Thursday, January 22, 2009

this seems about right

i stole this from some forum post but found it was good in continuing with my japanese theme of the day. it was a brochure an ex pat living in japan received from his travel agent prior to flying to back to the u.s. it was basically a guide on what to expect and prepare for when you visit the u.s. here are the bullet points that i found most important:
  • The yen is very strong against the dollar right now. This will make goods in America seem very cheap -- an excellent opportunity for shopping! However, remember to be polite in your use of money -- America is in the middle of economic malaise right now, and Japanese people with wads of money in their hand might be looked on with envy. Besides, if you are obviously wealthy in an American city, you may be robbed.
  • Most Americans are very polite, particularly outside of the big cities. However, outside of the big cities, everyone owns guns. Inside the big cities, almost everyone owns guns. Let's be polite together!
  • Most Americans think we look like Chinese or Koreans. Try not to be too offended.
  • Most Americans will think that a Japanese person standing on the street is an American, unless they are holding a camera. If you are not comfortable speaking English, you might try bringing along a camera to say "I am a tourist, please don't expect me to speak English." Except, don't try this in the big cities -- tourists get mugged in big cities.
  • In general, Americans consider it impolite to discuss politics. However, this January Obama will become the new president, and many people are excited! If they ask you what you think of him, a safe answer is [English] "Obama is really cool." or [English] "Obama speaks so well. Not like me. Hehe." Be very careful when pronouncing his name. O BA MA, just like Obama City.
  • Ladies: if you shop for clothes, ask for where to find [English] "petite". It means normal sized. Ladies who are petite may have difficulty finding clothes which fit in America, except at specialty shops.
even though i have never traveled there, i think this list is forcing my hand and i must generate some tips for americans traveling to japan.

"it's pronounced 'o-bah-mah' motherfucker, get it right or go back to koreatown...."

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