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May 31, 2006 / Kate

A History of the Untied States

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend developing in which I poke fun at those not originally from this country. I promise I’ll stop. Right after this.

You see, I’ve been saving up savory little tidbits from my class with the adorable Japanese students and now that the class is over, I will serve them up with a delicate lemon cream sauce.

I have spent the past three months in my own personal Engrish heaven.

First, let’s talk about the t-shirts. I wish I could have taken photos.

There were shirts that said:

“Knock on a Jumping Door”
“Family Mart”
“Everybody Has Lightening Pace”
“Doesn’t Everyone Know That?” on the front and “Recompense” on the back.

I can’t decide if my all time favorite is the “Hello Rat Bastard!” shirt, worn by a quiet, nice looking guy who never said a word in class, or the understated, “ALLCAPS” sweatshirt.

Ironically, this class is about Orientalism and Occidentalism, and here I am poking fun. Whatever.

We had numerous painful class discussions in which the instructor would ask a ridiculous question and then stare at us all, unblinking, until someone attempted to answer him.

Example:

Professor: “In Japan, what is the most popular American cuisine?”

The American students do not know the answer to this question, and the Japanese students do not understand the question. We all stare at the floor/ceiling.

Finally one of the Japanese students seated directly in front of me pipes up. “I think, maybe, Crrrr”.

Professor: “Excuse me?”

Student: “Crrrrr”

Professor: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand”

Student (Making vague hand gesture): “Ah, I wash through Crrrr”

Everyone stares.

The student turns around to my desk and writes “COLANDER” on my notebook.

Me: “He wrote ‘colander’. That’s more like a kitchen tool, cuisine is a kind of food.”

The student in front of me goes back to staring at the floor. The professor moves on.

He often asks questions so obscure that none of us would ever be able to answer. It is irritating and some English speaking students get frustrated and shoot back any old answer just to get the ball rolling again.

Professor: “What is the number one commercial playing on Thai television today?”

We all look at each other incredulously. One student shouts out, “BOXING GLOVES? TOOTHPICKS??”

The professor smiles smugly and says, “No. Face whitener”

Of course. Face whitener. I should have known that.

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3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. vasisthadas / Jun 2 2006 6:03 am

    That reminds me… I’m almost out of face whitener.

    -cuz

  2. jessenicholas / Jun 2 2006 3:41 pm

    Damn you and your hilarity! I just read your last 10 entries in one sitting. (Not recommended for lightweights.)(Oh and I did so in my girlfriend’s parent’s living room. I’m trying to impress them! And YOU! You just keep making me LOL over and over. I sound like a moron.) Thanks for nothing.

    Idiot Caption: Jesse thinks he is funny.

  3. DAD / Jun 2 2006 3:52 pm

    I agree with that last guy, you’re killin me. I am at a coffee house and I think I wet ’em. The people at the other tables must think I have a severe mental illness.

    I don’t think it’s as severe as all that, really.

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