to see that they hadn’t really changed much. My Dad is former Army, and while you can take the man out of the military, you can’t take the military out of the man. Even though he’s in his 60’s now, he keeps up a steady training regimen and healthy diet – I wouldn’t hesitate to say that he’s stronger than me. “I’d fear your father much more than I fear you,” one of my former co-workers said to me. Considering that I’m considerably taller than my father who is about average Japanese height, I think that’s really saying something.
Mom is the quintessential worry-wart. The day after the wedding ceremony, I bicycled down to their hotel room just to spend some time with them. However, the whole week had left me exhausted, so I fell asleep on their bed. When it was time to go home, Mom worried about me.
Mom: Are you going to be okay on the bike?
Me: Yeah Mom….it’s a bike. I only live 2.5km away.
Mom: But, you’re really tired. I don’t want you falling asleep.
Me: …On a bike?!
Mom: You fell asleep driving…*
Me: That’s entirely different. It would take a new level of genetically-engineered super-fatigue to fall asleep on a bike.
Mom: I dunno. Maybe you should stay here for the night.
*That’s a whole ‘nother story there.
My parents have a talent for saying extremely embarrassing things, especially sexually, but this time no incidents happened. The only thing that came close was Mom referencing an incident in the past. My brother-in-law was wearing a shirt that said “Trojan Records”. At a first glance, my Mom thought it read “Trojan Condoms”. Luckily, we got that sorted out in a hurry, but it did remind her of the time that she sent me condoms. This is a story I’d never told my brother-in-law, so Mom told it from her POV. “I was so embarrassed,” she says, “I tried to wait until the line at the cashier was completely empty before going through, and I had nothing else to buy so I had to pick up some beef jerky and a soft drink.”
I didn’t have the heart to explain to her that, from the cashier’s POV, now she was buying condoms, a Coke, and beef jerky, and he probably spent the remainder of the day wondering what kind of night she would be having.
Considering that this happened a full two years before I met my wife, and the condoms were used on a woman who isn’t her, this could have turned all sorts of awkward, but luckily it did not. My wife knows the story and can laugh about it as well. I think maybe that’s because I still have a box or two of Mom-sent Trojans at home. She sees them and perhaps figures that I didn’t really use them all that much. What I didn’t tell her is that the boxes I have now are the 5th or 6th generation. Ignorance is bliss, right?
Mom did however make sure to point out that she hadn’t brought along any new condom boxes with her this time. “Its time for grandchildren,” she said. I didn’t bother to translate that one to my wife and her brother.
But as it turns out I didn’t need to, as apparently the brother shares the same sentiments. A few weeks later the two of us were having drinks in a bar, and he says to me, “You know, grandma and I really want to see your kids.” I try to explain that now isn’t the best time, what being jobless and all, but he has his heart set on it. “We just really want to see your kids, I’m sure they will be adorable.” The message is clear; you need to knock up my older sister immediately. I promised I’d do what I could.
Maybe it’s just because I’m an only child and therefore do not understand the intricacies of sibling relationships, but I can’t imagine telling my new brother-in-law “C’mon man, why haven’t you knocked up my sister yet? Where are those kiddies?”
At any rate, my parents enjoyed their time here (Dad is now a huge fan of Japanese beer) and returned home safely. They both want to return, but with Mom asking about possible boat trips over (it takes 3 months one way. She didn’t seem to mind so long as the boat didn’t go airborne). I’d love to have them come back, especially to show them more things I couldn’t this time around. I guess the only way to get Mom back on the plane now will be to see her grandkids. Which, apparently, I’d better get cracking on.

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59 Responses

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  1. Chay said, on November 18, 2008 at 5:18 am

    And I wondered what you were doing the last 5 days while I was bored waiting for a new update. Now its clear ^^

  2. random guy said, on November 18, 2008 at 5:58 am

    First!!! Now that’s out the way, go knock one out the park!!!がんばって!!!!

  3. Jonadab the Unsightly One said, on November 18, 2008 at 6:49 am

    > I can’t imagine telling my new brother-in-law
    > “C’mon man, why haven’t you knocked up my
    > sister yet? Where are those kiddies?”
    There’s at least a 30% chance his sister is the one who put him up to it. Just saying.
    And while it’s probably a good idea to try to find a job before you have kids, it’s also true that if you wait to have kids until you can afford it, you’ll never have any, and nobody ever says on his deathbed, “I wish I’d had fewer kids, or at least waited longer”.

