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Tales of Japan: Communication Across Language Barriers
Sunday. 7.15.07 8:39 pm
[At a Buddhist Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo]

*Old man approaches our group of Americans*

*We look at old man*

*Old man looks at us.*

*Old man speaks a sentence of Japanese*

*We don't speak Japanese*

*Old man looks at us puzzled.*

*We look at old man puzzled.*

*Old man points to nearby statue.*

*'Buddha' old man says.*

*We nod in fascination.*

*Old man pulls out cell phone.*

*Old man points to Buddha figurine attached by key-chain to cell phone.*

*'Buddha' old man says.*

*We nod in fascination*

*Old man points to Hello Kitty figurine attached by chain to cell phone.*

*'Meow' old man says*

*We all break out laughing.*
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7 Comments.


I was always under the impression that you had to speak at least a LITTLE of the language before going on a trip to another country. :S

Was he trying to sell you souvenirs or something?
» randomjunk on 2007-07-15 09:18:00

Silly Americans...
We always yell at Mexicans for never learning English, and here we are traveling to foreign places without knowing a bit of Japanese. Tsk tsk ;-)

Haha I don't know if it was an attempt at humor or just simple communication on the old man's part. I mean Asian's are prone to that kind of simple, unintentionally funny kind of funny....so I was just wondering.

I'm trying to steer clear of stereotypes, but I might be shallow to say that I'm surprised he carried a cell phone. My grandpa had one once, never really figured out how to use it (he was Chinese, from the way back generation). Also, what's up with the Hello Kitty, aren't those for little kids lol.

Have fun, bring back more stories from Japan...
» The-Muffin-Man on 2007-07-15 11:06:31

the old man meows? thank god i'm not the only one that meows.
» renaye on 2007-07-15 11:20:35

LOL!! Yea, I was under the impression that you know a little of the language before you went to Japan too.. Did you really go there without knowing some Japanese??
Oh wait.. you do know what nihonjin is, so you should know a little.. but not enough to understand the priest it seems.
» Nuttz on 2007-07-16 04:37:30

Would've been pretty interesting if he had. After a while he started looking like the black Spiderman [Venom?] though, so maybe it wasn't President Kennedy's ghost after all. :P
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