Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More 日本の友達 whining…

…and then I’m done for the moment. Last year, on the advice of my 日本語の先生 (who excels in giving bad and/or incomplete advice), I volunteered at JapanFest to specifically meet a Japanese friend. I discovered that, given the opportunity, most Japanese will shun anyone not Japanese and will form their own sub-groups. Ironically, I made a Taiwanese friend who was very happy to meet* someone from her new neighborhood. We carried on an e-mail correspondence for a couple of weeks during which she vowed to stay in touch and to get together with friends when her college / work / involuntary volunteering time allowed (her scholarship demanded that she serve the local community, selfish bastards), and then she vamoosed without a trace. I hope she’s dead.

So, I joined the JASG in order to network. They have a monthly 火曜日会 dinner meeting for their Young Professionals group. I’m not exactly young, but a lot of the people who attend aren’t exactly professional, so it’s cool. It’s really just a casual meet* and greet and eat type of affair. I noticed two things I saw in a picture taken from a previous event: 1) there weren’t many Japanese present, and 2) the ones who attended had moved to a separate table and had their backs to the Americans.

Attendance at the meetings has been better lately, I think largely because they haven’t been holding them at Western restaurants. I finally made it to my first meeting at a Malaysian place, and almost half of the attendees were Japanese. Unfortunately, my observances were correct. It seems the Americans attend these meetings in order to make Japanese friends, and the Japanese attend these meetings in order to make Japanese friends. The JASG representative forced them to mingle a little, which they did unwillingly but politely enough. I still have yet to make a Japanese friend, but I have collected a few cards and they have been mostly responsive to courteous offers to get together in the future, as long as we don’t do Western stuff and there are mostly Japanese present.

But rather than curse their yellowness, I think we in the JASG should do our best to bring them into the American fold. Next time, I think I’ll invite them to a complimentary dinner at MFSushibar (the MF is for Magic Fingers – keep your dirty thoughts to yourself), possibly Atlanta’s best sushi bar with prices to prove it, and then we Americans can chloroform the Japanese. When they awake, they’ll find themselves strapped to a chair in Folk’s Southern Restaurant. I’ll give them a choice – commit seppuku on the spot, or join us for dinner. Nobody leaves alive without having at least two fried things, one thing with gravy, and a large glass of sweet tea. That should remind them that they’re immigrants, not colonists, and will start them on the trail of becoming true Americans, by which I mean really fat. For those that resist our hospitality and still insist on going somewhere that they can meet* Japanese people, speak Japanese, and eat Japanese food, I recommend going here.

* Everytime I try to talk about meeting an Asian woman, I always spell it as “meat”. Keep your Freudian thoughts to yourself.

6 comments:

Kira said...

I already told you my thoughts on this approach. I still offer to stand by as the chef for an in-apartment experience of Southern food. It'll be fun to see them forced to eat whatever I cook out of politeness.

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Oh and you MUST make them eat a whole bowl of grits too. They'll HATE that. ;)

Tai said...

mmmmm meat mmmmmm

Patti said...

LMAO at Stacy's suggestion of grits...

I can't help but think Why would you want to be friends with the japanese when they are so stand-offish and rude? Thrill of the chase? Something even MORE sinister? Bwaaa haaa haaaaa

グラント said...

kira - we'll see. If I truly want to introduce them to good cooking, we'll go with your plan. If I just feel like torturing them - Waffle House.

pq - they have something called yamakake (やまかけ), which is like cream of wheat without the overpowering harsh flavor. Their delicate palates will fry under our assault of Southern cuisine.

tai - Japanese women generally don't have a lot of meat on their bones, but that makes them ideal for casseroles and soups like 肉じゃが.

patti - some are rude and standoffish, but others are very nice, if a bit shy. My waitress pal is very friendly and I enjoy talking to her. I just have to wade through the unfriendly ones to find the ones I like.

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Oooo...got another one. Hot fried pork rinds with Louisiana hot sauce.