  4. H said, on November 18, 2008 at 6:59 am

    The Japanese do like children, you know.

  5. Mayhem said, on November 18, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Glad to hear that all went well Az. I know what you mean about moms not flying though, my last gf’s mother just couldn’t get on a plane either. If I’d married said girl, not sure her mother would have made it from the US for the ceremony! Unless she got tranq’ed like BA beforehand…

  6. Wakka said, on November 18, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Well, after marriage, it’s time for kids, responsability, nights awake, worries, no more late nights, no more gaming sessions and no more being perceived as a sectually active creature. Have fun!

  7. MJ Starling said, on November 18, 2008 at 8:03 am

    YES on the plane thing. I have to go to Japan in March and already I’m shitting myself about the flight (I’ve done it before, but I seem to hate it more each time!). If boats were faster I would…
    It was nice that your parents had a good visit 🙂

  8. Kalle said, on November 18, 2008 at 8:11 am

    *grins* Back on board. That detour was a fascinating piece and I’m happy you shared, but I’m happier that you’re done with that topic.

  9. Nakamura-san said, on November 18, 2008 at 8:20 am

    It’s great to hear that you had a good time with your parents. You need little breaks like that if you are going to keep your sanity.
    As for the families (both sides) asking about a baby, tell them you need to secure enough money to train your bundle of joy to become a teleporting black “kancho-smash” (combination of the kancho and the gaijin smash) ninja if it’s a boy or a “completely off-limits child” if it’s a girl.

  10. Anonymous said, on November 18, 2008 at 9:31 am

    I have siblings and we always demand more nieces and nephews from each other. They’re cute!
    And doesn’t ‘old maid’ age start pretty young in Japan? Maybe they just think she’s got a late start on kids? Of course I don’t know her age…

  11. Anonymous said, on November 18, 2008 at 9:31 am

    I have siblings and we always demand more nieces and nephews from each other. They’re cute!
    And doesn’t ‘old maid’ age start pretty young in Japan? Maybe they just think she’s got a late start on kids? Of course I don’t know her age…

  12. Ivan the Terrible said, on November 18, 2008 at 9:43 am

    “nobody ever says on his deathbed, “I wish I’d had fewer kids, or at least waited longer”.”
    I would cheerfully take that bet.

  13. Ed Venture said, on November 18, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Ok, fell asleep driving story. Spill it.

  14. ukimalefu said, on November 18, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Hey, I bet there are more Parents and in-laws stories. Don’t hold back. And I’m waiting for that sleep-while-driving story too.

  15. Spectre said, on November 18, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Gah I know all about the whole “falling asleep behind the wheel” deal with parents.
    I had a done so (in a foreign country no less) almost 6 years ago and to this day my mother still has to bring it up every time I drive home from her place in the evening.
    Oh and she has to tell EVERYONE SHE MEETS the story, *especially* when I’m around.
    You’d think I’d be immune to embarrassment by now.
    Anyway, glad your parents were able to make the wedding and have everything work out smoothly.
    Also, coming from another unfortunately unemployed brotha, hope you find some work soon…I’ve learned how to ball on a budget but that technique wouldn’t work very well with the wife and all haha.
    Best of luck and all that.
    Deuces

  16. Tim said, on November 18, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Believe me, it’s not impossible to fall asleep on a bike ;). I’ve had that expedience when I was delivering newspapers in the morning. Woke up in a wire fence 30 minutes later. -_-
    Anyways, keep the nice stories going 😉
    Tim

  17. Edaw said, on November 18, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Glad everything went well with the parents visit.
    3 months?!? One way?!? Yikes, so much for that idea. Guess that’s why I didn’t see any adverts for boat trips to Asia.

  18. The Sandman said, on November 18, 2008 at 11:33 am

    I, too, would like to hear the “fell asleep driving” story, as someone who has done it more times than he can count. And it just keeps getting scarier, every time I do it!

  19. Joe said, on November 18, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Good luck, Az! I hope you find a new job soon!

