then someone will reply: You’re such a loser, since there are so many hoes. I don’t pretend to have discovered the Unified Field Theory of Japanese sexuality, but I’ll give you four factors that I think are contributing. “I have it easy,” he said, “since I work at an international company. “But Sunday’s when you come here to study English,” I pointed out. For most people, it comes down to two choices: work like mad as a single person and have a tiny apartment full of dirty clothes and half-eaten Cup Ramen containers, or get married.
People in Japan, and Tokyo in particular, work a ridiculous amount, in a way that’s hard to comprehend if you live in, say, sunny California. Japanese places are a lot worse.” “Do you ever see your wife? That way, the man goes off to work, and when he comes home after midnight, his dinner is sitting on the table covered in Saran Wrap, and there’s hot water in the tub. Shopping, ironing, cleaning, paying the bills, everything’s taken care of for him. The woman gets to do all the fun, fulfilling things like taking care of baby, grocery shopping, cleaning, and cooking meals.
Anyone who’s been in Japan for even a short while has seen the rows of shops offering all the usual services. I’ve lived in my current apartment building for, let’s see, about a year and a half now. Anyway, in that time the number of neighbors I’ve met is . Okay, so here’s a little quiz for you, to see how well you know Japanese culture: I figured I’d break the ice with a non-threatening situational observation, so I said in Japanese: “Yeah, another busy morning, huh? But for two Japanese people to strike up a conversation while in line at the grocery store? It’s a tad dingy and run-down, but the food’s solid.
(As an aside, I’ll add that “foreigners” aren’t allowed in. Every week, people pay me to sit in Starbucks and simply talk with them. Well, it’s hypothetically possible, I suppose, like Dark Matter or something. That means that if everyone else is having an awesome, sexy time, you’re more likely to as well. When it’s a sunny day, everybody’s happy, and when it rains, everybody’s glum. So I was talking this over with my colleague Fujimoto-sensei last week, and he said, “Ah, Ken, you should have seen it in the 90’s. Everybody was making money, people were positive, it was more fun. Then, “You know I used to have a wife and a girlfriend in those days. I think of it like an extra living room, which helps since my apartment’s so darn small.
Eventually I got to my own dark building and rode the elevator up.