May 1998 – email11

From: Gary Ploski
5/25/98 0:46
Subject: Resistence is futile…
To: meyou will be assimilated.

        That is the truth for what’s happened to me. I’ve assimilated and I didn’t even realize it. While watching a ‘dorama’ drama the other night that was based in the states I thought an interesting thought about a particular scene. A car was coming toward the camera and as the car passed the camera panned along to follow its progress. As the car neared the corner it slowed to turn; my first thought was “Huh?”  The car continued its progress through the turn and I though again “HUH?! Why is the car driving on that side of the road? It’s the states!”

        FYI — the driver had turned properly. I realized this about 3 seconds or so after I had the thought. “Hello me! Anybody in there?” I’ve assimilated. Along the same line of thought — As I approach a street and need to cross I don’t do the same thing that I did about a month ago. I look the correct way.

        That’s right! I look right then left. I typed that without thinking!! It’s in my head now. Boy oh boy is driving gonna be fun. “What did you say? I can’t go! It’s a red light!” “Gar, you can turn on red here–” “But I can’t cross the traffic! …Oh, wait, you meant right turn on red. hehehe. Opps” Yes I’m gonna have fun. Goin from LRL to RLR to LRL again, Somebody get this man a Slurpy(tm). BRAIN FREEZE… I wonder it that’ll get me back into the US way of life quicker than gradual time thing…. Hmmmm. Do I smell a book in the works? “Slurpy: The Reverse Culture Shock Cure.

        Yes I’m all mixed up. I read things with Japanese pronounciations. Oy vey. I’m alllll messed up. Aint it a beautiful thing! Haha. Somebody get me a SLURPY ™ QUICK! At least, before it melts. It would taste good, but I’d lose the brain freeze thing. Bummer. Get me the frozen juice.

        So as it looks I’ve found the trains and roads to be a normal way of life. I don’t even think about it anymore. Weird and not. I guess it was a fairly painless occurence…. NOT! Crazy am I? Yeah. A few times in need of saying is that. Somebody break out the BBQ cause I here there’s a holiday happening in the states – Memorial Day.

        Well, that’s the wrap on what I’ve realized over the past week or so. I wonder what will happen next. Will I start to feel comfortable sitting in seiza? THat’s the position in which you kneel for lengthy periods of time. Who knows, I’ve been doing it a lot at night. Nobody knows……

        Till next week…. Find the break out the BBQ’s and make sure you don’t watch “Village of the Damned” before you crank it up. If you rememeber the movie, you’ll understand my warning. If you don’t wanna break out the BBQ, get out your Lego’s (TM), Y?  just because they ROCK! Lego’s are the answer to the worlds problems. Now that I’ve typed that I need to think for a while to come up with some lame reason that I can tell all of you later. : )  Hey, I gotta try.  have a crazy day. ciao cito ANNINJAPAN

From: AnninJapan 5/25/98 22:19
Subject: Re: Resistence is futile…

Dear Gary, LRL,RLR I do the same thing.  Except it refers to the legs that I itch with mosquito bites.  They love me.  I thought just maybe, MAYBE the mosquitos in this country… appropriately named KA (which sounds like the sound I make when I get bit) wouldn’t like me.  They love me in the states.  I got attacked once in Virginia by a feasting party… 40 bites in 3 minutes…  I just hoped they wouldn’t love me here too…  They do though.  I must be an international cuisine.  I go to Korea next month.. do you think they will like me there too?

I watched Village of the Damned last night.  I always wonder about the selection of those Sunday night movies.  Have you ever noticed that they seem to show nothing but the violent ones?  I mean where is Bridges of Madison County or something like that?  I heard a friend say one time that they always seem to show the most violent American movies… lots of blood and guts.  Have you ever heard of the gaigin buses here in Japan?  Have you seen one?  They are the buses that are big and black and drive around broadcasting in Japanese “Foreigners go Home”.. etc. etc. etc.  I think maybe the Sunday night movies are another form of brainwashing… like America is a violent place… which it is… at least from my recent updating of a kid killing kids and family in Oregon.

Yep, your culture shock upon your return will be great.  I have had my own 10 months of “Ignorance is Bliss” here in Japan and I am not overly fond of the info. that people think I need to know back home.  I keep trying to tell them “Imagine what your world would be like if you woke up each day and there was nothing earth shattering”  I wonder if I will ever be able to go home.

That’s your next topic Gary, things that will be different….. like big people… BIG PEOPLE.  Like families that can’t afford school trips and supplies while Japanese kids explore their country side…. like people blatantly shop lifting in grocery stores… like food stamps…. like walking down the street and wondering about your safety…. like kindergarteners that can’t even walk to school by themselves let alone commute to a different city…..ahhh the things I don’t miss.

Speaking of bar-b-que…… I tried a new restaurant in Ginza the other day. The name was Farm Grill.  They had a lunch buffet.. all you can eat for 980 yen.  They must not have realized that I was comming when they set the price. The biggest draw of this restaurant was the rotisserie chicken with real bar- b-que sauce.  The food was plenty, and delicious.  A little taste of home if you are missing it.  If you want directions let me know.

While in Ginza saw a strange thing.  Couldn’t get an interpretation on it. For lack of a better description we saw a ton of riot police and a group of men arms all linked together marching down the street.  There were also a ton of buses in the area.  Buses with wire caging all over them.  It implied that the people marching were criminals.  My friend Emily believes it was the public humiliation marches… like hey everyone… take a look at these people…. We don’t know for sure… but I have this gut feeling she was right. Later, Ann

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *