Lost in Forced Conversation 7.18.10

As usual, my Sunday morning was pretty laid back. I played some games of League of Legends, read some manga, and I went out to grab lunch around 1:00. On the way to the supermarket I ran into one of the guys from sales I had met earlier. He was on his way to the golf course and offered to give me a ride to the supermarket. I accepted and while we were driving he asked if I was free to go to his house later and drink some beer. I didn’t have anything planned so I agreed.

It was really interesting to see the inside of a Japanese person’s house. He had a four person family (him, wife, son and daughter) and every nook and cranny of the house was packed with stuff. The weird part was that it was all neatly organized as well. It was kind of hard for me to reconcile the idea of having stuff spilling out of every corner of a room while the room itself was still perfectly organized. There were also two big screen T.V.s in adjacent rooms.

After exchanging a somewhat awkward greeting with the rest of the family; they spent some time conversing to each other about whether or not I could speak/understand Japanese, this included the obligatory, ‘say something in English to him’.

After giving a few polite nods and affirming that I could indeed speak an elementary form of Japanese, I was moved to an adjacent room that housed the 2nd TV (there could have very well been more than two in the house) and a car town rug.Car Town Rug
Eventually we got down to the business of drinking beer, eating snacks, and commenting on Japanese television shows.

For those of you not in the know, all Japanese shows incorporate food in some capacity. Whether it be the investigation of how food is caught/made, or its consumption. More often than not these two will be combined with a group of celebrities consuming the food on the spot and commenting on how “oishii!” it is; additionally there are usually celebrities in the studio shown via Picture-in-Picture commenting on how delicious the food looks (oishiisou!). As an aside, I am convinced there is no food that a Japanese celebrity would not find “oishii”. Even if the unimaginable were to happen, I’m sure the producer could fix it by editing in any of the other billion occurrences of said celebrity saying “oishii!”.

During a brief interlude in our drinking, eating, and commentating, he called his son over to speak in English to me. While I don’t mind speaking in English, it was quite evident that his son didn’t really want to speak to me. The conversation ended up going like this:

Dad: [Say something to him in English!]
Son: [I don’t know what to say!]
Dad: [He likes Japanese food, ask him what kind of Japanese food he likes.]
Son: You like Japanese food?
Me: Yes.
Dad: [Good! Now ask him what his favorite is.]
Son: Especially Japanese food?
Me: uh…

This was a weird spot for me because I knew what he wanted to ask, but his question in English made no sense. I ended up just looking at him blankly to see if he would modify his question. Didn’t really work.

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3 Responses to Lost in Forced Conversation 7.18.10

  1. David says:

    How old is his son ? So, we are not the only one who is doing this !

  2. David says:

    Please put some pictures in your blog

  3. agnes says:

    that reminds me how ambarrassed/frustrated you and Tavis were when dad and I did this +_+

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