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CheapyD tours Akihabara with fellow CAG thakingrocka + Gaijin vs Nihonjin DOA4 Action


#31 thakingrocka   El Profesor CAGiversary!   419 Posts   Joined 15.7 Years Ago  

thakingrocka

Posted 29 January 2006 - 09:41 AM

interesting question about racism, headrush.

i know i get a different reaction when i step up to play a game against a local than when other locals step up.

response to foreigners in this country truly ranges.
sometimes, you'll encounter people who are so surprised to see a foreigner, they stare slightly slack-jawed. other times, you get people who will change their seats on a train to get away from you. sometimes, you get people who want to ask you questions of childlike curiousity. and sometimes, you are given the cold shoulder regardless of your japanese ability and you can see their hearts beating rapidly in their chests as they hope upon hope that you will not talk to them any more.

and let it be known, that light-skinned foreigners are generally more well-accepted than fellow asians (who are hardly considered fellow at all) or dark-skinned foreigners.

here are two simple stories for you:

one night, i got a knock at the door, and opened it to find a neighbor from across the street bearing the gift of watermelon (which is exceedingly expeinsive here). she wanted to welcome me to the neighborhood, and worried that i might feel lonely with no family or friends around. she spoke no english, and at that time i spoke even less japanese, but kindness is a language unto itself.

last night, i went to dinner with my girlfriend (she's japanese). we went to a little italian place up the corner from me, a restaurant that purports to be authentic "napori" cuisine. i'm not sure how authentic the cuisine could be when the proprietor can't even spell the place of origin, but i've had authentic japanese cuisine prepared by filipinos and malaysians in new york who made spelling errors and the food still tasted just fine. anyway, my girlfriend walks in first and the guy asks her how many, etc... and seems to avoid eye contact with me despite my polite smile. then i call him over (in japanese) so we can place our order. we are sitting at a counter rather than a table. he goes on the far right side and crouches down to ask my girlfriend what we'll have. then when he delivers the pizza and the pasta, and the everything, he delivers it to my girlfriend's right side rather than between the two of us, where she would then have to place each item.

like i said, attitudes and reactions range. no different from anywhere else in the world i guess. as a matter of fact, despite having lived as a foreigner in both spain (albeit for the exceedingly short time of one month) and japan, i would say the place where i've encountered the most racism was xbox live. back in the good ole US of A. the majority of my disconnects are a reaction to racism rather than a poor connection speed. sometimes, i will argue, but there's no argument when someone is blind to the world around them.

oh, btw, i almost forgot about the time i heard some really chill-sounding jazz coming from a basement bar. i followed the music to the front door where i was greeted by a sign in english stating, "no foreigners". this was in 2001, maybe 2002. not too long ago really. racism is here, but overall i find i get either positive or middle-of-the-road reactions more than i get any negative ones.

#32 thakingrocka   El Profesor CAGiversary!   419 Posts   Joined 15.7 Years Ago  

thakingrocka

Posted 29 January 2006 - 09:56 AM

oh, as for overcharging, i don't see that it is done towards foreigners in particular. in any city, you are likely to encounter people taking advantage of tourists regardless of nationality. as a new yorker, i can usually spot those "not from around here" when back home. and, likewise, i imagine if i were to visit alabama, they'd be able to identify me.

regardless, most items have prices posted. it ain't easy to overcharge when the price is there. always remember the greatest bargaining tool: you don't need it. just forget it.

though the price come down then. how many times i have walked out of a chinatown shop only to have the owner chase me down and lower prices i can't tell you. they won't chase you down over here, but you should never pay too much for unnecessary items (the japanese don't really bargain or seem to understand the concept). the first time happened because i truly didn't feel my need of said item matched the high price, but it can be a decent technique.

#33 Sarang01   My Use Name Is Saber CAGiversary!   5586 Posts   Joined 14.8 Years Ago  

Posted 30 January 2006 - 07:43 AM

interesting question about racism, headrush.

i know i get a different reaction when i step up to play a game against a local than when other locals step up.

response to foreigners in this country truly ranges.
sometimes, you'll encounter people who are so surprised to see a foreigner, they stare slightly slack-jawed. other times, you get people who will change their seats on a train to get away from you. sometimes, you get people who want to ask you questions of childlike curiousity. and sometimes, you are given the cold shoulder regardless of your japanese ability and you can see their hearts beating rapidly in their chests as they hope upon hope that you will not talk to them any more.

