An alternative perspective on the “Westerners in Japan avoid each other” phenomenon

This is a long one, but I hope you will bear with me:

Today Neojaponisme has posted a fascinating, Einstein vs. Freud style debate between David Marx and Matt Treyvaud on how Westerners should properly speak Japanese. Marxy writes:

As Japan’s global role shifts from fearsome economic power to lovable cultural hotspot, the tenor of foreigners living in Japan is also in flux. The majority of “foreigners” in Japan are Asian immigrants, of course: those working “immigrant jobs” and living at the margins of society. But if we may narcissistically limit the following conversation to Japan’s immigrants of non-desperation — those like ourselves who are here for more complicated reasons and/or have no obvious way of blending into the dominant racial paradigm — I would argue that the widespread respect for contemporary Japanese culture has summoned a new breed who enthusiastically embrace the Japanese language rather than see it as a noisome barrier for colonial English universalism.

The text in bold is David’s fancy way of saying White Men. As a subspecies of White People, Westerners living in Japan “who enthusiastically embrace the Japanese language” are often the topic of these blog posts. I feel that one important contribution of this essay is a firm definition of this group for the sake of discussion.

That brings me to today’s topic:

Michael Pronko in Newsweek — is it HIS Tokyo?

Newsweek Japan’s latest entry in the “Tokyo Eye” column, a feature written by a rotating cast of Tokyo residents, usually foreign, is titled “Looking Away: The Foreigners’ Battle Without Honor or Mercy — ‘Tokyo is MY City!'”

The author, Meiji University lecturer Michael Pronko, explains for a Japanese audience how it feels to see other Westerners in Tokyo. You can read the entire column in Japanese from this PDF, but for those who can’t or won’t read the Japanese I will summarize the piece’s main points:

  • There is an unwritten rule for when Westerners encounter other Westerners living in Tokyo — don’t make eye contact, and don’t strike up a conversation. This rule is more or less strictly followed, to the extent that you could fail to acknowledge your Western friends in your effort to avoid anyone you recognize as Western. Nevertheless, if a Westerner sees another Westerner on the train, he/she will be unable to keep from glancing over at the other foreigner and wondering what they might be doing in Japan and how long they have been here. You can actually tell how long a Westerner has been living in Tokyo by how well he/she abides by this rule.
  • There are times when this rule doesn’t work. Example — one night when Pronko entered his favorite blues club — an “exotic secret” place he would prefer to keep to himself — he found it full of American lawyers holding a raucous birthday party. With so many of his fellow countrymen in the club, he couldn’t help but get involved in their conversation.
  • Reflecting on the above experience, he writes, “Even now, whenever I see a foreigner in an unexpected place, I want to ask ‘What on earth are you doing here?’ It’s just as if I were trekking through Africa in the 19th century and met another explorer in a safari helmet. In fact, I want to shout, ‘Tokyo is MY city!’ I [fancy myself] a bold explorer in uncharted lands. But this fantasy unravels the instant a foreigner appears other than myself.”
  • Occasionally, talking to other Westerners can be “fun,” such as when he and his wife ran into a couple at a hot spring in Gunma Prefecture.

Like the foreign correspondents in my more recent posts, I want to commend Pronko for being honest and opening up. Due in part to the sense of rivalry that can exist among foreigners living here, it can be hard to bring up some critical, basic issues no matter how glaringly apparent.

People who have considered this issue before will soon recognize that Pronko is expressing the consensus view on this subject. The Westerner’s explorer tendencies and need for authentic Japan experiences, the argument goes, are at the root of this need to avoid other foreigners. And to the extent that there exist many who consciously avoid English speaking situations in order to either improve their language abilities or otherwise have a more authentic Japan experience, this is an important and mostly true observation.

It also goes a long way toward explaining the second step in the Pronko scenario — i.e. why Westerners are interested in looking at each other after seeming to avoid one another. But I doubt this is the whole story.

It might be helpful to separate Pronko’s argument into two separate issues — his worry that seeing Westerners where they have no business being will destroy his adventure fantasies, and the “no eye contact” rule.

Tokyo as the ultimate hip ethnic neighborhood

To be more precise about what the adventurer motivation is all about, let’s consult the best source on the subject ever — the Stuff White People Like blog.

As insight into the world of American White People culture, humanity owes the SWPL an immense debt of gratitude. Take the entry on “gentrification“:

In general, white people love situations where they can’t lose. While this does account for the majority of their situations, perhaps the safest bet a white person can make is to buy a house in an up-and-coming neighborhood.

White people like to live in these neighborhoods because they get credibility and respect from other white people for living in a more “authentic” neighborhood where they are exposed to “true culture” every day. So whenever their friends mention their home in the suburbs or richer urban area, these people can say “oh, it’s so boring out there, so fake. In our neighborhood, things are just more real.” This superiority is important as white people jockey for position in their circle of friends.

Or consider this entry on “being the only White person around,” which I’ll quote at length:

This concept…is important [in order to] fully understand how white people view authenticity and experience.

In most situations, white people are very comforted by seeing their own kind. However, when they are eating at a new ethnic restaurant or traveling to a foreign nation, nothing spoils their fun more than seeing another white person.

Many white people will look into the window of an ethnic restaurant to see if there are other white people in there. It is determined to be an acceptable restaurant if the white people in there are accompanied by ethnic friends. But if there is a table occupied entirely by white people, it is deemed unacceptable.

The arrival of the “other white people” to either restaurants or vacation spots instantly means that lines will grow, authenticity will be lost, and the euphoria of being a cultural pioneer will be over.

And that’s especially true when you think about how Tokyo can be seen as the ultimate gentrification project — it’s halfway around the world, it’s a developed country but still very different and Asian, and it’s got a relatively low white person population. So it’s very easy to understand why Pronko might feel umbrage when his fantasies come crashing down. As you might expect, SWPL has already weighed in on the subject:

But it goes beyond just food, all white people either have/will/or wished they had taught English in Japan. It is a dream for them to go over seas and actually live in Japan. This helps them not only because it fills their need to travel, it will enable them to gain important leverage over other white people at Sushi restaurants where they can say “this place is pretty good, but living in Japan really spoiled me. I’ve had such a hard time finding a really authentic place.”

SWPL’s focus is a little different on this topic (he notes that White People who learn to speak Japanese “kind of ruin it for everyone else”), but its heart is in the right place.

White People (at least those fitting Marxy’s definition at the top of the post), and by extension Westerners in Japan, are seeking authentic experiences through experiencing real, exotic foreign cultures. The presence of Westerners, while it can seem kind of irksome to a Pronko, nonetheless serves as a necessary barometer in determining how successful the Westerner is in attaining that authenticity (though paradoxically the very presence of another Westerner threatens to ruin the whole experience).

But is this why the “no eye contact rule” exists? Are Westerners so fragile and dependent on a facade of being first that the mere presence of a foreigner makes them cringe in terror? As you can probably tell, I am not so sure.

Everyone here averts their eyes

For the most part, Pronko is spot-on about the “rules.” But these rules cannot be explained simply by a SWPL-esque colonial quest for authenticity. If that were true, then wouldn’t a “no eye contact” policy be the default for those awkward encounters with other white people in the ethnic food restaurants?

I suspect it’s not quite that simple. Behind Pronko’s seemingly simple observation lies immense insight into the place of Western expats in Japanese society. The way people carry themselves on a daily basis is not just the response to unspoken rules between the type of people they might see once a week; it’s a response to the constant stimulus of exposure to people on the street and everyone else in their lives.

Meiwaku

First and foremost, it is perhaps the greatest social virtue in Japan to avoid being a nuisance (aka meiwaku in Japanese) to others. To quote one of my gaijin forefathers, Thomas Dillon, writing for the Japan Times:

Meiwaku is an important word in overcrowded, group-centered, harmony-obsessed Japan, and a concept that is pounded into children from an early age, along with a related term, wagamama, which means “self-centeredness.” If you are wagamama, you will no doubt be meiwaku. The lesson from pre-school on is this: Being wagamama and meiwaku are bad. Not being so is good.

Of course, much of this is a simple show of proper manners. Yet the motto of Group Japan seems not to be, “all for one and one for all.” Rather it’s “all for all.” All of the time.

I know how they feel. After almost three decades here my meiwaku senses are finely tuned. As a foreigner, I understand I will never blend in. Yet, I try like mad not to stick out.

Cross my legs on the train? Nope. Might bump the fellow next to me. Meiwaku.

Drop a plastic bag in the trash? Are you nuts? That’s unburnable. Someone has to separate it. Meiwaku.

