InvisibleGaijin’s 59 Ways to Tell if You’re Gaijin, not a Gaikokujin

9 years ago by in Travel

1. You call yourself gaijin because you know it pisses off the newbie gaikokujin.

2. You bow repeatedly when talking on the phone.

3. You offer your business card before shaking hands with a visitor from overseas.

4. You prefer Japanese Big Macs to American Big Macs.

5. You can sing enka perfectly but Japanese colleagues still ask you to sing “Country Road” at karaoke.

6. You freak out folks back home when you take off your shoes at the door.

7. You automatically duck your head when exiting the subway.

8. You ignore other gaijin, especially the tourists who make eye contact and smile.

9. You have pretended you don’t speak English at least three times.

10. You fold the paper wrapper for the chopsticks to make a neat little stand.

11. You put chopsticks back into the paper wrapper AND rewrap the rubber band around the bento box when you’re done.

12. You keep expecting restaurants back home to give you a nice hot towel at the beginning of every meal.

13. You watch Sho-ten, Chibi-Maruko, then Sazae-san on TV every Sunday.

14. You no longer wonder why Americans have such large asses.

15. You still wonder why Japanese don’t have any asses.

16. You recycle plastic bottles, meat trays, cardboard, and milk cartons.

17 .You have run outside and bought a yaki-imo during the winter.

18. You find the McDonalds Mr. James stereotype to be mildly amusing and not worth getting upset over.

19. You can name at least 23 Japanese prefectures.

20. You have climbed Mt. Fuji more than once.

21. You sympathize with gaijin tarento on TV even if you find their gei unfunny.

22. You have impressed Japanese friends with a senryu, kotowaza, or yojijukugo once too many times.

23. You frequent at least three izakaya where everybody knows your name.

24. You avoid the American Club like the plague.

25. You know everybody’s name at Tokyo 2.0 and CGM Night.

26. You can tell jokes in Japanese that actually make Japanese people laugh.

27. You can read/write kanji your Japanese friends can’t.

28. You save the plastic bags from the supermarket to use as trash bags.

29. You shake your head when you see people put out moenai gomi on moeru gomi day.

30. You actually like natto, shirako, sazae-no-tsuboyaki, kusaya, or shiokara.

31. You have a favorite brand of Japanese sake, shochu, or beer.

32. You avoid Roppongi because they are too many gaijin.

33. You have been inside one of those “oppai momi-momi” places in Roppongi.

34. You think self-proclaimed otaku you meet online are just silly.

35. You have carried a mikoshi at a local matsuri or danced at obon.

36. You have published at least three photos of “Engrish” signs on your blog.

37. You have a sake story, just as you have a tequila story.

38. You have carried a co-worker onbu-style after a company party at least three times.

39. You know which vending machines have the best prices.

40. You are friends with all the obasan in the neighborhood and they always compliment your nihongo.

41. You go to the gym and stoically pretend not to notice Japanese staring at your private parts.

42. You bathe twice as much here than you used to back home.

43. You prefer Japanese junk food to the stuff you can get back home.

44. You go back home on vacation but wonder why things don’t work like they do in Japan.

45. You know the back-story of Hachiko in Shibuya.

46. You never miss the last train no matter how drunk you get.

47. Japanese people are shocked to discover you’re gaijin when they meet you for the first time in person.

48. You can do a passable regional dialect.

49. You can name at least 17 Sumo waza.

50. You can explain the difference between Kanto and Kansai styles of unagi.

51. You have been to Nikko and can say kekko.

52. You cry watching Japanese dramas on TV but never admit it to gaijin friends.

53. You have at least three books on Japan/Japanese culture that you bought but never read.

54. You have been inside the gates of the Imperial Palace on the Emperor’s birthday or oshogatsu.

55. You don’t bother commenting on stupid blog entries about weird Japan.

56. You know the difference between okonomi-yaki and monja-yaki.

57. You no longer try to explain why you choose to live in Japan to friends back home.

58. You think Tamori is funnier than Sanma.

59. You think, “I should have written that,” when reading a weird Japan story in the New York Times.

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