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Patrick Smith comments

Posted in: Koike seeks to reduce crowding on trains during rush hour See in context

WTF is this, a poor attempt at subliminal persuasion?

I don't think so. If she could actually fix the train problems somehow she'd be hailed as a hero.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Posted in: New Japanese luxury bus tour seats only 10 passengers See in context

I believe the article states the cost includes lodging and meals as well. However, even then 150,000 for a one night bus tour (even if you go high end on everything) is quite outrageous.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: What behavior by waiters in restaurants annoys you the most? See in context

I'll agree with cleo that while I don't think it's right, usually the wait staff will turn to the Japanese person because you flat out aren't being understood. Sorry but your Japanese isn't as good as you think it is.

I used to get really worked up about it too. but as I got better with Japanese guess what? It stopped happening. I haven't had it happen to me in years.

Giving the change back to someone else is extremely rude but this happened to me maybe once or twice in many years.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: What do you think of Japan’s school education system? See in context

I was very impressed by the elementary system. I would be happy to have my kids in it.

As most other have said from JHS and up I find it to be pretty awful. I know there are plenty of Japanese teachers who agree with me here- the teachers are way overworked. The priority needs to be on the classroom, however in some schools it almost seems like the priority is on sports first. I mean, it's freaking junior high school.

No reason for 12, 13 year old kids to be at school from 7:00am to 6:00pm every day.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: We can’t confirm whether consumers came to MOS Burger stores after they stopped visiting McDonald’s outlets, but we are certainly seeing an increasing number of children, who have not been our main cu See in context

I used to love MOS but during a recent trip back to Japan there was something not quite the same about the taste. After searching we realized they had changed not only the patty but their sauce as well. It was still better than McD's will ever be but it was rather disappointing they had changed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Korean Air CEO apologizes for daughter's nuts tantrum See in context

I'm very impressed by the CEO. Relieving her of ALL official duties is quite extreme- but I would say it's quite rare for leadership in a family business holding family members responsible in this manner.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese wives in int'l marriages share what they hate about Christmas overseas See in context

Hold on so, you don't want to be bothered with having to pick out presents for a bunch of family members, but at the same time you think it's pushy that relatives send Christmas lists with ideas for their kids'?

I'm not sure, my family could be weird or this could be a taboo in other countries, but in my family the young children generally make a lists of ideas of toys they'd like for Christmas. Some might come from Santa, some might come from other family members.

When it comes to young kids, you're all saying you actually want to go out and try to pick out whatever video game or toy you THINK they might like? And expect them to be happy?

Now adults doing this, or older children, is a different story. I suppose I could also just not realize my family was weird.

I also imagine customs vary from family to family as to how far into the extended family the presents are going to go.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 10 types of Japanese men, according to Japanese women See in context

BertieWooster, no it hasn't changed much. I still find Japanese men my age (late 20's) who are single basically act like they are 13 year old boys when it comes to women.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Survey ranks Japan’s most and least welcoming restaurants of 2014 See in context

The article was pretty awful but goes into downright "legendarily bad" territory when the author says they have never visited a yakiniku restaurant because the concept is "fundamentally wrong." Good Lord.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Battle of the burgers: McDonald's Japan See in context

I find it to be exactly what it presents itself to be - a convenient, clean place to get an inexpensive meal or snack without any surprises.

Exactly. We are all aware it's not the healthiest food in the world. It's fine for a snack or quick meal once in a while. I eat it maybe once every one to two months, and it is normally just an order of fries for a snack or when I need to get a quick lunch. It's not going to kill you eating a few times a year.

No use ranting on and on about the nutrition. We don't go there expecting a healthy meal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Confused Japanese tourists trigger highway pursuit in Utah See in context

I can easily see this poor women trying her hand at driving on "kowai" American highways, giving the husband a rest, and panicking once she realized the cars are going above 100 kph by quite a bit, especially out where they were. Once the police showed up I imagine it was all over.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Is Japan overworking its teachers? One exhausted educator says, 'YES!' See in context

maxjapank Yes there is definitely truth to a lot of what to say and thank you for pointing out that not all teachers are total slaves to their clubs.

