I can somewhat understand, yet will never approve of the practice of some foreigners (gaijin) here in Japan who seem to think just because they see another foreigner, they are free to start up a conversation. You don’t know the other person; the only thing you have in common is that neither of you are Japanese. How is this enough reason to start up a conversation with a stranger? In the US, you don’t start up conversations with people randomly, do you? Well, there are people who will do that, and I hate them as well. Especially people in grocery store checkout lines. But that’s another story for another blog entry.

Usually avoid this gaijin conversation situation with my camouflage ability, but tonight I got caught, probably just because I was with a white person and also speaking English. I was in the Chiba Skylark with Blanchard, doing the post-work session of complaining about work and co-workers, and some foreign guy comes in. He immediately sees us and says Hi. Huh?! I thought for a second that maybe Brian knew him, but that wasn’t the case. Strange enough. The guy goes to the bathroom, asking us to watch his bag for a second. Whatever. He leaves and heads to the other side of the restaurant. Maybe 10 or 15 minutes later, I go to use the bathroom myself. Washing my hands, I don’t notice the guy who came in after me, now using the urinal. It turns out to be the gaijin from earlier, because he starts talking to me…while he’s using the urinal! That’s right. He’s violating one of the holy rules of using the Men’s Room. You just don’t talk to someone while you’re holding your equipment, it’s just not cool. I don’t care if we know each other or not, you just don’t do it. Maaaaaaybe while you’re both washing your hands it’s alright to start up a conversation or smalltalk, but in general the bathroom is not a place for speaking.

The guy doesn’t even say Hi (again) or anything, as he’s doing his business; he just starts talking about himself as if I had said “So please tell me about yourself.” He starts telling me about the retarded off-brand English school he teaches at, where he lives, where he works, and where he’s from. Canada, which maybe explains part of his behavior. By the time he finished yapping, I was done drying my hands and he was heading to the sink. I felt like I should say something as opposed to just walking out in silence, so I told him where I was from and just left.

Quick thought: why in the world was the guy using the bathroom when he just went 10 minutes before!?

As a recap: #1 – Just because you’re a foreigner doesn’t mean you should talk to another foreigner you happen to run into. Chances are, they don’t really want to talk to you. If this foreigner is Anthony Leong, he definitely doesn’t want to talk to you. The only exceptions I can think of would be if you are a really hot female, or if your conversation starts with “I have free money, please take it.” #2 – This goes for men anywhere. Don’t talk in the bathroom, especially if you’ve got your Johnson in your hands.