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Friday, July 13, 2012

Little Brother Is Watching You

Matthew recently sent me a link to this great story from the Japan-Talk website discussing how the close-knot communities in Japan can work for you and against you... and by 'you',  I'm not just talking about gaijin (foreigners), but rather locals.

You can read that article HERE.

It was an article that Matthew was indeed correct about me associating with it. In fact... that was reason why I suddenly - out of the blue - wrote about me getting lost in the rice field's of Japan in my last blog entry: LOST. It's also the first adventure of mine NOT to have a rock and roll title. Look for more of that.

That was the last time I was anonymous in Japan. After that, everyone knew all about me and my penchant for getting lost. It also seems that after that, whenever I traveled about in that country, it would rain, earning me the nickname Ame Otoko (Rain man). People dressed according to my travel plans. I believe that to be a joke, but I'm not sure. 

If I rode my bike around town with a small rip in it, people noticed, and the next day I would often find a couple of new shirts in my mailbox. It beats me where they found my size (I was 12 inches smaller in the chest back then) - or even knew my size, but they always seemed to fit. I'll be honest... I never even thought about the size-thing until just now.      

When people discovered I liked a certain food, people would drop by with freshly made dishes for me.

When people discovered I loved baseball, they come up and discuss last night's action with me hoping I saw the game.

When people knew I had been dumped by broken up with Ashley, I'd have women coming out of the woodwork to hit on me, or guys proffering up an eager co-worker for me to 'date'. Honestly, I was alone for maybe four weeks in three years. All in a row, mind you, which sucked.

All good, right?

But then... think about  it this way... people were talking about me. And where there's the good, there's always the bad.

My ex-girlfriend Noboko... one of the reasons WHY she did not want to start dating me was that she had heard I was sleeping my with a few women at the same time.  That I was actually dating them and having them buy me stuff while I borrowed money from them.

Not true. I have slept with more than my fair share of beautiful women. Many of whom I did not date. But the things Noboku described were so beyond who I was that it could not have been further from the truth. Another teacher on the JET Programme in a city far, far away had actually done the money thing. He sold all of his furniture in his apartment and then took off for home or parts unknown. True story... but it wasn't me. I have too much respect for people.  

So... being known as a male slut... is that good or bad? In Japan, for men, this isn't as bad as you might think. But, for a foreigner intent on making a good impression - this was horrifying.

Then there  were rumors that I frequented the London Club, a 'dirty' club that was about a five minute drunken stagger from my apartment in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken.

While I was always curious about what went on in there - and no one would really tell me because that would mean they had actually been in there - I had never set foot in there, or even looked at it when passing it by on my way elsewhere. Still, others thought I was a real sukebe (pervert) for a while.

I was... just not in that way.

Thanks again, Matthew!
Andrew Joseph

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