and let it be known, that light-skinned foreigners are generally more well-accepted than fellow asians (who are hardly considered fellow at all) or dark-skinned foreigners.

here are two simple stories for you:

one night, i got a knock at the door, and opened it to find a neighbor from across the street bearing the gift of watermelon (which is exceedingly expeinsive here). she wanted to welcome me to the neighborhood, and worried that i might feel lonely with no family or friends around. she spoke no english, and at that time i spoke even less japanese, but kindness is a language unto itself.

last night, i went to dinner with my girlfriend (she's japanese). we went to a little italian place up the corner from me, a restaurant that purports to be authentic "napori" cuisine. i'm not sure how authentic the cuisine could be when the proprietor can't even spell the place of origin, but i've had authentic japanese cuisine prepared by filipinos and malaysians in new york who made spelling errors and the food still tasted just fine. anyway, my girlfriend walks in first and the guy asks her how many, etc... and seems to avoid eye contact with me despite my polite smile. then i call him over (in japanese) so we can place our order. we are sitting at a counter rather than a table. he goes on the far right side and crouches down to ask my girlfriend what we'll have. then when he delivers the pizza and the pasta, and the everything, he delivers it to my girlfriend's right side rather than between the two of us, where she would then have to place each item.

like i said, attitudes and reactions range. no different from anywhere else in the world i guess. as a matter of fact, despite having lived as a foreigner in both spain (albeit for the exceedingly short time of one month) and japan, i would say the place where i've encountered the most racism was xbox live. back in the good ole US of A. the majority of my disconnects are a reaction to racism rather than a poor connection speed. sometimes, i will argue, but there's no argument when someone is blind to the world around them.

oh, btw, i almost forgot about the time i heard some really chill-sounding jazz coming from a basement bar. i followed the music to the front door where i was greeted by a sign in english stating, "no foreigners". this was in 2001, maybe 2002. not too long ago really. racism is here, but overall i find i get either positive or middle-of-the-road reactions more than i get any negative ones.


Yeah I remember walking to my Hostel having to carry shit and the people that helped me find it grabbed it even though I think I may have tried to refuse once or twice. Quite nice. I have to say I REALLY appreciated it since my bags were heavy as Fuck and I was carrying shit from Korea as well, just DIVIDING my shit was a giant blessing.
One thing I learned from Japan though, next time I'm not spending like a week or two since it costs like a motherfucker to travel and all that shit. Also I plan to set up some monthly sub pass to switch off to the next person coming after me, split the cost up into week by week. Seriously if you're going to Japan with how expensive the subway is DO IT! Also check out Japan's Internet Cafe's, they're completely nice.
I would also suggest Korea to people which is nice too. For arcade games Korea has some great stuff: Ez2DJ, Ez2Dancer and D-Tech. Also the most arcade games cost there are like 30-50 cents a piece. Btw if you want ANY older games that haven't been released here you're more likely to find them cheaper on Korean PC than anywhere else, see "Farland Saga". I also found "Akumajo Dracula X" on PC and guess what?! Almost all of these are legit, just get the original Japanese script and English patch it then you've got less load time and cleaner graphics most likely as well.

#34 HeadRusch   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1290 Posts   Joined 14.4 Years Ago  

HeadRusch

Posted 30 January 2006 - 02:04 PM

Can you go to japan with little to no knowledge of speaking the language? I understand that many signs are in english, but that most people do not speak english. I am assuming most shopkeepers also do not speak english.

Also, if someone were to greet you in Japanese, and you responded with a "Hello" in english, would they look at you like some freakish alien being!? :D

#35

Guest_Apossum_*

Posted 30 January 2006 - 05:02 PM

http://www.theforeig.../sojapanese.htm


stumbled on this hilarious article
(note: the disclaimer is at the bottom)

#36 Darkside Hazuki   Inextinguishable. CAGiversary!   1292 Posts   Joined 14.4 Years Ago  

Darkside Hazuki

Posted 30 January 2006 - 09:41 PM

Sloppiness is not tolerated in Japanese society, and someone with a small wrinkle in their shirt, which they thought they could hide by wearing a hooded sweatshirt over it (possibly emblazoned with a catchy english phrase like "Spread Beaver, Violence Jack-Off!"), will be promptly beaten to death with tiny cellular phones.


:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

#37 HeadRusch   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1290 Posts   Joined 14.4 Years Ago  

HeadRusch

Posted 30 January 2006 - 09:48 PM

Japanese food is what some people would call "exotic", but what most people call "disgusting", or perhaps, in some areas, "whack". Japanese food evolved in ancient days, when the main staple of the diet was rice. People got so sick and tired of eating rice, in fact, that they ate just about anything else they could find, from seaweed to other Japanese people. This has led to the creation of such wonderful foods as "Natto", which I believe is a kind of bean but tastes like battery acid, and "Pocky", which is a stick with different frostings on it, the flavors of which include Sawdust and Strawberry.

Despite this variety of foods, however, the Japanese have succeeded in making every single thing they eat, from tea to plums, taste like smokey beef.


R O F L
SEE!? EXACTLY MY POINT! Wacky Japanese...!!

#38 Sarang01   My Use Name Is Saber CAGiversary!   5586 Posts   Joined 14.8 Years Ago  

Posted 31 January 2006 - 01:07 AM

Can you go to japan with little to no knowledge of speaking the language? I understand that many signs are in english, but that most people do not speak english. I am assuming most shopkeepers also do not speak english.

Also, if someone were to greet you in Japanese, and you responded with a "Hello" in english, would they look at you like some freakish alien being!? :D


Somewhat. Subway stations can be a BITCH to navigate if you're at the wrong one's since some have listings in English. Also you have to find the right ATM's that will accept your debit cards and THIS was in Tokyo! Post Office ATM's will, at least the one I was by will.
Honestly it's funny when it comes to being accommodating I think Korea is a LOT more so, with pretty much ANY ATM being around at the time accepting your debit card and the subway stops and stations listing your stops in English as well as Korean, announcements in the car also. Honestly though Korean isn't THAT hard to read if you gave yourself like 10 minutes to learn JUST how to read it, not translating as well. Like I know exactly how to spell "Samsung", "Lee Hyun Do", etc. in Korean. Some shit is more problematic, like "ae" and so on because I haven't really learned the complex vowels.
The real irony of all this is more people want to visit Tokyo, see White people especially I'm sure which is why I don't get the lack of accommodation when it comes to two BASIC things. I'm not asking for every Japanese person to speak English to me and help me around, just that the subway shit is in English as well as more ATM's to accept my card. Funny thing about that too, when I had that problem Japanese peeps understood me straight off and I had some problems with Koreans however but I was helped.
Also ya'll want to talk about people having a problem with you, well I was at Lotte World, a theme park in Korea, and some Korean girls saw me and screamed at me. Guess they hadn't seen a White guy with long hair and a beard before, truthfully I felt more like an alien in Korea though some people were REALLY nice to me.

#39 Kirin Lemon   世界を革命する者 CAGiversary!   5081 Posts   Joined 14.7 Years Ago  

Kirin Lemon

Posted 31 January 2006 - 06:51 AM

Somewhat. Subway stations can be a BITCH to navigate if you're at the wrong one's since some have listings in English as well and you have to find the right ATM's that will accept your debit cards and THIS was in Tokyo! Post Office ATM's will, at least the one I was by will.
Honestly it's funny when it comes to being accommodating I think Korea is a LOT more so, with pretty much ANY ATM being around at the time accepting your debit card as well as the subway stops and stations listing your stops in English AND Korean as well as announcing the stops like this. Honestly though Korean isn't THAT hard to read if you gave yourself like 10 minutes to learn JUST how to read it, not translating as well. Like I know exactly how to spell "Samsung", "Lee Hyun Do", etc. in Korean though some shit I have a problem with like "ae" and so on because I haven't really learned the complex vowels I think it is but I would like to finish learning it.
The real irony of all this is more people want to visit Tokyo, see White people especially I'm sure which is why I don't get their lack of accommodation when it comes to two BASIC things. I'm not asking for every Japanese person to speak English to me and shit and help me around just subway shit in English as well as more ATM's to accept my card. Funny thing about that too, when I had that problem Japanese peeps understood me straight off and I had some problems with Koreans however but I was helped.
Also ya'll want to talk about people having a problem with you I was at Lotte World, theme park in Korea, and some Korean girls saw me and screamed at me. Guess they hadn't seen a White guy with long hair and a beard before, truthfully I felt more like an alien in Korea though some people were REALLY nice to me.

Congratulations, you've mastered the art of the run-on sentence.

... My head hurts.

#40 CheapyMom   Non-Technical Advisor CAGiversary!   202 Posts   Joined 15.8 Years Ago  

CheapyMom

Posted 31 January 2006 - 01:19 PM

http://www.theforeig.../sojapanese.htm
stumbled on this hilarious article...

