There are many joys to be found from living in Japan. Low crime rate, friendly cashiers, and the thrill of being in the land where both Kitty-chan and Godzilla (the kawaii & the kowai) can happily coexist are three such examples.
But indisputably the greatest joy can only be… watching bakabakashii Japanese television.
Dave Spector, an American personality with remarkable Japanese skills, told a story I just had to repeat.
The story went something like this:
Apparently there was a foriegner who came to Japan. Not having much money he did his bathing at the local 銭湯 sentou. Of course at a sentou, one must disrobe. He was annoyed with how day after day his fellow Japanese bathers would stare and occasionally laugh at him.
After a while it was time for him to go home. Gathering his courage and nominal Japanese skills, he went to the sentou. Standing up in front of the snickering bathers, he proclaimed:
The bathers laughed even harder.
僕 boku I
ただ tada just; only
にんじん ninjin carrot
“I’m just a carrot, I tell ya!”
of course he wanted to say 僕はただの人間です！ boku wa tada no ningen desu! I’m only human!