  20. Henrik said, on November 18, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    I can’t really grasp the fear of flying many people seem to have, since the risk of dying in a motor vehicle accident is about 60 times higher. Sure, we’re evolutionary programmed to “get” that heights = bad but not speed = bad (our ancestors had cliffs to fall off of but couldn’t run at 90 kmph), but if it gets so bad you can’t visit relatives living abroad…

  21. David Johnson said, on November 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    “What I didn’t tell her is that the boxes I have now are the 5th or 6th generation. Ignorance is bliss, right?”
    Well, not any more…;)

  22. Phelps said, on November 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    You know why she’s not concerned about the boat ride, don’t you?
    She’s not planning to go back. She’s planning to go native and live with you.

  23. Gino said, on November 18, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    I remember you saying once before that if you have kids you would prefer raising them in the States. So if it does come time to get babies, will you try to convince your wife to move stateside, teach her english for a change, or teach your offspring the important kancho-sense?
    *gasp* what if they turn into the ultimate kancho-assassin, and to prove his/her title they go after the ultimate prize… black gaijin ass of great father!
    … just saying.

  24. Pickle Jello said, on November 18, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    So, when are you going back to America?

  25. Billy Nitro said, on November 18, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    “distaster movies on the Lifetime Channel”. Was that on purpose?

  26. PCash said, on November 18, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Your Parents could always come over by container ship. Honestly i have researched it, it doesn’t look so bad. It is about 100 per day, and the average sailing time is 40 days. But it should be fairly easy to find a ship from Cal to Japan. If you want you can google it.

  27. Justanothermom said, on November 18, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    So, you’re a rock when your wife & mother urge on the babymaking, but one word from your brother-in-law, and you agree to stop deploying the soldiers to Wastebasketistan? He must have some amazing powers of persuasion! I just wonder; what, if anything, has your mother-in-law, the voice of reason you’ve been able to rely on in the past, said about this subject? Or is she the “grandma” your brother-in-law is referring to?
    As far as the sleeping while driving; I’ve done that a few times (when I was younger than you are), once even with a carload of people who were talking up a storm. Also, recently on a t.v. show called “The Smoking Gun Presents: The World’s Dumbest,” they had an episode on the dumbest drivers, which included one where a guy videotaped a woman behind the wheel who appeared to be driving her van erratically. When he pulled up beside her (at about 70mph), she was fast asleep! He then called the Highway Patrol so they could stop her before she crashed.
    In fact; I found the video on YouTube!:

  28. Patrick said, on November 18, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Hey, everyone seems to push on kids. When my stepsister got married, you would think that my dad and stepmom had gotten together with his parents to double-team the two of them. I think it’s something in the “OMG, our kids are getting married!” feeling.
    As for unemployment, I’m sitting on nearly 8 years of it. I couldn’t see this with a wife. I really need a job. I speak about as much Japanese as a dead carp, would JET be an option? Do they handle conversational English for colleges?

  29. Johnston said, on November 18, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    You mean no one thought to ask why you couldn’t just use Japanese condoms?

  30. ti702 said, on November 18, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    One of my friends in high school (about 16 years ago?) fell asleep while riding his bike to school. Am assuming he got some semblance of consciousness after he face planted and had to go to the hospital – he was pretty scraped up since he was going at a fairly high rate of speed.
    P.S. Thank you for the flashback link.

  31. Anonymous said, on November 18, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Hell, my BOSS has been asking when I will start having kids. I’m not even dating. And haven’t finished school yet.
    She says that she is sure my children will be cute. I’m on the side that no babies look cute, what with the squished up old person faces. And the whole diaper thing. I’m generally not fond of children until they can talk in complete sentences and use the bathroom themselves.
    If I wanted something cute, I’d get another puppy of kitten. And when they grow out of the ‘pooping everywhere’ stage they do useful things like kill small animals and scare salesmen away. Let’s see a baby do that.

  32. Anonymous said, on November 18, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Hell, my BOSS has been asking when I will start having kids. I’m not even dating. And haven’t finished school yet.
    She says that she is sure my children will be cute. I’m on the side that no babies look cute, what with the squished up old person faces. And the whole diaper thing. I’m generally not fond of children until they can talk in complete sentences and use the bathroom themselves.
    If I wanted something cute, I’d get another puppy of kitten. And when they grow out of the ‘pooping everywhere’ stage they do useful things like kill small animals and scare salesmen away. Let’s see a baby do that.

