So a large part of me is a little ashamed to tell this story, but it’s such a truth of my life in Japan that I must share. Foreigners are referred to as gaijin in Japan. The phrase gaijin is short for the longer word gaikokujin, which means foreign country person.
Now, here’s where things get really interesting. Let me introduce the phrase Gaijin Smash. This phrase put nicely means when a foreigner breaks Japanese cultural conventions intentionally or mistakenly, and then ignores anyone who tries to give a reproach for this behavior by speaking bad or no Japanese.
Less politely as urban dictionary describes it, Gaijin Smash is the art of getting away with duchebaggery in Japan and being an ignorant and obnoxious foreigner by simply pulling a gaijin smash on their asses when the shit hits the fan.
This definition is definitely more raw, but really explains what goes down. So here’s the smash. After a day of leisurely drinking in the park, the sun goes down and our group decides to move indoors for some more drinks. The first restaurant is full, the second place we try is a standing only bar that’s heavy with smoke. So, myself and two other people decide to meander over to Outback Steakhouse. Mind you, this is Shibuya, one of the most crowded areas in Japan on the eve of a country wide vacation period.
We see the line of people waiting, but outside on the terrace is a perfect table with a great view of the bustling city below. With no hesitation, one guy that I’m with just begins walking around the line towards the table. That creeping sensation of “you’re breaking the rules,” creeps up my spine. But I follow. Rationally I think, what’s the worst that can happen? Irrationally I can sense the shame of being asked to leave as we bypassed any hostesses, and other waiting customers to sit at the most desirable seat in the restaurant.
We sit, myself ad the other American look at the British guy who lead us to the table with paranoia written all over our faces. He explains easily that long before the waitress was going to try to argue with us in English, they would just accommodate us. I didn’t believe it as the waitress approached. I could feel the looming walk of shame that waited in front of me. My jacket stayed on, I clutched my purse, waiting to feel that boot.
She walked up to our blank table, with no menus or place servings, everything we would have if we had been properly seated. She looks at us, a bit of suspicion in her face, and simply takes our drink orders. From there I sink back into my seat and enjoy what I honestly can’t believe I just got away with. The sheer confidence to pull that stunt is definitely something I aspire to. Granted at the same time, I feel a certain amount of pride that I’m respectable enough to not entertain just walking past a line of waiting people.
I will admit, that ill-begotten burger did taste just a little bit better.
I was sitting here chuckling at my debacle I had with the appliances in my sisters apartment in Japan. I almost singed my eyelashes off while fiddling with the stove. I have no idea why I would lean down to see of the gas and flame were catching, but I was mighty close when the spark initiated lol all I could do was stand back in amazement. I resembled something from the stone age trying to turn it on.
Another time was when I was trying to heat the water up. She gave me great instructions but there is a different button for everything lol and the panels were just way to confusing! I do look forward to going back and learning more. I have attached some photos
As promised, I have attached some photos of Qatar. I worked there for about 4 months and can say that I enjoyed myself. You are allowed to drink, they do have lounges and bars. Although all are in the major hotels. Still unlike Kuwait, you have the luxury to sip an adult beverage while unwinding. I will say the no smoking laws haven’t really passed to middle eastern establishments so be prepared to leave smelling like a dirty discarded ashtray lol
While living there we did attempt the club scene with my coworkers one night lol interesting to say the least. I intentionally bought a dress that came to my knees because I knew that it was still a Muslim country and I wanted no troubles, Especially since I was there on a work Visa.
So the story ensues as such, there was a group of about 10 people hitting the town. We all caught taxis (the preferably cheaper mode of transportation) to the Ramada to head to what everyone professes to be the most “happening spot” in Doha, Qatar. Once there we walk in and headed to the location that was down some stairs and conveniently tucked off in a corner. Very similar to how they hide swine (pork) in the grocery stores!! This process was kind of time-consuming. You proceed to buy a card which is like a membership. Now I learned that every time you went to one of these clubs, lounges, bars you had to have a membership card that cost and have to be able to show some sort of Qatari residency or give your passport. Once you go through what feels like a TSA experiences lol you are ushered out and wait in line for the club. Well while we were walking towards the line, I can only assume to refer to this gentleman as a promoter, walks over and in hushed tones tells me that my dress is to short and I would need to wrap this scarf around the bottom of my dress to meet the appropriate lengths!!! Caveat: the middle east is an extremely chauvinistic area in my opinion. They rarely will speak to a woman so while he was talking to me, he was actually directing his attention to one of the guys in my group, cutting his eyes back at me for emphasis of the problem lol as if he would make sure his directions were enforced!! The nerve!
Let’s bear in mind that my dress is a silky material and the scarf is sliding down due to it not being long enough to wrap around my waist and cover more skin than my dress already was covering. This leaves me having to constantly adjust it. We moved to the entrance of the club and while they were wanding the guys, I took this as my opportunity to adjust the scarf in the mirror. Maybe I could see something that would help me keep it in place. It was becoming aggravating to constantly keep tying it!!! But to the hooligans untrained eyes they thought I was taking the wrap off and silently saying screw their cultures rules lol I argued relentlessly with this man who I was keeping it on but he tuned me out and talked to the guy standing next to me stating I was not going to be admitted entrance into the disco Lolol ::shrugs:: The night was destined to go on Thank God. We just sauntered up stairs to the bar ate some cake drank our hearts out till last call and got kicked out the hotel. It was great I’m sure they thought we were arrogant Americans lol so we lived up to the standard lol
I forgot to mention, while outside in our intoxicated states we got taken advantage of and rode back in the “luxury” cars lol tripled the rate on us!! Good times lol
I was just sitting here thinking about how I’ve spent the majority of my 20′s in and around various parts of the middle east!! I travel through Dubai a lot and absolutely love this country. My favorite in the U.A.E. I have yet to venture to Abu Dhabi, but thats in the works. Its only a 45 minute flight from Dubai. Ive seen some pictures of gorgeous mosque and they have a Ferrari world!!! Who doesnt want to go fast lol I used to work in Qatar for a little while as well. They have a beautiful Corniche, I will post pictures of that as well. I’ve attached some of the sites ive seen in Dubaiz I hope to go back in December and be more touristy!!
S H O P P I N G
That one word warms my heart There is an inexplicable joy that comes over me from purchasing items I just know that I NEED to have!! See in life everything can fall into two basic categories. Wants and Needs. Needs are defined as a requirement, necessary duty, or obligation. To be able to sustain in life you NEED water, an edible source of nutrition and water. Where as Wants are defined as To desire greatly; wish for. You might want some juice or Koolaid, but all you really need is water to sustain your being lol
Needless to say, Shopping is a universal joy that many take part in. There is no where that I could travel to in the world and not be able to partake in this festivity. It’s almost like you could say its a common denominator in all cultures, similar to a universal language. From the over inflated steroid enhanced Mega Shopping malls to the local markets of hand-made garments and goods. Barter or Buying every person can understand the basic concept of Shopping…
When I travel, I rarely buy lots of souvenirs. Rather I try to find things that will help me remember special things about trip. Things that I will use and make me smile, Like Yeah I was there!! From Japan I bought Chop Sticks~ Miami I have a Sexy and I know it T-Shirt lol This is sentimental becuase that became the shirt of the trip!! Jamaica I have a straw basket, Memorable due to the harrassment that we recieved at the Straw Market.