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Friday, 25 July
Mad Babblings Of The Infirm
Sorry about the paucity of posts as of late; I felt really crummy today, and couldn't shake it, so I went home at lunchtime and slept for about three hours. This was only marginally different than being at work, as I was able to stretch out on a couch rather than loll bonelessly in my office chair, but it really made a difference. And that difference was: I didn't have to listen to the chittering geeks while I slept. What a luxury.
Sadly, I don't have the option of skipping out tomorrow as well, because I am giving a software demonstration to a Japanese visitor tomorrow from a kind of sister organization, JCOG (Japanese Clinical Oncology Group); I've done this many times. For some reason (it might be genuine interest or perhaps some quizzical kind of work ethic alien to our culture), I do this a lot. We get many Japanese visitors.
And they're great! They're unfailingly kind, to a sort of ridiculous degree--the last time I did this, the visitor was moved to give me a gift. It was some piece of fabric with Kanji figures on it: I couldn't quite figure out what it was. It now does double duty as either a potholder or a kitchen towel, which I assume has earned me some special spot in Shinto Hell. I get the feeling that if I offend enough cultures, I can kind of shuttle around between eternal punishments when I'm dead. I'll be like a traveling Dante, only participating rather than observing. "Okay! That was an interesting thousand years being eaten by raving zombie children. Cheerio! I'm off to visit the land of 1000 Frozen Ghosts!"
But the software demo is a slam-dunk; the real worrying part is actually trying to cope with my own awful American feel-badness; like a jerk, I typically assume that all Japanese people regard us with popular stereotypes, and I kind of fantasize about playing into them. "Won't you follow me to our cot room? This is where we take naps. Please notice the gumball machines and pornography vendors. We can't keep away from here! Whoops! And here I've been talking your ear off for four minutes! Where are my manners? Please: have a shot of whiskey."
Oh, it's going to be an exciting, defibrillation-inducing day. I can't wait.
I sure hope they like our whiskey.
Note: Comments are closed on old entries.
Well... look at the bright side. Surely there's some obscure religion that delights in offending the others. Perhaps you can have a few years in their heaven to look forward to among all the hells.
(I was going to add something about making up for it all with a grand finale of martyrdom and ending up with 70 virgins of your very own, but that might be considered offensive and I don't fancy joining you on your hellish rounds)
Amelican steleotypes? What, whele?
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