Japanese Lesson Quickie #1

なかったことにしよう - Let’s pretend it didn’t happen.

↑ A sentiment that is communicated silently in Japan all the time, such as in encounters with people like this:

I also had no respect for train etiquette. I learned that, first of all, it’s a real taboo to bust through the gates and not pay. It is also a taboo to talk on your keitei (Cell-Phone) and to make a scene by talking too loud and animated. Also, eating a meal while you ride the trains is a real no-no too!

HOWEVER, some foreigners, like some of thhe people in my circle off work-friends, including myself do not ALWAYS follow these rules. I have tried hard, but on occasion, you recieve an important phone call while on the train. You can either just brush it off or answer it, and once you do that, you perpetuate the “Filthy Gaijin” stereotype. I have learned that you can bust through the games and no-onne, I mean NO-ONE will say anything. I have seen this point proven when someone I knew jumped through the games, and went back to ask for directions to the same train attendant who saw him do it.

It was totally disrespectful of the norms of Jjapanese society, but what can you do? It was so easy and convenient. Sure, I would get pangs of guilt when I first did it upon arriving in Japan, but that lasts about as long as the walk from the platform to my seat. In less than a minute, my thoughts had shifted to that foxy little school-girl who’s rubbing her naked.. supple.. lovely smooth tanned thighs agaist my leg. Ahh, the upsides of being a young white man in Japan.

I have also felt guilty when some drunken gaijin acts like a food on the last trinas, pissed drunk. I have seen the patience of some commuters tested to the limits when some drunken dude being so annoying that I’m sure he would have been beaten to a pulp anywhere else in the world.

I have eaten entire McDonalds meals on the train, late for work and needing to fill my stomach before meeting a potential client. I have also talked on my cel phone, taking and making calls that could have easily been postponed until my desitantion.

Lest it sound like I’m trying to criticize this guy, let me say that I’ve done all that and worse in Japan, and he atones for his sins later in the post. I totally understand where he’s coming from, for the most part.

One thought on “Japanese Lesson Quickie #1”

  1. Other than very rarely eating a quick meal on the train to save time,… that’s stuff that I wouldn’t even do _here_ … on a NYC subway, which is arguably an etiquitte sinkhole. (Assuming that “busting through the gate” is equivalent to “jumping the turnstiles” … I’ve never actually seen a Japanese train station.) There’s something about talking loudly on cell phones in public places that rubs me the wrong way too.

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