Thursday, January 17, 2008

When a Fever Makes You Blog

I have the strangest neighbors. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Some are weird in a fun, giggly, wonder-what-they'll-do-next way. Some are just plain assholes.

I had a run in with the neighbor who lives in the plantation house next to us. The one with the fake chimney. From the outside you see a chimney. Odd. There is a window under it. Alas, it's only a decoration. A decoration chimney. They also have columns and a single tree they must replant every year because it keeps dying on them.

The husband saw me one morning a few weeks ago. I mentioned the translation he asked me to do and said, sorry I couldn't do a better job (just being nice, gee). He says, well, you don't have any konjou 根性がない. I'm sorry but that is an extremely rude remark to make. Konjou is like guts, or nerve or balls. I felt not unlike Michale J Fox in "Back to the Future" being called a chicken. This neighbor guy (and he's short too), he keeps coming over with all these translations he wants me to do...for free! He hasn't a clue how much it would cost to hire someone. It would cost a damned lot. Ass.

So he said he wanted me to find a male translator because they would do it right. I smiled and said, sure. I went home and beat a pillow. Ass.

Also, I like whales a lot. I like Japan a lot. But I really like whales, and I don't get this.

You hear everyone talk about "it's our culture, we've been doing this since the beginning of time". Huh? I have yet to meet one Japanese person who thinks whale is tasty, who buys it, who defends this. And yet in a pinch -- when I start getting heated about it -- they'll say, "it's our culture, we've been doing this since the beginning of time."

Leave the whales alone already, yesh. I mean didn't we learn anything from Star Trek Four, The Voyage Home?

Live long and prosper.


Hilary said...

I'd have pointed at him and asked him if he knew how to "translate this." Guess which finger I'd be pointing with? ;)

Hope you feel much better soon, Kappa!

Kappa no He said...

He he, I love it. It was one of those moments when you are so shocked you smile, bow, walk away and then later you think of a hundred good come backs. And thanks you, today my eyes have stopped watering and my nose has stopped running. I'm very happy indeed.

Ello said...

Jeez what an ass! I think you just need to smile bow and say NO. But with a big smile and a thank you for asking me and so sorry about this, but NO. Then he can't accuse you of lacking Konjou!

ANd ugh on the whale! That and finning make me very upset! Culture my ass! Look slavery was a culture of the south, you still have to change what is known to be wrong.

Kappa no He said...

ello: I have yet to see the man since then. Strange. But I know he's around. Just waiting. I'm prepared this time though!

OMG, I had to look up finning. Breaks my heart. Why are humans so damned mean?

Jim Melvin said...

There's no doubt that whales are cool, in some ways even cooler than dolphins, which can be a little meaner than they appear.

Kappa no He said...

That is so interesting. I did not know that about dolphins.

Virginia Lee said...

*woooooo -- deja vu!*

Terrie, this is the second time I've had deja vu while reading and responding to your blog. What is that about?

Anyhoo, even though I'm a cultural specialist, in theory, I agree that doing something bad/destructive/cruel/evil because it's one's culture is foolish at best and ignorant at worst. Humans have a huge capacity for learning and evolving, so there's no excuse.

I'm glad you're better, darlin'. Sorry I've been slack about visiting.


Mary Witzl said...

Hating confrontations as I do (I am a wimp) I tried not to get into any discussions about whales in Japan. I did have whale once myself, quite by accident, and I have to report that it tasted just fine. I felt pretty bad about it afterwards...

As for your neighbor, he's just sore because he couldn't get a free translation. I am betting that he DOES know how much a proper translation would cost. Introduce him to some dope who knows hiragana and thinks he knows everything (they still have guys like that there, don't they?) Point out that this dope is a man who, given his superior gender, will be certain to produce a suitable translation. Then go have a good laugh.

I love Hilary's suggestion. I'd be tempted to teach him a little English sign language myself.

Anonymous said...

Cost? Back in the day, it was 5000-10000 yen/PAGE, depending on the difficulty. Tell him to get an expense sheet from his company. He's probably already got one and pocketing the fee.

How was your break? I spent two weeks at my mom's chopping ice and scrubbing floors. I'm not built for manual labor any more. Other than that, it was nice being home. My mom has TWO dogs now. I told her that's the limit. I don't want her turning into one of those "cat ladies". It's OK now, because the husky was getting lonely, but she got a not-quite-miniature schnauzer as a companion for her companion dog.

Classes start this week. Momo started hers last week. Much more news. Email me.

Kappa no He said...

Virginia: Hey sweety. That is cool about the deja vu. Let's see if it happens again. *wink*wink*

Mary: I love your idea about getting a male 'expert' to give it a whirl! I was thinking of telling him if he had the least bit of konjou himelf he'd study English. I mean, he's a man, right?

Imomo: I kid you not, I had a dream about you last night. And my dog. We were at a party and my dog kept tickling your elbow and you were like, Terrie, will you get him off already?

Curious about the news! Will e-mail after my big PTA meeting tonight.

MDK said...

Hey, Kappa.

Glad you are feeling better. Unfortunate about your neighbor. That was very rude, and one day hopefully he will change his male chauvinist ways. Hope you don't have to deal with him much anymore.

I agree with you about the whaling activities. It's time to be progressive about our attitude concerning the needless slaughter of other sentient beings.

Virginia: speaking of Deja vu, if you are ever in the mood for an interesting read, I'd like to invite you to my blog. I've had several deja vu moments, most recent when I just about 4 weeks ago while I was watching "Alias" of all things.

Be forwarned, however. If you didn't think I was nuts before, you may once you read some of it.