  33. Tone said, on November 19, 2008 at 12:19 am

    No flaming gazebos? No international incidents? Glad no one violated the circle of trust. Though I do have a little down home pearl-a’-wisdom: Poor people make MORE people.
    Your soldiers are more virulent than ever!

  34. henk said, on November 19, 2008 at 12:44 am

    3 months? check freighterworld.com, they’ve got for example seattle-pusan route, appx. 9 days, for less than $1200. add pusan-hakata overnight ferry to that, and you get your parents over in less than 2 weeks, by sea…

  35. Anonymous said, on November 19, 2008 at 1:30 am

    woo!! good luck getting pregnant!! 🙂

  36. Anonymous said, on November 19, 2008 at 1:30 am

    woo!! good luck getting pregnant!! 🙂

  37. David said, on November 19, 2008 at 1:54 am

    The Japanese are in desperate need of more kids, what with the aging population and everything.
    Do your part for the motherland! Fill those schools up!

  38. nemuri said, on November 19, 2008 at 2:35 am

    that’s because japanese eat babies ! watch out !

  39. Mrbill said, on November 19, 2008 at 3:56 am

    So where are your wedding photos?

  40. Anonymous said, on November 19, 2008 at 8:51 am

    The sooner you have kids, the sooner they get old enough to play video games, and the sooner you can play Street Fighter with your them. It’s key to do it early, so that you don’t lose too much ground due to age.

  41. Anonymous said, on November 19, 2008 at 8:51 am

    The sooner you have kids, the sooner they get old enough to play video games, and the sooner you can play Street Fighter with your them. It’s key to do it early, so that you don’t lose too much ground due to age.

  42. Stan said, on November 19, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Speaking of playing video games with the kids, all my life my father has beat me in pool. One day when he was in his seventies I was doing well in a game against him and I thought: Ahah! Finally, I’m going to beat the old guy! Then I realized the obvious: He was old and he beat me consistently when I was in my prime and even if I beat him this game I could never had been him in his prime. What happened? I wilted like a flower in the heat. Sad. Sad. (Though secretly I suspect that all sons like to have a parent who is really talented at something for the pride it gives them, but also as a goal to match and surpass.) So, Az, even if your kids beat you on day on Street Fighter you can take solace that just maybe they couldn’t have taken you in your prime. But then for them to have played you in your prime they would have had to be babies… Aw, my head hurts.

  43. Kev said, on November 19, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Fan Request:
    A conversation regarding Japanese style and Western Style toilets came up with my girlfriend the other day. She was discussing with her friend why in Japan the bathroom stall doors extends all the way to the floor; where as in North America, you can see the feet. My theory, as I told her, is that in Japan because you have to squat sometimes, it is necessary to extend the door so your genitals don’t get seen. This gave both of them a great laugh… yet they still didn’t buy it, but could not offer a theory in return! In return I laughed at what they told me that girls in Japan pee to noises in the toilet so people won’t hear the noise of water splashing as it is considered impolite?!?
    Have you ever had stories regarding the Japanese toilet? And what is your theory on why Japanese bathroom stall door extend to the floor?

  44. Anonymous said, on November 19, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    The inlaws got along great with your parents “despite” the language barrier?? Silly rabbit. Try “because of” the language barrier.

  45. Anonymous said, on November 19, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    The inlaws got along great with your parents “despite” the language barrier?? Silly rabbit. Try “because of” the language barrier.

  46. ArcherHawk said, on November 19, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Kids… scary thought… I’m engaged and still working on school (2.5 years minimum before finishing up my PhD) and relatives are already trying to push me into having kids. Not sure how the Japanese view it, but a lot of Koreans seem to be of the attitude that you’re not complete until you have kids. What if you’ve got health issues up the wazoo that make a pregnancy very likely to be lethal or cause the creation of a too-high-maintenance offspring that would mess up all my dreams of getting tenure at a high-powered university?
    But yeah there’s too much pressure to have kids too early period. Biological clocks suck! I don’t think humans are quite optimized in this respect but then again my idea of the optimum age to have kids is AFTER there’s nothing else to do… or maybe kinda like some of these plants that have their reproduction right before they keel over and release all their carbon back into the ecosystem.

