Monday, October 7, 2013

You've reached the next level... ish.

So you've been in Japan for two and a half years... congratulations! You've successfully reached the proficiency of a semi-retarded 3 year-old. YYYAAAAAYYY!!!!
Okay... so you've never actually taken a proper Japanese language class. You've learned all of your Japanese in bars and other social settings, which means that your vocabulary is pretty limited. You know all kinds of bad words and inappropriate phrases- none of which is applicable in professional settings. But since you've been here for so long, you have developed excellent listening skills! So you're able to understand a great deal of what's said to you. The only downside- you can't actually respond. You're a very enthusiastic mute. But MY GOSH do you understand things!!! So many things!!!

And now you have to face reality. You can't string a proper sentence together, without someone immediately realizing just how delinquent you are. Let's face it- you sound like a cave man.

Scenario: You get into a taxi. In totally decent Japanese, you ask to be taken to the 711 just south of Koenji Station. It's a mouthful of Japanese that makes you sound like you know what you're saying. Except you're retarded... which means that you can't answer any follow up questions the driver might have. Such as "which 711 would you prefer?"
The true torture is that you understand the follow up question- you just can't answer it. The phrase " I would prefer the one two blocks south-east of the one you just suggested" is a linguistic nightmare, and is beyond your capabilities. So you just end up grunting and muttering "south" and "east", which makes the taxi driver cock his eyebrow at you in a judging motion. If you're lucky, he'll figure it out. If you're not, he'll drop you off wherever he wants, and you'll walk the rest of the way in shame. If you're really unlucky, you'll listen to a lecture about how you really don't understand anything, and how foreigners are ruining his country. Keep in mind that you understand all of this, but you can't respond or comment on anything.... because you're linguistically incapable.

Sure, you could take a class. You could make the effort. But you don't want to. You're SUPER LAZY. It's what's gotten you in this mess in the first place. And now you're screwed. So what do you do? Do you run home and sign up for classes? Nope. Not even a little bit. You go home and study for your Masters degree. Because that's your reality. Sucka!

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