Yes, Japan is a nice place to visit…but I wouldn’t want to live there (and not just because of the earthquakes). I was very fortunate to be able to travel to Tokyo two years ago. Being the uncultured douche that I am, I only knew Japan from watching hentai movies and playing “Street Fighter” as a young lad.
Despite being so unworldly, I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to visit the land that introduced the world to Voltes V, Nintendo, and the “happy ending” massage. So armed with nothing but a Japanese phrase book, I decided to invade the Land of the Rising Sun.
Because I was traveling alone, the whole trip felt a bit like “Lost in Translation,” except without the complimentary prostitute in the hotel room. I was frequently disoriented, mostly illiterate, and utterly friendless. Only in karaoke bars did I excel, since I so effortlessly enunciated my L’s and R’s while singing the theme from “Ghostbusters.”
Let me note that the culture shock was very real. Surprisingly, people didn’t assume that I was a tourist. To my confusion, many of them would start yammering rapid Japanese at me on the street.
Sometimes I was so baffled I would reply in broken Japanese. So not only did I look like a complete doofus who didn’t eat sushi, I was also babbling Nihongo 101 to people who probably knew conversational English.
James Bond I am not.
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