Am sorry I read this- I'm starting a Japanese course in February! 8-[

#41

Guest_Apossum_*

Posted 31 January 2006 - 05:11 PM

Am sorry I read this- I'm starting a Japanese course in February! 8-[



yeah, now I'm really looking forward to my 6 credit japanese class next semester.

Japanese teacher: Good morning, Harry.
Harry: Good morning.
Japanese classmates: gasps of horror and shock


:lol:

#42 GTmaster39   Wes Wes Ya'll CAGiversary!   1188 Posts   Joined 15.3 Years Ago  

GTmaster39

Posted 01 February 2006 - 12:16 AM

I Wanna Go!

#43 qualitydisc   with Rare Y-fold seal CAGiversary!   1516 Posts   Joined 13.8 Years Ago  

qualitydisc

Posted 08 April 2006 - 03:16 AM

You know anything about the "Trader" store BIGmog?

The Akihabara Trader store you mean? I found some amazing deals there 2 years ago (ie, a bunch of PSX RPGs for less than $5 ea.)

Anyway, I will be going back to Akihabara in June, as I am fortunate enough to be getting an all-expense-paid trip from a college journalism award that I just received.

#44 Sarang01   My Use Name Is Saber CAGiversary!   5586 Posts   Joined 14.8 Years Ago  

Posted 08 April 2006 - 04:55 PM

The Akihabara Trader store you mean? I found some amazing deals there 2 years ago (ie, a bunch of PSX RPGs for less than $5 ea.)

Anyway, I will be going back to Akihabara in June, as I am fortunate enough to be getting an all-expense-paid trip from a college journalism award that I just received.


Make sure to buy most of your shit online and have it shipped to you while you're in Japan and just take it home. I've been wanting to get a Japanese PO Box for this purpose since I think I can use my credit card but no one has given me info on it. X-(

#45 greydt   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   201 Posts   Joined 15.2 Years Ago  

Posted 24 April 2006 - 05:49 PM

Can you go to japan with little to no knowledge of speaking the language? I understand that many signs are in english, but that most people do not speak english. I am assuming most shopkeepers also do not speak english.

Also, if someone were to greet you in Japanese, and you responded with a "Hello" in english, would they look at you like some freakish alien being!? :D


Shouldn't be a problem. I went on a Japan trip craze a few months ago: ended up going there 3 times over a span of 13 months. First trip was part of a tour, but the other two trips were a week exploring Tokyo by myself.

I'm asian, but the extent of my Japanese was reading hiragana and being able to say "Sumimasen, Amerika-jin desu" ("Pardon Me, I'm American") when asked something. I actually wished there was a "foreigner" sign above me, because it was pretty much always assumed that I understood Japanese, which was kinda embarassing.

Some things helped:
- I have a Citibank account, so it was easy to withdraw money from the ATM at the Tokyo branch (limit was $1,000/day from each of your accounts (savings/checking)...as opposed to, I believe, $100 from the post office ATM). The exchange rate was better than what was offered at the hotels, plus the withdrawal amount helped with spending sprees ;)
- do research on-line about the train systems, for example, using the Suica cards while in Tokyo. Made things easier since I knew what to look for in advance.
- do research on-line about travelling in Japan. It'll give you tips, certain etiquette, etc. I also bought several Tokyo/Japan travel guides - not necessary, but I wanted to have something portable.
- if you're going to Tokyo, definitely buy a Tokyo map book before going: it'll be a lifesaver. The street arrangement there is crazy, plus it'll almost always contain a train map. When I first visited there alone, I just stuck with the JR line that goes in a loop, but hits all of the main areas (Shinjuku, Akihabara, Ikekuburo, Shibuya, etc.) The map book will also make it hard to get lost since it'll have stores and various named buildings on it for orientation.

However, I managed to survive going to ramen places, strip clubs, anime/video stores, porn shops, etc. with just one phrase, so it wasn't bad ;). However, DEFINITELY get a list of all of the places you want to go to (plus their addressess/locations), and plot them out on the maps. That way, you can make a beeline to the places you really want to go to, and have extra time to wander around (which is the fun part).

Of course, now I'm preparing to take Japanese language lessons after work, so I hope to have more than 3-4 words to say next time I'm there :)

#46 retro_killa   CAG Veteran CAGiversary!   27 Posts   Joined 12.7 Years Ago  

retro_killa

Posted 27 June 2006 - 12:19 AM

wow i need to move to japan ;) now if i can only fiud a good paying job