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Hateus Japanus Expatricus

Illustration by Marco Mancini

Great bar bores of the world No. 4325
No account of the Asian region would be complete without a brief description of one of the most well established and persistent of all the great bar bores of the world - Hateus Japanus Expatricus. This section will deal primarily with the male of the species, which is far more common in the Japanese islands. Instantly recognizable by a sizeable paunch and patchy skin, members of the species can be found throughout Japan although they tend to be in greater numbers in urban areas. A nocturnal creature, he is most comfortable in the Roppongi district or other downtown areas of the metropolis and can be glimpsed at play, frolicking among the city's undergrowth with complete abandon.

The most distinctive feature of this common but infinitely perplexing creature is its song. Despite being a hunter by nature, once the chances of a successful killing have all but left (about the time of the last train), Hatetus Japanus Expatricus will settle into a lengthy and quite distinctive monologue. Varying from a kind of high-pitched whine to a series of stammered gurgles. The song can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours (believed to be dependent on alcohol intake). Even experts who have monitored the behavioral patterns of these bizarre and fascinating beast have difficulty deciphering exactly what the song is designed for. As Dr Dave Calculus of the University of California explains, "We are fairly certain that it is a form of communication. Occasionally, there does appear to be a glimmer of recognition on the faces of other members of the group. They will nod or shake their heads at various points during the recital. Why, exactly, we are not too sure, but it's almost as if they are talking to each other. Incredible really."

A typical song is based upon this simple rhythmical pattern. To gain full authenticity, drink ten pints of lager and slur slightly: "The thing I hate about Japan is blah blah de blah desu ne. Blah blah the way they blah de blah blah they always stare blah blah blah desho ... another thing blah blah where's me pint? ... Blah blah they can't speak a word of English blah blah ... blah not like that at home blah blah desu ne ... blah back in my country blah blah desu ne ... etc." If accompanied by female of adopted country the word "daijoubu," which is believed to be a question, is added every half hour). Notice the occasional use of the native language of the country they are in - some experts say that this may actually be an attempt to acquire a functional form of communication. Other fields of thought believe it to be just "talking a load of old crap."

Many thanks to Stephen Cotterill for this Rant.

Metropolis Online
381: The Crisp Linen Suit Syndrome
Unbearable heat and crisp linen suits
380: Smile
Smile when you see another foreigner
379: What sign are you?
When signs start to complicate life
378: Off with the gloves
Battle of the readers
377: Stop before you shop
Stores that scare away gaijin
376: Home sweet home
Modern housing in Japan?
375: Nihonjinron
Theories of Japaneseness and insecurity
374: Plastic bags
Do we really need them for everything?
373: Doctor knows best?
A scary visit to a Japanese hospital
372: Don't forget the finger wagger
So you've never complained about Japan?
371: A-choob tale
The Sneezing Salaryman
370: The gaijin language snob
Dare to cross his path
369: Nihongo
One man's struggle...
368: Making sense of Roppongi
Why do I keep going back?
367: Hateus Japanus Expatricus
Great bar bores of the world
366: Plants and animals
Darwin's turning in his grave
365: No more groping - for now
Women only train cars
364: Man's best friend
Pets have it rougher
363: In praise of Tokyo taxi drivers
A good ride all around
362: The Big Boot Brigade
Masters of the oversized-shoe
361: The case of the missing garbage cans
Where art thou o garbage can?
360: Ramen for the soul
Japanese chicken soup
359: Revenge of the nerds Part II
Geeky guys with hot girls
358: Little old ladies
Grandmas packing a punch
357: Starbucks sanctuary
Stop the Starbucks insanity
356: Pet name problem
My sweet little... carrot?
355: Unclean Jeans
Jeans McNasty
354: My chosen profession
Lindsay Nelson's the name, English teaching's the game
352/3: Merry Christmas... sort of
Merry and not-so-Merry Christmas in Japan
351: Last temptation of rice crackers
Breaking big bills the hard way
350: Revenge of the nerds
Gaijin girls are just jealous

ISSUES 300-349
ISSUES 250-299
ISSUES 233-249