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Geek parade

Geek parade

Illustration by Dot

So it hits the fan but someone has to do it.

The thing is: What is going on with gaijin men? They come over to Japan wide-eyed, completely naive, uncultured and untravelled. They think that because they are in Asia, in Japan, in Tokyo that they are in a "foreign" country and hence through some kind of unchartered osmosis encountering a "valid" experience. Yet all their "friends" are gaijin too, and all the places they go to have a gaijin majority (the Hump, Bar wasn't it?, Mofrown, Gaswankit).

So what is it that they jam their letters back home to mum with? How do they impress their compatriots down the local over a packet of pork scratchings? Here it is: They get a Japanese girlfriend. Hardly original or vaguely an over achievement, considering. My original confusion was "How does this work?" It took me four years to come to my conclusion. Stop me if I'm wrong (Oh you can't!).

Scenario A. A Japanese girl blindly chooses a geeky gaijin guy for several reasons:

She doesn't realize he's a geek and that no girl back home would touch him with a barge pole. In Japan for some twist in fate and fortunes, this nerd gives her street credibility. Apart from the obvious learning-English-for-free motive, there is also the apparent ease of dating a foreign man as they believe every bare-faced lie and fall flat on their faces for the short skirt and giggle routine.

Scenario B. The geek arrives in Japan just an inexperienced, untravelled, uncultured embarrassment (unfortunately most leave pretty much the same way with one or two superfluous adjustments - more/less money, a wife/ex-wife and maybe a few semi-interesting stories about sumo, love hotels, fish, and the Yamanote line). Suddenly he becomes a god, a direct reflex of scenario A.

The next stage in all the hullabaloo is Time. What will give first? Will she realize his true identity or vice versa? As a mere gaijin girlie my observations are highly taboo. Of course no one likes to realize that they have been deceived or that they themselves are responsible for the self-deception. A part of me hopes that this article has the power to spoil your romantic trip to Haneda airport or at least make you think twice in Mitsukoshi. Yet again another part of me wishes you all the best.

Many thanks to reader Kerry Rogers for this Rant.

Metropolis Online
349: Life in the cycle lane
Playing chicken with a ladybike
348: Daisuki na Tokyo
Tokyo's my favorite!
347: Nihongo dake!
Why am I not fluent in Japanese yet?
346: People make the city
The beauty of Tokyo's people
345: Cross Training
Commuting by train in Tokyo
344: Yellow Line Fever
A guide for the blind... and a pain in the neck
343: Welcome to Tokyo
What did you bring me?
342: Positive thinking
Three reasons why we love Japan
341: I'm a rounder...
Veterans of Japan vs. Japan rookies
340: Discard your bank cards
The labour of replacing lost bank cards
339: Shoganai...
It can't be helped
338: Respect your environment
Poluution problem in Tokyo
337: Strike Three - You're Enlightened
How omiyage ruins a vacation
336: Missing manners
No manners outside of Japan
335: Goodbye jitensha
Is stealing bikes a popular pastime in Japan?
334: War of the Words
English borrows from other languages too!
333: ENGLISH ONLY, please
Don't bother writing your name in Japanese
332: A menu carved in stone
No special requests for lunch!
331: The Zen of Looking Busy
The art behind faking work
330: Lyrical Phlegm
Japan's spitting dilemma
329: Rock harder, Japan
Big, bad and ugly concerts
328: Noise Deficiency
The unrelenting quiet that is not Japan
327: Chopstick Diplomat
Constant questioning = constant answering
326: Game over
Cutting off the game for regular scheduled program
325: Grown pains
The hooligan behavior of middle-aged salarymen
324: The Price of Fame
Young teen actors light up on-screen
323: A Customary Affair
The universal language of consumerism
322: Robber barons
JR steals from the rich.. and the poor
321: Tegami Or Not Tegami
Deny the letter to save money
320: The Garbage Men
Variations of the "salaryman"
319: Holidaze
Japan - Home of the lamest holidays in the world
318: Box your ears
Be the karaoke star you've always dreamed of
317: The winter of my discontent
No oden if it's spring please!
316: The Bells
Going insane from bells and voices
315: The Big Tokyo Trash Mystery
No garbage cans + too much garbage= a clean city?
314: The Kamikaze Spirit
The war may be over but the spirit lives on
313: Movie Mania
Laughing alone in the corner
312: Geek parade
What's going on with gaijin men?
311: Gleaming gomi
Rinse it out before you throw it out
310: Lower Mathematics
Teaching practical mathematical equations
309: Escalator clots
Blocking the flow of escalator traffic
308: Sky's the limit
Favorite channel on the hit list
307: Bring on the studmuffins
Thanks to the "Men looking for women"
306: Burning Rubber
Narrowly averting bicycle collisions
305: Fishy Business
The sushi wasn't dead
304: The Invisible Gaijin
When gaijins collide
303: Talk work only
The Japanese perception of idleness
302: From kotatsu, with love
A blanket covered electric coffee table
300: Why 2K?
The millennium bug ain't no big deal

ISSUES 350-381
ISSUES 250-299

ISSUES 233-249