Love and Hate



real book



I’ve got a love/hate relationship with Japan. I’m pretty sure all immigrants to all countries do. Unless it’s a hate-hate relationship, in which case I hope you get your extradition granted. 


Overall, the love outbalances the hate, or else we’d just go home. Even if it’s just the love of the money we make. 


HATE – Japanese drivers

Holy crap these people cannot drive. For reals. Parking in the middle of the road on a curve to go to the post office/vending machine/whatever. Driving with no lights. Doing 120kph on the expressway (limit is 80), sometimes with no lights. Giant scary trucks changing lanes without warning, careening into spaces 2 feet longer than the length of their truck. Sometimes with no lights, sometimes with thousands of multi-coloured blinking lights (and those ghetto blue lights fixed underneath the truck to light up the road). Reversing onto a road FAST, without looking. Breaking lights. 


I know this shit happens everywhere. There’s a crucial difference though. In other places, the perpetrators are assholes. In Japan, they’re just not paying attention. Which is worse. An American almost-making-it as they try to get around the car park against the one-way system is actually less annoying than an 80-year-old Japanese lady creeping around the car park at 2kph peering at every space and not noticing that you’re reversing away from them. You can sort of respect someone who tries to get away with something. Someone who’s just oblivious is so much more irritating. 


LOVE – No matter what you do, no matter how bad/assholish your driving is, Japanese people will never ever flip you off. In fact, if you cut them off and then bow a little (while still seated in your car, obviously), chances are they’ll bow back. And marvel that a gaijin can drive.


ETA – I love that the wordpress spellchecker recognises asshole as a word, but not internet. Or wordpress.


Edited again to remove extraneous “ass” from line above. Apologies.


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