Raise my voice on the train, on the street, or even in my shower? Absolutely not! Other people are too close.

Dillon doesn’t mention eye contact, but he does not have to. It is just simply not done here. So in other words, it’s not just Westerners who refuse to make eye contact or talk to strangers, it’s the entire nation of Japan!

He also characterizes this phenomenon as rather hard to understand. But while the finer details may elude people who did not get a full early education in the country, I suspect that this “don’t make eye contact and don’t talk to strangers” rule is readily obvious to even the most casual observers.

An example close to home — after a week in Tokyo, my mother realized that the young men never leer or check out women as they would in New York. And it’s true — people often seem to walk as if traveling in separate pneumatic tubes. As an aside, I happen to think that this type of behavior is neither good nor bad, but simply a necessity of living in a big city (New Yorkers are famous for wearing “don’t mess with me” expressions as they walk through Manhattan).

As a kind of scene-setting description of what this phenomenon is like, and to show that it’s probably not a Tokyo-only phenomenon, I’d like to quote from a literary critic’s description of Ghost in the Shell’s fictional Hong Kong:

Bilingual, neon-lit advertisement signs are not only almost everywhere; their often ingenious construction for maximum visibility deserves an architectural monograph in itself. The result of all this insistence is a turning off of the visual. As people in metropolitan centers tend to avoid eye contact with one another, so they now tend also to avoid eye contact with the city. (PDF)

Conclusion — it’s not about us

One of the eternal ironies of White People is the capacity for endless self-examination co-existing with a complete inability to see what is right in front of their eyes. We seek comfortable truths and wallow in our privilege even as we admit its complete absurdity.

And let there be no mistake — Westerners in Japan are a privileged upper class. While Marxy’s nativized Westerners do not receive the royal treatment of, say, an executive on an expat package or a high school Japanese language class visiting from Wisconsin, they are nonetheless praised as geniuses for speaking Japanese, handed cakewalk jobs merely for the language skills, and are directly subject to virtually none of the social responsibilities of actual Japanese people.

The reactions to this kind of treatment vary widely — some exploit it adeptly, some accept it and demand still more, some see it as a subtle form of rejection, but many, perhaps like Pronko (I don’t really know what his life is like but I know others), find their niche and stick to it, growing used to the rhythm of Japanese life, fielding the questions about why your Japanese is so good, and taking that job as a token foreigner or everyone’s favorite gaijin at the karaoke bar.

So what does this status have to do with these random encounters with other Westerners on the train? Reactions like Pronko’s may reveal the underlying White Person culture reaction to other Westerners — that is, seeing another Westerner kicks in that rival explorer instinct and the need to compare one’s Japan experience with others. I mean, why is the first reaction to seeing another Westerner “how long has this person been in Japan?”

Another possibility is that the curiosity upon seeing another Westerner is merely a mirror image of the typical reaction when a Japanese person meets a foreigner. In fact, the list of questions is almost the same — how long have you lived in Japan, how good is your Japanese, what you are doing here, etc. Those are the characteristics that justify why this odd person is in Japan in the first place, and at some point I think nativized Westerners develop a similar need. This attitude is a close analog to how Westerners living in Japan, particularly Americans, fall into the trap of endlessly contrasting the US and Japan, largely because that’s what Japanese people do when they talk to an American.

Pronko expressed a bit of alarm at the noticeable increase in the number of foreigners popping up in unexpected places. I think he was expressing pure surprise, and perhaps some consternation at an interruption to his routine, but the increasing presence of Westerners in Japan — not just Army and expats but former exchange students, JET alumni, former NOVA teachers, or whoever has come to make a life here — means that dealing with a Japanese-speaking foreigner is probably a semi-regular encounter for Japanese people in general. My hope is that they will break from the golden cage of White People privilege and work to “fit in” even if they cannot “blend in” as Matt notes in the essay linked at the top of the post. As the American brand continues to tank and Japan gets around to reassessing its immigration policy priorities, I doubt the White privilege gravy train will last forever.

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23 thoughts on “An alternative perspective on the “Westerners in Japan avoid each other” phenomenon”

  1. I avoid foreign strangers for fear of being associated with them by the surrounding natives.

    The number of meiwaku gaijin I see easily outnumber the non-meiwaku – either because they are tourists and shouldn’t be expected to know, or just because they are ignorant. ..people eating giant dripping hamburgers in a crowded train, yelling across stores to their friends, etc.

