Next Cage Please

Filed under:Bar Notes ♪,Misc — posted by JAWjaw on 8/31/2004 @ 1:17 am

As mentioned before, there is an aspect to the local culture that many people are unaware of due to their limited knowledge of the language. The all too frequent insult masked as some polite comment or compliment. In example, as I was busy performing my work duties at the club this past weekend a local customer expressed her “appreciation” to my husband for providing her and her friends with the opportunity to see “an American” working. I don`t know of very many people who wouldn`t consider this an insult! Yet, because it is masked as a compliment to my husband`s “control of his woman,” it is not considered a direct insult, therefore it is inappropriate to directly act upon it. The locals, being non-confrontational, use the passive-aggessive method instead and such a comment would never be said straight to my face.

1) If all you have to talk about in life is me, you have a very pathetic existence.

2) The bar is just that, a night club. I am not there for your viewing enjoyment and ongoing commentary. I am there to do a job, in this case prepare drinks and clean the club. If you want to watch animals, go to the zoo!

3) Americans have been on Okinawa for 60 years. If you weren`t so closed-minded maybe you would have had the opportunity before now to see first-hand that there are many similarities between people fulfillng work roles, even if the techniques are different.

Really!!!-Pet Peeve of the Week #10

Filed under:2004,Rants — posted by JAWjaw on 8/30/2004 @ 2:00 am

There is very little more disgusting in a human`s personal behavior than some people`s tendency to spit in public places. Who wants to sit down at a watering hole table and see someone else`s blob. Or even worse, walk across a floor and get the blob stuck to their shoe. I am well aware that for some people the enjoyment of chew tobacco is addictive. However, is it really necessary to share the masticated slimy blob with the mass population! I`m sure if you ask, most bar personnel will be more than happy to provide a plastic cup with a napkin inside to meet your expultory needs.

Let the Good Times Roll…

Filed under:★2004,Misc — posted by JAWjaw on 8/27/2004 @ 2:05 am

Recently, I had a visit at Live Music Bar JET from Mike, one of the Traveling Poets Society’s “Eat-Write Caf” members. It was a pleasant reminder of several years ago when Bar JET hosted the group every other Saturday. As he filled me in with the current whereabouts and going-ons of the society, I received the exciting news that one of the members, David Allen, had just released a published collection of his works. If anyone were deserving of this honor, it is David. If you are interested in this type of thing, this talented man’s insights are a must read. Check-out some of his writings here: The David Allen Poetry Page

Neither Rain, Nor Wind…

Filed under:★2004,Misc — posted by JAWjaw on 8/25/2004 @ 3:04 am

Ah, the joys of learning how to set up the various aspects of a web site from scratch. To many people, computers can be a frustrating experience. I, however, tend to enjoy the challenges associated with learning a “new” creative activity. Although personal computers have been around for a while now, most of the people of my age on Okinawa really aren’t that experienced with the intricacies of the various aspects of setting-up an original web site. As a complete novice, learning the written computer language has been fairly simple. If you have been following this site for the past three months, you are very aware of the numerous changes that have been incorporated. The one aspect I still seem to have some difficulty with is the web mail set-up. One day the mail system works the next it doesn’t. Just trying to implement the system is, for some reason, a confusing mixture of user names and passwords. Yet, I look at this challenge with an anticipation of gaining a better understanding how computers systems work.

Really!!!-Pet Peeve of the Week #9

Filed under:2004,Rants — posted by JAWjaw on 8/23/2004 @ 8:14 am

What is going through the minds of people who throw trash onto a road or place it on the road divider? I assume they clear their vehicles of trash to keep a clean personal environment. So they must think the rest of the world should have to deal with their personal trash! Not only is it an eyesore to see cans, bottles, and plastic containers strewn all over the place, on Okinawa it is a driving hazard. With the strength of the winds that accompany the all too familiar tropical cyclone systems, the trash inevitably gets blown all over the road. Cars constantly have to swerve to avoid these unsightly hazards. Is it really that difficult to use an appropriate trash receptacle?

