May 21 2002 at 6:00 PM
Eki Ben 

Response to how come everyone on the Danchan site is complaining....

I don't look at Danchan so I can't speak to what they're on about, but heres my input. I think this does occur, and it can fall into at least one of at least the two following categories:

1. Some Japanese like to practice English on random foreigners - This can be annoying at times, but not overly so. For example you might get a middle-aged salaryman in a Tengu (izakaya) come over to you and start trying out his rudimentary English on you for no reason. Considering you potentially have some free beer to gain in this transaction, it shouldn't bother you. In general, this can be somewhat annoying but not really offensive. [On an unrelated note, was anyone else offended/annoyed/dismayed/offended when the Tengu chain of izakaya started remodeling many of their places to a white-and-clean family restaurant-style from their original dim-and-woody izakaya-style? I don't go to any of the new style anymore, thank God there are still some old-school shops left.]

2. Some Japanese assume you can't speak Japanese - This can be annoying, especially when you can speak it. The thing to remember is not to take it personally, as you are being considered a member of a group that in all honesty, generally can NOT speak Japanese. It is harder to be forgiving though when you have just spoken a full paragraph of complex Japanese to them, and they insist on responding in their terrible English. But then again, #1 above might be coming into play.

In the end, I think this does happen, but it's good to learn not to be pissed off by it. Not always easy though. And, I'm sure there are other dynamics at work also.

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