    Also, many (white) foreigners in Japan are just WEIRD. I wouldn’t want to associate with them even in my home country.

  2. Good essay Adam.

    Being familiar with the “no eye contact” phenomenon, I always wondered why I was expected to make eye contact in the first place? I never make eye contact with anyone one else getting on the train in Japan or elsewhere. Maybe it is Japanese culture rubbing off of me as Adam says.

    Also, I agree with Jarvik7’s weirdo factor. Often you have to be a nutter to be here for so long (myself included).

  3. Hi guys, love the articles on both NJ and MF.

    Maybe my experience as a foreigner living just south of Azabu-Juban in Tokyo and working mostly with gaishikei has something to do with it, but…

    I don’t make eye contact with foreigners (i.e. White People) on the train because, besides the color of our skin, we most probably have nothing notable in common. At least, nothing that is more notable than what we share with the rest of the other human beings on the train. People on the train around here are usually busy and often don’t want to be bothered.

    So if I do make eye contact or smile at them, I feel as though I’m intentionally emphasizing the importance of our shared racial heritage, which bothers me. I don’t want to be seen as the guy who starts a conversation with “Nice to meet you! Weird to be on a train with all these Chinamen, right?”

    Or at least, I WOULDN’T make eye contact our start conversations with them, but I often end up doing so because there are so many of English-speaking foreigners in my area, and many of them are interesting, bored, lost, lonely, or whatever. There’s always at least one probable English speaker on the train, so the situation is somewhat different than if I was accustomed to being the only foreigner on the train.

  4. “Maybe it is Japanese culture rubbing off of me as Adam says.”

    This happens. It sure has rubbed off on my. I really only notice how much when family or an old friend without Japanese experience comes to visit me.

    I had an interesting experience the other day – saw this dude – big guy, tanktop, lots of tats, buzz cut. Obvioulsy scaring the pants off all of the Japanese in the neighborhood. Sticking out like a sore thumb does not even begin to describe it. I may be showing my prejudice here, but one look at the guy and he did not strike me as the type who is learning Japanese or doing tea ceremony or anything. I was thinking “maybe I should make eye contact and give the guy a nod because I don’t want to piss him off”. The guy didn’t return the nod. It’s not like we are in Tokyo either – there are only like 10 white people in this city. What gives? Assimilation or “my Japan” does not even begin to explain this.

    I also find it funny how some of the African guys working at the local hiphop shops basically say “yo, wassup” to every younger Japanese guy walking by (obviously store policy) but with me – no eye contact. In this case, I felt obligated to make eye contact because of my North American knee-jerk reaction that “he may think that I am racist if I don’t make eye contact.” There is no uniform foreign reaction, no matter how much we may adapt to life in Japan, we take our culture with us.

    I tend to avoid eye contact much of the time, except in special situations when I feel obligated – but what do you do when you turn a corner and end up eye to eye with a foreigner? Or get into an elevator with 3 or 4 foreigners in it? I’ve had a mixed reaction in these situations but will usually try a nod or a “hey”.

    As for the nutters – I once saw a white guy in a manga shop that I frequent. I was going to give him a “hey” until I noticed that he was flipping one of those shogakusei porn manga. I just stared at my shoes and tramped off.

  5. “no uniform reaction”

    Tell me about it. The African touts ALWAYS approach me!

    Personally I find nodding hello or making brief eye contact to be warm and friendly ways to pass by people even in big cities. But that is just because I am used to it.

  6. Tokyo is a huge city. I don’t make eye contact with strangers in New York, Boston, or L.A. so why would I be expected to in Tokyo?

    Otherwise, this “Fear of a White Person” thing strikes me as a newbie Japan complex that everyone goes through but that everyone should work to actively overcome. Also the larger numbers of white people in Japan these days makes it an anachronistic luxury to hate other white people. Time for normalization, people.

  7. Have to agree with Marxy here about it being a newbie thing. I remember feeling put out whenever I saw other whiteys for the first six months I was here (curiously my fellow exchange students were exempt), but for the most part I got over it.