Forget Me Not

Filed under:☽2004,Culture — posted by JAWjaw on @ 12:30 am

For anyone who has ever studied Japanese as a second language, one of the most difficult challenges is the writing system. Although I have lived on Okinawa for what can seem like forever at times, the written language is still a thorn. With the spoken language there is a constant auditory refresher course in daily life. However, unless one purposely makes a daily effort to utilize it, the written language can pretty much be forgotten. The only problem with being illiterate as far as a writing system is concerned is that eventually one has to use the language for one reason or another. The Japanese written language is a complicated combination of three separate systems. Hiragana, a system composed of characters which are used for native Japanese words; Katakana, the characters used for foreign words; And Kanji, the most difficult system consisting of a type of hieroglyphics that was adopted from the Chinese written system of over 5000 characters. To complicate matters even further, the language consists of many English language foreign words that have been “adopted” by the Japanese. The largest problem with these words is that they are not pronounced or spelled in the same manner as the native language. So when trying to write these words, not only do you have to convert from the alphabet to Katakana, one also has to mentally change the words from English to the Japanese verbal version of the word to do so. It is no surprise very few foreigners ever become proficient in this written language.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want…

Filed under:☽2004,Culture — posted by JAWjaw on 8/19/2004 @ 10:28 pm

Having lived in more than one culture for approximately the same amount of time (America 21 years, Guam 2, and Japan 25) I have had the opportunity to really observe the differences in those cultures, as well as the similarities in people. Many people believe the differences in the two cultures stem from the basic social structure, America being more individual oriented as opposed to Japan’s group orientation. I see the main difference more a question of how one obtains what one wants, while remaining in the “good graces” of fellow humans. On one hand, Americans tend to use the “black and white” strategy – what is right and what is wrong. This approach usually includes the intention behind an action, and therefore the consideration of others, in determining what behavior is socially acceptable. Locals, on the other hand, have a more “grey” outlook as to acceptable behavior – what can one get away with. (This standard may account for the child-like facet of their behavior.) For example, what many people see in the Asian culture as “being polite” is nothing more than “formal” clich comments that are, usually, full of excuses. Normally the behavior is reserved for situations that can lead to personal or monetary gain. (If you don’t agree, spend a week just observing the locals in everyday situations and see how inconsiderate of others they can be.) In both countries, one can observe individuals who, for personal gain, try to use the cultural standards to manipulate the behaviors of others, despite the differences in approach.

Dance Baby Dance

Filed under:★2004,Misc — posted by JAWjaw on 8/17/2004 @ 8:12 pm

Its mid-August. As summer draws to an end, the 2 to 3 a.m. calm is over taken by the annual onslaught of typhoons that “hit” Okinawa. Although typhoon season officially begins in May, rarely are we seriously affected by a large amount of major storms until the end of summer. Then we are hit with a barrage of medium to large systems until November. Yesterday we jumped from the “normal condition” watch to “its beginning to hit us” within a matter of minutes. The local weather bureau wasn’t even expecting any affect from the current system at all. For newbies, it can be a little daunting. But for the old timers, howling winds and dancing trees are just another part of life on Okinawa.

I Have Money- Don’t You Think I’m Sexy….

Filed under:Bar Notes ♪,Misc — posted by JAWjaw on 8/15/2004 @ 5:33 am

Living in Asia as a Western women can have its trying times. One of the more common ways it can be trying is when men think you agree with the typical Asian bar practice of accepting obnoxious behavior for money or drinks. Asian men do everything they can to promote this demeaning behavior as the “acceptable” manner in which women should act. Western men eat it up! I’m not a women libber, but I do think that the only time that gender matters is when a person is looking for a mate. Other than that, people are people (male or female- no matter what race, nationality, or social status). I don’t judge people by how much money they try to throw at me, but by their actions! (And trying to throw money at me is not an attractive behavior.) In Asia, Western men loose track of this simple, but basic, standard. The most common way to attack the nonaccepting female is with, “If that’s how you want to conduct business!” To me business is more than just the bottom line. It entails the type of people and the practices one deems as acceptable to set the tone of a business. Here are some things these “men” should consider ( since they seem to be without a partner for the night):

1) The old adage of “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll” is a dinosaur. Anyone who hangs-on to that belief is not worth the trouble of knowing – being associated with that type of person gives a one nothing but excuses and grief !
2) If you are flirting with me you must be pretty hard-up!!! (I’m not being self-deprecating but realistic-I’m 48 years old and my husband of thirty years owns and works at the same club!)
3) Maybe you wouldn’t be partnerless if you took a closer look at your attitude and behavior-an obnoxious drunk is not charming nor cute no matter how much money the person has!
4) If you think Asian females don’t understand just how desperate you are, try a Western dutch-style relationship with them (not going to happen!!!!!!).

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