Ramen (ラーメン)

Here I am. Drinking among the other twisted lonely drones after work; we’re still in our business suits at 9pm. I’m drinking my left over ramen broth…

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I have an uneasy, unpleasant feeling. Usually during my travel episodes, when I find myself eating alone, I gladly welcome a conversation from a local. I miss the expected unexpectedness and the uncertainty of it. It is sometimes informative, too. However, in Tokyo, if I were to desire such an interaction, it would be unhealthier than this salty calorie water I’m drinking.

The men here are much less interested in travelers. They people in general, are often simply afraid of such foreignness. I can’t blame them. I feel so out of place when I am walking through the madness of rush hour crossing the street; I see hundreds and hundreds of Japanese faces walk past me. I feel as if they share 99.99999999% of the same DNA; they speak the same language, like the same food, act the same way…or at least know how to act towards each other. Encounters with members of their tribe area very predictable. There’s a social script they all must follow…

The men are interested in young girls. Blonde, white skinned, young wrinkle-free girls. Girls that are young enough to be their daughters. However, if youre foreign, you will still spike their interest. After all, all foreign females are ready for sex at any moment, they think. They thrive on the inwardly upward tilted eyebrows of helplessness, the inward pointed toes and weak knees, the delicately clasped hands and big yearning eyes. It drives them crazy.

For me, to talk to such a Japanese man would be giving him hope for another chance to cheat on his angry housewife. But without having to go to キャバクラ (Kyabakura, which comes from ‘Cabaret’) and spend tens of thousands of yen to do so.

I dislike the culture in a way I wouldn’t have guessed.

At least the ramen is good.

 

(This post was written after some contemplation I had over an encounter with a married Japanese man, who had asked me to start a relationship with him, after he told me he was married and that his request is just part of the culture, a very natural common event in Japan. “Just because we are married doesn’t mean we are not interested in other people,”)

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