    Nowadays I treat every stranger the same, so unless people recognise me, I just treat them like anyone else. Growing up in a small country town, though, I have a natural inclination to say hello to everyone, so nowadays in the big city I just try to be receptive enough that it doesn’t look like I’m actively ignoring anyone. Subsequently anyone who strictly follows this “foreigners shouldn’t make eye contact with eachother” etiquette comes across as really odd. It’s especially odd at present where there is a guy in my small apartment building that refuses to acknowledge me, even when we’re both nearby the building.

    What has been weirding me out recently is the increasing number of non-Japanese working in service jobs. After some deliberation, I decided that I should just conduct the transaction in Japanese, on the assumption that even though they look white, they might be from Europe, and happen to be more comfortable in Japanese than English (not a high probability, but I figure I’d be coming off as rude if it did turn out to be the case). This tact worked well for the tall, blonde haired white guy at the 7 Eleven near my work, so when I was giving my order to the darker skinned guy at McDonald’s I tried the same thing. He chose to speak English, and so we had this weird half/half thing going on.
    I’m curious if these kind of places have a policy on language, now that these kind of situations are likely to get more frequent… and the that they are makes Marxy’s “Time for normalization” shoutout pretty pertinent.

  8. Interestingly enough this phenomenon is not unique to Japan. I also had this experience while living in Korea, though to a much lesson extent. (Actually, there are many social phenomena and observations that can be applied to both Korea and Japan. What’s interesting is studying what is different, such as the complete lack of the concept of Meiwaku in contemporary Korean society.) This might be because most white people in Korea are short-time hires here to teach English, don’t know and don’t care to know about Korea, and are more eager to make friends with other random white people. You hardly ever see a white person who is a Koreaphile (not to be confused with korephile.) Besides, most of those are in Seoul, the cultural, intellectual, economic, etc. capital of Korea. In the Korean countryside, non-Koreans are still a relatively new development. You should have seen how happy some people were to have other westerners (I try not to use the foreigner term since that is really loaded) living in my small town in the middle of nowhere Korea. At the same time, I knew other people who were the only western in their town, and absolutely loved the experience. Though their every activity became a topic of conversation for the townspeople.

  9. “Time for normalization, people.”

    Being in a small town (well, 500,000) makes a diffence, I think. The problem is, I’ve been snubbed a bunch of times – I say “hi” or give a nod and there is no return. As a result, I sorta feel conditioned to start ignoring people too. In addition, spending half my time in Japan and half overseas does not help. I tend to get “reset” every 6 months or so.

    “It’s especially odd at present where there is a guy in my small apartment building that refuses to acknowledge me, even when we’re both nearby the building.”

    This is just nuts. One would say “hi” or give a nod to Japanese neighbours, but some whiteys spare no effort to snub.

  10. …”one night when Pronko entered his favorite blues club—an “exotic secret” place he would prefer to keep to himself—he found it full of American lawyers holding a raucous birthday party. With so many of his fellow countrymen in the club, he couldn’t help but get involved in their conversation.”

    Aggh! Lawyers! Having fun! In a secret blues bar!!

    (I couldn’t tell from reading your summary if this example was stated as an exception to Pronko’s rule, or an event that ruffled his feathers or broke his bubble.)

    I would basically echo the comments above. I don’t make eye contact with people in any major city. I’m generally a pretty extroverted and friendly guy and do initiate conversation with some westerners when the spirit strikes, when I would not engage in such conversation with a Japanese person, because of certain cultural norms, including those of “don’t be a meiwaku” noted above.

    P.S. Great post Adamu.

  11. Neojaponisme’s post then this and also the newsweek post, all at the same time. I’m having more fun reading the internet than in a long time. People: write more about this topic, I drink it all up.

    I have noticed that I will first slowly approach the foreigner to hear him/her speak a little, weigh his language skills and only approach if I am better? Japan is a game, and you’d better avoid the players with more EXP than you. This feels like something I will get over sooner or later, though. After that: no eye contact or a more open me who speaks to strangers more?

    Much like neojaponisme’s post put the language issue into perspective by imagining a Japanese in New York, should we try to imagine two Japanese expatriates meeting? Would they avoid each other? I don’t think so. They would wait for confirmation that the other asian-looking party is indeed Japanese and then share experiences and invite one another to eat sashimi and onigiri at their house now that they finally have an excuse to make some.

    Jason said that “besides the color of our skin, we [foreigners on a train] most probably have nothing notable in common.” I don’t know… We have all moved to a new culture, gone through the culture shock and trying our best to fit in? That’s a big common feature and it might even make life a little bit easier to share experiences? No?