I would say often it can also heavily depend on the culture of the school at that particular time and how strict the kocho wants to be. I spent three years at a school that was on the lax side. Teachers commented that in general this school was pretty easy-going compared to some others in the area. Unless the teacher was one of those who "became teachers to coach," many of them would go for the first 15-20 minutes of practice, head back to the office to work, then go close out practice around 6:00 and be on their way home.

It is true though that the competitions and practice also ate up basically their entire weekends as well. They'd often spend Saturdays either practicing or at games leaving Sunday the only day to themselves.

There are definitely teachers that are at school until 8 or 9pm every day, but after learning the ropes and really getting to know everyone I realized these were the teachers who didn't know how to manage their time. The best teachers got their sh*t done and could be out the door on time if they wanted to be.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo can't handle heavy snowfall See in context

We just had about 40cm of snow and -25 C in Chicago and we survived. People are too comfortable in the Tokyo area.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: In U.S., is it rude to ask guests to remove shoes? See in context

Yeah that girl at the end is an entitled brat. She wouldn't be welcome in my home anyway.

We live in a small apartment here in the US. I have a Japanese wife. We only rarely have visitors as the place is small, if we do they either know or we tell them. I don't much care if they are offended. Any of my real friends and family understand and don't have an issue. I also think it's a myth that everyone in the US keeps their shoes on. Many of my friends' houses growing up were no shoes houses.

I do agree if you are happening to have a fancy party with people who are dressing up, it's a different story. In that case, either make an exception or make it clear on the invitation.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: A Japanese perspective on traveling in the U.S. See in context

So you take ONE person's trip to New York and decide to generalize that his experience is now the overall Japanese opinion of traveling to the US as if everyone has these problems?

While some of these are most definitely understandable like the checkouts, things like a dirty seat on the airplane or ONE hotel that happened to have a hot water problem are pretty isolated things. Also, his weird complaint about not having black cotton swabs is insane- why would anyone expect that in America?

How about interviewing a large group of people and getting a consensus. Then maybe people will take you seriously...

24 ( +28 / -5 )

Posted in: U.S. petty officer charged with two counts of molestation in Kanagawa See in context


Think you need to look up the definition of emancipated..

That being said I agree. Yes, they do focus in on these events simply because they are Americans, but they represent their country and better is expected. You're never going to stop the Japanese from focusing on this stuff. It's the same when JETS or ALTs get caught drunk driving or for some other petty crime. Happens hundreds of times every day to Japanese but it's a BIG deal if they get caught.

It's the reason why numerous times after a only few beers over many hours I fought that urge to take the 5 minute drive back home, knowing in the US I'd be perfectly legal or near 0 BAC, but that minute chance I got caught and arrested would absolutely ruin the years I spent building the communities trust and respect. I'd ruin the overall positive view they had of America (most people..) because like it or not I represented the whole country to them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: How to function optimally in Japanese work environment See in context

Back when I was a JET, I felt kind of bad for the teachers spending their entire lives at school, but in a way it's almost admirable because you can kind of justify they are working for the kids- for a good cause. (I know some are just putting in facetime for their careers, but still).

Being in a Japanese company back in the US I just feel completely sad for these guys. Never speak up, never question any request from Japan no matter how ridiculous. The guys are at work from probably 7:30 until 8 or 9pm every day. They have absolutely zero lives outside their small Japanese group at the office and barely see their families.

If I was going to do the whole salaryman thing I'd need to have some sort of valid purpose to my profession- education, NPO, something that actually does good in the world. Then I could justify the work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Domestic abuse case against Japanese consulate official resumes in San Francisco See in context

Probably another arrogant, socially inept Japanese a-hole abroad who thought he could act like he was back at home. This ain't Japan though! Good luck trying to get this one swept under the rug.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Was I a date, a friend or just a potential English teacher? See in context

I run into this too. There's a woman in my office who can speak only the barest minimum of English but insists on constantly using it with me even though my Japanese is far better than her English and quite frankly it feels a little racist and insulting to me, like she thinks the heathen foreigner can't grasp Japanese well enough to get by without her help. What really baffles me is that even though she knows I understand everything uttered in the morning meeting (all in Japanese), she feels the need to translate her conversation about the weather she has with my coworker nearest my desk.

