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What is worse in Europe - Page 12

post #166 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
As well, even in China now, if you have some sort of Caucasian significant other, people stare and gossip.

I find Japan to be very tolerant in this regard. In a sense, mixed couples have a kind of status-symbol significance.

The most humorous situation I encounter when I'm out with Pussycat is that store clerks will often address their part of a conversation with me to her, even though I'm the one doing all the talking. It's as if they assume I can't speak Japanese and she's going to act as interpreter, in spite of evidence to the contrary.
post #167 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by m@T
do you say "whats it all aboot?"

Why yes, M@T, yes I do.
post #168 of 173
THis has gone in another direction, but one other point to make about Taiwan/China is that the two countries have been separate for more than a century. By the end of WWII, Japan had ruled Taiwan for 50 years-- and shortly thereafter came the Communist victory in the Revolution. A long time of being cut off from the mainland. And in Chinese terms, they had been a pretty recent addition to the Empire before that.
post #169 of 173
Re: English speaking Canadians and Americans traveling abroad. Years ago, a well traveled English speaking Canadian friend recommended that I wear a Maple Leaf lapel pin when leaving the U.S unless I was traveling to Quebec, where an American flag lapel pin would serve me better.
post #170 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
I find Japan to be very tolerant in this regard. In a sense, mixed couples have a kind of status-symbol significance.

The most humorous situation I encounter when I'm out with Pussycat is that store clerks will often address their part of a conversation with me to her, even though I'm the one doing all the talking. It's as if they assume I can't speak Japanese and she's going to act as interpreter, in spite of evidence to the contrary.


I tried to get a japanese barber to cut my hair once. the look on his face suggested that I had asked him to wipe my ass. that may not have been the common reaction, though, I was too mortified to try another barber.
post #171 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
I tried to get a japanese barber to cut my hair once. the look on his face suggested that I had asked him to wipe my ass. that may not have been the common reaction, though, I was too mortified to try another barber.
I suspect there may have been some sort of ceremony that involved bowing in order to request a hair cut.
post #172 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
I tried to get a japanese barber to cut my hair once. the look on his face suggested that I had asked him to wipe my ass. that may not have been the common reaction, though, I was too mortified to try another barber.
The Japanese have an unfortunate tendency to freeze up in the presence of a foreigner, particularly where the language barrier comes into play. Just as you were too mortified to try another barber, he was probably mortified that he couldn't communicate with you and thereby make sure you were completely satisfied. One thing the Japanese are careful to do is confirm every request or every step of a process. In the case of a haircut, this is particularly important, as the possibility of dissatisfaction is very great. Japanese is a rather oblique language and also tends to be quite vague. There's a particular psychology to communicating in Japanese that involves a lot of apologizing and saying "please" and "thank you." It becomes rather bloated with ceremonial embellishments. A typical conversation might go as follows: "I'm terribly sorry to bother you when you're so busy, but could you possibly see fit to cut my hair. If it's not to much trouble, please be so good as to just give me a trim." "I don't mean to interrupt, but would you care to have it cut if over your ears?" "Yes, I'd very much appreciate it if you could do that for me." "And with regard to the back, would you prefer that I cut it square or perhaps tapered?" "Well, you're the barber, so ultimately I would leave it to your discretion, but usually I get it cut tapered." "Very well. You would like me to trim you hair over the ears and taper the back. Have I understood you correctly?" "Yes, I believe you've understood correctly." "Very well, then. Shall we proceed?" "Yes, let's." And so it goes. While this is somewhat exaggerated for effect, it is not all that far from how Japanese often comes off.
post #173 of 173
I like that interpretation - as this was during the boom days of the japanese econmomy, I just assumed that the barber didn't feel comfortable working with curly, course hair.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
The Japanese have an unfortunate tendency to freeze up in the presence of a foreigner, particularly where the language barrier comes into play. Just as you were too mortified to try another barber, he was probably mortified that he couldn't communicate with you and thereby make sure you were completely satisfied.

One thing the Japanese are careful to do is confirm every request or every step of a process. In the case of a haircut, this is particularly important, as the possibility of dissatisfaction is very great.

Japanese is a rather oblique language and also tends to be quite vague. There's a particular psychology to communicating in Japanese that involves a lot of apologizing and saying "please" and "thank you." It becomes rather bloated with ceremonial embellishments.

A typical conversation might go as follows:
"I'm terribly sorry to bother you when you're so busy, but could you possibly see fit to cut my hair. If it's not to much trouble, please be so good as to just give me a trim."

"I don't mean to interrupt, but would you care to have it cut if over your ears?"

"Yes, I'd very much appreciate it if you could do that for me."

"And with regard to the back, would you prefer that I cut it square or perhaps tapered?"

"Well, you're the barber, so ultimately I would leave it to your discretion, but usually I get it cut tapered."

"Very well. You would like to to trim you hair over the ears and taper the back. Have I understood you correctly?"

"Yes, I believe you've understood correctly."

"Very well, then. Shall we proceed?"

"Yes, let's."

And so it goes. While this is somewhat exaggerated for effect, it is not all that far from how Japanese often comes off.
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