投稿者 HakuAi | 3月 31, 2009

A sad incident at Jimmy’s Awase

I wonder why it is so hard for so many people to THINK.  

So I stopped at Jimmy’s today just to snack on some free cake samples on my way to Kanehide, and I ended up buying canned curry,  beans, bread and cereal because they looked good and because I figured that would justify my taking two bite-sized pieces of chocolate cake.  What a perfect example of logical thinking: put out free samples to guilt passers-by into becoming paying customers.  

Sadly, the folks at Jimmy’s Awase aren’t always such logical thinkers.  When I went to have my groceries rung up, I noticed the fresh apple pies sitting on the counter and casually asked the clerk if Jimmy’s ever sold taro pies.  (Apparently they are a fall item.)  I then asked if I could pay with my JCB gift cards.  (Apparently the only gift certificates they take are Jimmy’s gift cards.)  And when I went to reach for my cash, the lady told me that it was going to have to be “yen onrii”.  

Now, let’s back up a bit here.  I was speaking perfect Japanese from the get-go.  I asked about a local item few Americans would even have heard of without having looked at this site.  I asked if I could pay with gift certificates from JCB, a bank that as far as I know does not exist outside of Japan.  And to top it off, three out of the four items I was holding could have been purchased on base for a third of the price I was going to pay.  The logical conclusion one might come to is, “Oh, I guess she’s Japanese, although her face looks kind of weird; maybe she’s haafu.”  Or perhaps “Oh, she looks like an American, but she speaks Japanese and seems to know about things here, and besides she’s here shopping off base; maybe she’s an exchange student.”  But no, for her, thinking it out logically was too difficult or too humbug, so she assumed I would only have dollars and that she would have to tell me my dollars would be unusable in her broken English, even though she had been speaking Japanese to me without any problem up until that point.  

Why is it that when people look at someone with eyes slanted the wrong way, a “taller”-than-life nose, and more junk in the trunk than a Japanese of equally skinny face and arms could possibly have, they immediately encounter a mental block that inhibits their ability to absorb all other facts and have to press the red emergency Engrish button?  The intelligent people of the world may never know, although we will always be mildly amused complaining about it.

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