Gaijin Smash: the art of duchebaggery

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.

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Appliances getting the best of me!

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

Xoxoxo

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Sakura Festival

So today is the Cherry Blossom Festival in Sagamihara City. That means lots of live drumming, day drinking, food stalls, and most importantly, the national flower of Japan, the Cherry Blossom. More to come.

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Photographic Journal of my Trek to work

Spring sure has a sense of humor. What is this about. We are mere days from March.

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My first fish market

So today’s quest for seasonal strawberry picking in Shizuoka turned out to be a bust. We weren’t with a tour group so they turned us away like strays. Nevertheless, the Shizuoka area is very close to a port, so we went for lunch. I had a tuna steak smothered in mushrooms and garlic. And after I went to my first fish market. They seemed to have more dried fish as opposed to fresh fish, but it had the requisite fishy scent and whole fishes staring at you like “why?”.

We went with a mission, everyone had to spend ¥1000 (roughly $8) on fish for tonight’s dinner. I bought an octopus tentacle and some random (I don’t know it’s name) fish that everyone said was 安い (pronounced yasui, cheap). We shall see how this turns out.

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Everyone needs a Vacation after ‘THE Vacation”

I know you were all wondering where I had disappeared to!! Well After 21 days of non stop activities and trekking across the world, I was exhausted. My body had failed me or maybe I failed to make sure I was properly receiving all the nutrients I needed. Here is a catalog of my woes with sickness.

I went from Snow in Afghanistan, temperature about 15 Degrees to landing in Sunny Dubai! Oh the warmth 🙂 From there I hopped on a plane and flew 7,958 Miles to Atlanta. Now if you are a follower you have read my rants on Recycled Air!! It’s a douzy man! Kicked my Butt. I landed and was greeted by a constant Drizzle 🙁 No bueno. I then left the rain and landed in Sunny Miami!! They had pretty good weather there. Buuuut I believe that the amount of Liquor I was consuming for about 12 hours straight for 5 days weakened my immune system… Now I’m not a doctor or anything,  But I’m assuming it assisted in the loss of my voice. It was a wavering battle for the 5 days that followed, as my return to Rainy Atlanta didn’t help the situation. From there I ventured to LA for a couple of days. initially met with rain it quickly blossomed into beautiful that beautiful Southern Cali weather I love so dearly. Lastly I flew 12 hours to Tokyo, Japan. surprisingly it was cold the whole time and I had to bundle up something fierce.

What I have learned is that every one requires some down time after extensive globe-trotting. I’m in sheer amazement at stars who do promo tours that last a year. I know they have many luxuries but wheeeeeeeew!! It’s a lot of strain on the body to be consistently on the GO!

I’ve returned to work 7 Days a week, 12 hours a day and sleep the 10 that I’m not working. After being back for 14 days I think I am finally recuperating. My next task will b to jump on the Insanity and P90X train to work my body out for Ibiza in June!!! Guess my vacation after THE Vacation is over lol

Smooches!! Love, MistyPooh

The perfect excuse

Today is Setsubun in Japan. Setsubun (“seasonal division”) is a festival held on February 3 or 4, one day before the start of spring according to the Japanese lunar calendar. Setsubun is not a national holiday.
For many centuries, the people of Japan have been performing rituals with the purpose of chasing away evil spirits at the start of spring.

Around the 13th century, for example, it became a custom to drive away evil spirits by the strong smell of burning dried sardine heads, the smoke of burning wood and the noise of drums. While this custom is not popular anymore, a few people still decorate their house entrances with fish heads and holy tree leaves in order to deter evil spirits from entering.

In modern days, the most commonly performed setsubun ritual is the throwing of roasted beans around one’s house and at temples and shrines across the country. When throwing the beans, you are supposed to shout “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (“Devils out, happiness in”). Afterwards you should pick up and eat the number of beans, which corresponds to your age.

Basically, for me it was an excuse to eat a sushi roll the size of a respectable burrito.

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Japanese Fun Facts

I don’t know how well known it is that that the majority of Japan does not have outdoor public trash cans, but they are non existent! You literally can carry your disposed trash around all day with out finding a receptacle for it. I actually had a lesson on sorting trash last night. All of my sisters trash cans in the house are color coded to reflect paper/cardboard, plastic and regular trash. Recycling is not an option here! Lol I’m pretty sure that if they caught you not abiding by the rules, there will be little ninjas that will jump out from some dark corner and beat you with recycled nun chucks!!! Lolol 🙂 No BS!

The country itself supposedly has little to no crime, it’s common to see a man walk around ith a full wallet half way sticking out his back pocket! Now in America that would be a no no. But they feel so safe that no one will take their belongings that no second thought is cast in that direction. This is pretty amazing since the trains are continuously filled to the brim with people!

They Curry here. This huge for me because I had no idea. Talk about stereotyping!! I thought it would be nothing but sushi, not so much. In fact I really haven’t seen it around. We went to this really cute spot last night. The “Maids” (waitresses) were like real life anime characters, high energy hopping around and very animated. The restaurant was decorated like a play house where they did performances on the hour. Of course no one spoke English but you would surprised at how much can be communicated through pictures!! Check out my curry bear. I int like it but it was cute!!!

That was only day one.. I will put our itinerary up, so you can follow as we flirt!

Xoxo.. Love, MistyPooh

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First flight on Korean Air

I always love flying non American airlines because they really mind the details. It’s just part of the service and the flight attendants are always better IMO.

There are 3 classes in this airline. First Class, Prestige (business) and Economy. I purchased an economy ticket and was really hoping not to be cramped in. Was seated I noticed that the screens in the seats are HUGE! Compared to Deltas minuscule screens these are like treasures. They are accompanied by remotes, and have a USB port to charge your devices.

After you have taken off they hand you little packages that contain slippers and a disposable toothbrush and toothpaste! Über cute. I’m rocking the slippers as we speak.

My dinner was bibimbap! Pretty delicious. I was given a glass of white wine to accompany and ate with REAL silverware!

I do wish there was WiFi aboard. Im not at all sleepy maybe I’ll sleep the last 4 hours of the flight, but the ability to research would be nice.

The flight is a total of 12 hours from Los Angeles to Tokyo, Japan. Anyway you look at it it’s just super long, Rounding up to 3000 miles.

A great beginning to a the tail end of my vacation I must say!

Stay tuned

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