Friday, September 2, 2011

Weird Questions.

Before I came to Japan, I heard some rumors that students here in Japan ask questions that would be considered rude or invasive in one's own native country.  After I got used to the "Do you have a Boyfriend?" question, I didn't have too many offensive questions.  Sure, I got weird questions like "Do you like Mr. (teacher's name here)?" or the occasional brave soul would ask "Will you marry me?" But in the end, nothing really stood out.  

My other friends here tell different stories.  Some males have been asked their "size." Others have been asked "When was your first kiss?" or "How many girl/boyfriends have you had?" or "Do you play sex?" just to name a few that I've been told of.  To be honest, students may have asked such questions in Japanese, and if they did so in the first six or so months of my arrival, there's no way for me to know. 


I decided to write about toilets because of this picture I found in the ladies' room at a local rest stop: 

When I saw this, I laughed...hard.  Firstly, why, in Japan, does anyone need a reminder of how to use a western-style toilet?  Are there really people who have used only squat toilets their whole life and stumble upon this as their first toilet?  And can you imagine what sort of incident might have happened to encourage this place to put up the sign in the first place?  My imagination tells me that some little old obaachan (grandmother/elderly woman) climbed up onto this western-styled toilet seat, found it difficult to balance, and slipped.  Maybe she fell in, or maybe she got stuck somewhere, but in the end the station decided to post signs on correct toilet usage.