Wednesday, February 5, 2014

People Be Cray-zay

I've been looking for a new bike for a while. So, tonight I finally work up the courage to ask the staff at one of the shops about a bike. 
It's got thin tires...kinda scary. The fit is fine. I was all about to buy it, but then the guy is all, "Let's pick out a kick stand." And I'm all, "Whhaaa????"

I guess I've been out of the bike game for too long. I mean, wth, a bike without a kick stand? Why would someone sell that? Why would someone MAKE that? Like, I'm supposed to let my bike float in the air while I am out shopping?

The kick stand was going to be an extra $20 ish. Then, after calculating in the cost of fenders, a light, a basket and maybe a new lock, that would have been like another $100!


So, I told the guy I'd have to think it over. 

Since I've been going around town looking at bikes, I've seen a LOT of nice bikes. All of which cost an arm and a leg. Lately, Japanese people have been buying nicer and nicer bikes. When I first came here, most people were riding huge, shit, one speed bikes with squeaky breaks. These days you see people on "fixies," mountain bikes, city bikes and whatever other types are out there.

What's fucking crazy (in my mind) is that Japanese people treat their bikes like SHIT! I saw a bike parked outside, totally beaten up, today. I know for a fact that that bike goes for between $500 and $600 here in town. I know because I'd love to have that bike! 

When people park their bikes, they park them like they're throwing trash on the pile. My current bike had a back light broken in a parking lot. And everyday after work I have to wrestle it out of the tangle of other bikes. I don't pay good money for people to fuck up my shit. But for some reason, Japanese people do. It's not bikes either! I see it with cell phones ("dropped and smashed my iphone lulz"), with designer bags ("my chanel bag is molded lulz"), and designer wallets ("let me just drop this in a puddle lulz").

Why pay good money for something if you're not going to take care of it????

Japan, you crazy.

Excuses, Excuses...

The other day I was reading through r/japan on reddit, as you do, and I came across a post asking about apologies in Japanese culture. What I found interesting was one reply that said that Japanese people see American style explanations of what went wrong as 言い訳 (ii wake), or "excuses."

I found the answer to be very interesting because as an American, I, I need to know how someone came to their decision. I thought about that thread when I was chatting with my boyfriend last week. He went out drinking with some co-workers, ended up in at some station in Tokyo after the last train and had to take a taxi home...spending a lot of money. Then a day later, he drank too much and had to sleep in an internet cafe.

That's about all the details I've gotten out of him. I was expecting to hear a detailed account of how he went out with his coworker, they ate at this izakaya then went to that snack bar...that they drank 12 bottles of sake and made out with a homeless man before waking up in the middle of the street in their own barf. But just getting the part out about his coworker was pulling teeth!

Perhaps this, along with the apology style is the Japanese way of saying that what led up to the outcome doesn't matter, only the outcome. For me...for Americans, all those steps are so important to understanding...everything!

As a final, I've always wanted to say, "Joe said that Cindy said that you said that I said that I'd go," in Japanese. But the only way I know of cuts out all of the middle parts, giving you a very general, sad, "It seems that according to Joe I said I'd go." ジョは私が行くと言ったそうだ。Very frustrating.