ALL foreigners speak English. All of them. Every single one.

2 Jul

Had that NZ speech today. Went fine, considering I haven’t done a speech like that for about 8 years, since I started popping small people out the saloon doors and lost all inability to speak coherently.

Upon arrival  I heard the last of the lead up to introduction to today’s guest speaker (me) which went something along the lines of Queen Elizabeth and the British Colony… … I wasn’t really concentrating as camera crew lady was putting pin mic cord up my top and I was in state of shock that hadn’t actually been told was going to be filmed. Would have written down exactly what I was going to say and perhaps taken out the pics of my kids from the presentation if I had.

Anyhoo, none of the vestlings fell asleep, and in fact appeared to be genuinely interested in 3m tall Moas, bungy jumping, buildings that look like a bee hive, oversized art installations of a humungous carrot and the fastest sheep sheering record, oh, and our plastic NZ money which is great for shock value.

After I had finished and was walking out to the car the organizer lady said she had thought NZ was a lot colder (strange as I usually get people thinking its part of a tropical sub continent) and that hopefully she would get to NZ during the 6 months I was home.

Yippeee, I’ll get right onto that showing you round shit, in between ensuring my children get a good kiwi education.

I decided to do my shopping on the way home and good fortune would have it that Mr. kebab man was in his bright yellow van outside the supermarket – where is sometimes known to be on Wednesdays when Marina ‘used’ to have dance. I txted hub to see if he fancied one with me seeing as was literally 50m away from his work. Unfortunately impromptu lunch dates with the wife are not on the Japanese man’s top ten list of things to even think about doing at lunch time. That, and he had already ordered his lunch :p

As I was chatting to Mr. kebab man – in Japanese because I spoke in English the first time I ever met him and he replied in Japanese so Japanese has been our lingua franca ever since (he is from Turkey, or Iran, or Iraq, or some other country in middle east that makes yummy kebabs). Anyway, there were 3 older construction dudes having a coffee and smoko break on the bench beside the van. One guy steps up and comes around and expresses his amazement that two gaijin are speaking Japanese when quite obviously we should be communicating in English.

Mr. kebab man explained he wasn’t from an English speaking country which all together is sometimes just a little bit too difficult for some narrow minded Japanese people to understand – 3/4 of the nation.

Construction dude then took a wild stab in the dark and said I must be from America. I said No, New Zealand..

to which he replied ‘damn, soooo close’

to which I replied ‘fuckin miles away mate’

Sometimes I just want to enjoy a kebab in peace ya know!




5 Responses to “ALL foreigners speak English. All of them. Every single one.”

  1. Adam W July 3, 2014 at 2:22 am #

    HA! You must get asked if you’re from America all the time. Or Canada. Throw in the U.K. for a bit of fun. Do you ever tell people that you’re from a country that they wouldn’t expect? Just for shits and giggles? I’d totally be like, “I’m actually from Malta, thanks.” But, as luck would have it, a Maltese person would be standing right around the corner.

    The U.S. has islands in Polynesia, btw! Granted, Hawai’i IS miles away from New Zealand still. Haha

    • gaijinwife July 3, 2014 at 2:56 am #

      LOL – have totally thought about replying with something really random but I can just see the conversation now
      You must be from America right?
      No, the canary islands?
      the canary islands?
      Kanali….. (looks puzzled)
      (fucki it), yes, I’m from America
      Haha, I bloody knew it…..

  2. Mr sekimachihato July 3, 2014 at 3:50 am #

    One day I was walking my parents-in-law’s horse, no, dog, Great Dane dog, and a man coming the other way said “wow, Americans really do buy big dogs!”
    I couldn’t be bothered explaining that this dog lives in Japan and that I’m not even American so I just told him that most American dogs are this size.

    Oh, and I get told all the time that I mustn’t find Tokyo summers hot since I come from such a tropical island way down south…

  3. Lauren July 3, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    The best language/gaijin fuck up I ever got from a nihonjin was in Sendai. I was waiting at the bus stop and a 60ish year old Japanese guy walks up to me and starts speaking Russian to me. I thought that was pretty funny and a definite improvement on “what part of America are you from?” (I’m a Kiwi) until I found out why he was speaking to me in Russian. Apparently I look like a Russian hooker. There are quite a few in Sendai, yes, but I was pushing 40 at the time and not as ‘glam’ as those girls. No matter what I said in Japanese or English to him, he would not believe that I wasn’t a Russian whore. He asked me how much I cost so I just told him “too much for you, grandpa” and got on the bus.

  4. umenokaori July 4, 2014 at 1:39 am #

    Reminds me of the numerous times Japanese people told me they were “brushing up” their English for their holiday to [random European country the national language of which is not English]. And every time I’d get looks of utter incomprehension when I told them that most Europeans don’t actually speak fluent English and suggested they might instead want to learn a few words of the language of whatever country they were going to.

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