These are the types of people that I think we can be justified in becoming upset with. I had a person at work like this. Even though I'm holding a conversation perfectly fine in Japanese they sit there trying to translate into English. The type of person that has only passable English but thinks they are great because Japanese people will think anyone who can get past "I'm fine thank you, and you?" in English is fluent, when in reality my Japanese is far better than their English.

People like the author need to be really careful not to let the constant parade of "nihongo jouzudesune" get to their head. The never-ending pissing contest between foreigners about who has the best nihongo is tiring and pathetic. Think about how you feel when someone who has poor or simply passable English insists on speaking in English even though Japanese would be easier. Maybe Yuko can speak decent English and was just trying to show Mike that her English isn't so bad. I think people who don't really understand the culture are the ones who have trouble with this kind of thing. Like someone up their pointed out, Yuko is probably thinking maybe Mike would be happy to speak in English sometimes. People who don't have international experience revert to thinking "If I were abroad I'd be really happy if someone spoke to me in Japanese" so they think foreigners here would appreciate the same, when in actuality most of the foreigners in Japan are snobs.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: 28-year-old man accused of punching 2-year-old boy to death See in context

the older I get and the more sickening stories like this I read, the more I think that people like this should just be killed to keep this kind of filth out of the gene pool. sounds harsh but I honestly think people who kill/rape children should just be immediately executed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Annoying habits by train commuters, hot trends for 2011 and other survey results See in context

Yeah... not going to a fast food restaurant alone??? These people don't ever go for lunch during work or anything? That's one of the places I think you'd find the most people on their own. Also family restaurants, they are one of the few places here I feel I don't feel so strange being alone in. I see people alone all the time who order the drink bar and just sit and read/study or whatever.

Karaoke, amusement park, and izakaya I definitely understand. The rest are kind of.. surprising.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Unemployed 30-yr-old man arrested for kidnapping 5-yr-old girl in Chiba See in context

Not excusing the man at all but how stupid can the mother be? Leaving a 5 year old alone outside the front of supermarket?

Too many people here seem to be lulled into thinking Japan is so safe it's ok to just leave your kids alone anywhere. I remember a few months ago at the local supermarket I saw an infant in a carseat sleeping alone in the car next to me. It wasn't hot enough to endanger the kid's life but... really? Leaving an infant alone in a parked car?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 70,000 commuters delayed by quarrel over cell phone on train in Chiba See in context

The culprit is the moron who decided to push the emergency button on the platform. It's not a "fight alarm." Just knock on the damn window in the front of the train and tell the conductor.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Which of Tokyo's commuter rail lines have the best babes and worst habits? See in context

The sobu honsen out in rural chiba area usually has at least one to two creepy men who just walk up and down the train. I would say that compared to any other line I've used, the sobu line has the highest amount of passengers that can't seem to just stick to one seat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of the banking system in Japan? What are the pros and cons? See in context

Charging you fees to withdraw at your bank's OWN ATM simply because it's a Saturday or after 5:00pm is highway robbery and needs to stop.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Girls, girls, girls See in context

Cos, it's not a snack bar. They aren't going to sit there and talk to you and pour drinks. They are just waitresses with skimpy outfits and big breasts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: In Japan, the customer is not king See in context

Saizeriya is a chain and completely cookie-cutter yet my girlfriend has been able to get them to replace tomatoes on top of one of the pastas with nori in multiple locations.

I realize in a lot of places they aren't so flexible, I think it's just hit or miss. As others have pointed out, looking at Japanese culture through your own country's perspective is always a foolish. This isn't America...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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