    Foreigner staff at restaurants and stores: let’s make Japanese the default. Use English if the client asks for it.

    Foreigners in Japan: let’s talk to strangers more! Right?

  12. That happened when I was in NY back in the 80’s.There were always three groups.Those who can speak English fluently because they’ve already been there for a few years and those who has their one foot in ESL class and stick with other J-kids,and Ofcourse,Japanese American.

    I tended to avoid Japanese while I’m on backpacking trip to South East Asia and Western Europe too.When I was in Thailand in 1989,lots of J-backpackers tended to flock around China town(the notorious Hotel Paradise Palace楽宮.So I went straight to Khao san Road where there were more westerners.But still,there’s always some Japanese backpackers cruising street at night,looking for talking companions at night and if you are reading Chikyu-no-arukikata,they’ll find you and come over to chat.And after few moment you are with them,there’s always that hierarchy thing that related with Japanese language known as Keigo敬語 emerges.And you’ll end up hearing total strangers giving you a free life lessons jsut because the dude is two years old older than me.

  13. “even though they look white, they might be from Europe”
    When I was at university, there were often some white people in my class, but they were Russian. So since my Russian is limited to “Hello,” “Goodbye,” “Comrade,” and “You can’t fuck them all,” and their English was not hot, our shared language was Japanese (this also made it a lot easier when talking in the room with Japanese around). I never ever assume a white person is an English speaker. I don’t greet every white person I see either, as (a) I don’t greet every person I see anyway, and (b) they might not speak English, and (c) they may well be a tourist, as I live in a fairly tourist-intensive city (not like Kyoto or Nara, but definitely on the trail these days) and in that case the shared “expat” thing is meaningless. However it does mean that when the odd gaijin does greet me, I’m usually too surprised to respond until he’s past, so he probably thinks I’m a right tosser.

  14. Hi Akaaki Kumeri,

    I like your comment, but I have to disagree with you. Disclaimer: I can only speak about my own situation and the situations of foreigners I know here, and I am biased towards the foreign business community in downtown Tokyo, so YMMV.

    There are interesting and uninteresting foreign people on the train, to be sure, but I really don’t think that every one of us is trying hard to fit into Japanese culture or keep from succumbing to culture shock.

    If you talk with foreign business people or professionals here in Tokyo, I think you’ll find that most of us are concerned with our jobs, hobbies, families, friends, professional organizations, etc. Fitting into Japanese society is low on the priority list, mostly because we are pretty independent and don’t see Japan as the be-all-and-end-all of our careers/lives.

    I’m sure my views on entering Japanese society would be different if I was, for example, a JET in Kumamoto or Hokkaido like some of my friends. But even they seem to recognize the futility of trying to assimilate into this culture, or at least don’t see it as an important life objective.

    My point is just that Western foreigners don’t usually come to Japan out of economic desperation and with a dire need to find community, especially not on the train. We’re chill. We come because we are privileged enough to be able to travel internationally, we are interested in learning about Japan to some degree, we think we can make a difference in our careers while we’re here, and ultimately we will go somewhere else when we get bored or dissatisfied with all the BS. Unless you are Alex Kerr or Bill Totten, your insatiable quest to convince Japanese people of your value to society shouldn’t be the glue that binds you together with others.

    Let me know if you have other thoughts, and I wish I could understand your comic!

  15. Great piece.

    I’m baffled by the urgency of white men wanting to own the world. It seems to me a petty, ridiculous struggle — yet, we love competition.

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  17. Ah, the eternal question. I’ve discussed this in length with quite a few gaijin here in Japan, and we’ve come to pretty much the same conclusions: Caucasians are just weird when they’re in any foreign country 😛

    Heck, if you ever met me in the street, you’d agree.

  18. The no eye contact rule exists because if I were back in Florida, would I be making eye contact with random people on the street? No. So why would I make eye contact with random people here?

    That said, I don’t get on train cars that have other obvious foreigners on them because I don’t want THEM to stare at ME.

    It’s weird how one can spot another foreigner so easily in a crowd of thousands. I liken it to how dogs can spot another dog from far away but ignore all other people around.

  19. Men tend to make eye contact with other in the states, whether it’s a big city or small. They then nod, unless they’re being excessively aggressive. If you’re not making eye contact, you’ve already self-eliminated from alpha-male competition and are a sally.

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