Sunday, February 10, 2008


NY's dad?!

Patience is the honest man's revenge.
-The Atheist's Tragedy

Last night I met up with my mate Paul in Murphy's bog-standard Irish bar for the first time since the AVON crash. Brett was also in tow, having thought better of attending Tricky's wife's mate's jazz debacle in Honmachi. A time for joy, levity and much quaffing of ale, not least as Paul turned 30 on the stroke of midnight.

Sadly, we were impeded in our would-be revelry by the presence of a particularly noisome gaijin chaser. This guy was obviously knocking on a bit and could speak English pretty well, although God knows how many Eikaiwa instructors either went mad or left Japan during the course of his learning. What rankled with me was the Jehovah's Witness-type approach to striking up a conversation: foot in the door, then talk until the cows come home. When I'm not on the clock, I loathe being treated as a commodity and I don't have much time for people who make themselves welcome when they're not (can't remember if I blogged it, but there was a previous incident in Murphy's when I threatened to bash someone from NZ over the head after all other hints that I wasn't interested in having a conversation failed.)

On this occasion, I ignored the gaijin chaser to the best of my ability and otherwise told him to shut up, get lost or burn in hell. It wasn't working though: he was a drunken, nattering lout who disrupted our attempts to engage in conversation, play pool and just about anything else. He kept banging on about "us Japanese" "Japanese is spiritual" (giving me a sneaky feeling of how NY's going to be in a couple of decades time) and wouldn't give it a rest about how he could trace his lineage back to a samurai, making him amongst Japan's 10% elite.

Incidentally, he walked with a nasty limp, indicating a knee injury which I fervently hoped he had sustained at the hands of an enraged gaijin in the Pig and Whistle or similar.

Brett, forever trying to be the good gaijin, walked him into the other bar a couple of times, but he was always back for more, even going to the extent of trying to pay me back for my frostiness by dancing around and waving his arms when I was taking my shot at pool: behaviour which would earn you a bit of a rough treatment in most bars even if there wasn't money riding on the game. And there WAS money riding on the game, but I kept my temper in check.

Finally, it was time to go home, whole evening shot to hell by the crapulent psychopath. Even as I put my coat on, he was still in my face with his us-Japanese-you-English-I-am-samurai spiel. I had one of my Moments.

"You're not even Japanese. You're Korean."

Suddenly, he was all bared fangs: "No! I hate Koreans."

Aha. Thought so.

"Balls, you're Korean. You can't even speak Japanese, can you?"

"Aho!" He snarled at me, which is not very spiritual Japanese at all.

"Sorry, don't speak Korean. Oh, hang on: annyeong hasseyo."

"AHO!" again.

"Oh, is that Korean for goodbye? I'll be off then."

For a moment, it looked like Mr Kim was about to give me a dose of Tae Kwon Do. I went into the other bar, bade goodnight to the barlord and, when I came back, the feisty bigot had vanished. Evidently the latter-day samurai had a dash of ninja in the mix too.

Either that, or he was getting his seppuku on in the bathroom.

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