  47. Anonymous said, on November 20, 2008 at 12:26 am

    I’d be careful if i were you. The jokes and not so serious nudging about kids is going to gather momentum fast. A few months (maybe even weeks, who knows?) from now, you could be sitting down in front of the tv, and the wife will nail you with a “why aren’t i pregnant yet?” question. And she’ll be completely serious. In that situation, good god, whatever you do, don’t say “oh, i thought all those times you were talking about it you were kidding”. Because she’ll kill you, or at the very least, deafen you. Be on your guard Az. The storm is coming.

  48. Anonymous said, on November 20, 2008 at 12:26 am

    I’d be careful if i were you. The jokes and not so serious nudging about kids is going to gather momentum fast. A few months (maybe even weeks, who knows?) from now, you could be sitting down in front of the tv, and the wife will nail you with a “why aren’t i pregnant yet?” question. And she’ll be completely serious. In that situation, good god, whatever you do, don’t say “oh, i thought all those times you were talking about it you were kidding”. Because she’ll kill you, or at the very least, deafen you. Be on your guard Az. The storm is coming.

  49. Branitar said, on November 20, 2008 at 7:57 am

    I wonder how you can trust a brand of condoms that is named “Trojan”, considering that the sper … errr … greeks climbed out of the trojan horse once they were inside Troy….

  50. Anonymous said, on November 20, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Hey, Anakin started his family young…

  51. Anonymous said, on November 20, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Hey, Anakin started his family young…

  52. Anonymous said, on November 20, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    It might not’ve been while biking, but I’ve fallen asleep walking. It only happened one night in my life, but it happened multiple times on that walk back home. Everytime I woke up, I’d freak out and hope I just wasn’t in the middle of the street.

  53. Anonymous said, on November 20, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    It might not’ve been while biking, but I’ve fallen asleep walking. It only happened one night in my life, but it happened multiple times on that walk back home. Everytime I woke up, I’d freak out and hope I just wasn’t in the middle of the street.

  54. Christopher Mohr said, on November 20, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    This just in:
    President Mrs. Az, in a joint statement with the Secretary of Defense Mr. Az, has just announced that all forward troops in Wastebasketistan are being withdrawn for debriefing on the Uterine Valley mobile command center. Declaring victory in Wastebasketistan, the President had this to further add, “come on home troops, we won.”
    For their part, Wastebasketistan has declared aliance with Azland and has offered to host further troops should issues arise with neighboring areas.
    Good luck, Az

  55. Caleb said, on November 21, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Cute wedding pictures, you guys look happy. Congratulations!

  56. Duamuteffe said, on November 22, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    “I didn’t have the heart to explain to her that, from the cashier’s POV, now she was buying condoms, a Coke, and beef jerky, and he probably spent the remainder of the day wondering what kind of night she would be having.”
    A couple of years back, my husband and I were still just living together, and sharing a rather cramped apartment with a roommate and his girlfriend. Said roommate popped his head around the door one evening to say that he had to run to the store and did we need him to pick up anything? I said sure, some lemons (for a cake I was planning on making) and a can of whipped cream (for hot chocolate. Really. #grins#) So we handed him some cash and he disappeared for a while, and when he returned he was killing himself laughing. Seems his personal shopping list for the evening was chocolate syrup, lube, and condoms. So there was the store clerk, a guy about his age, ringing up the lube, the condoms, the chocolate syrup, the whipped cream- apparently giving our roommate an approving ‘Way to go, man!’ sort of look the whole time- and then…a bag of lemons. He apparently stopped dead, looked at the lemons, looked at the rest of the items, looked at the lemons again, and then looked at our roommate, who just smiled.
    I wonder if that guy’s still pondering where the lemons were supposed to go?

  57. NeN said, on November 26, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    “that’s because japanese eat babies ! watch out !”
    That’d probably make sense of a lot, actually.

  58. Fresnita said, on November 27, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Um…well…I must say…over the years I have come to love your blog and I just need to make it plain for a brotha: YOU NEED A TV SHOW. On the real! 🙂 There has YET to be a legitimately funny tv show on this subject of gaijin in Japan…your show would rock the ol’ boob toob 🙂 Holla!!!

  59. wole said, on April 22, 2009 at 1:18 am

    fist comment on your blog which is very entertaining. dude you should think of commercializing this cause u’ve got quote a number of followers (now including me just recently). u know the baby thing is only just starting AZ


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