Monday 27 February 2012

Theme repeat

I have seen this topic come up on a few gaijin lady's blogs lately, the lovely gem of... Mis-communication! It's so common in international marriages, maybe even more so in those where one spouse is Japanese because lots is unspoken.

We too have our fair share of complete communication fuck ups, all his fault of course. Not really, I sometimes just fuck up and blame communication break down, quite useful at times actually!

Our latest? Paying for our house. We will pay all our house tomorrow, because you know, the price is the same as a new car so with a little help from interest free family loans we can just do it all in one go. The bastard meeting set up to pay it is tomorrow morning, when one of us has to lug 3.5 million yen to the real estate agent. Ryota has an unmissable meeting and hardly any paid leave left, MIL has to work, and our last option, Dog-fucker, who I didn't really trust anyway, has to do her once a week job. Of course, the only one left is me. I also have to work, but my job apparently isn't as important as everyone else's so I have to fuck up my schedule and risk missing Ash's health check in the afternoon for which I'd already changed my schedule once for. It's true, I can ask students to shuffle lesson times, but fuck, I don't want to have to! Anyway, that was the first communication fuck up, I got the vibe through Ryota's language that he was implying my job wasn't important and I was the one who had to take time off. He may have not meant that, but when it's all in Japanese I just assume the worst and get all flighty. This is where the vicious cycle of miscommunication begins, one party gets pissed and then it's all down hill from there.

The next step in our little tiff, after I'd agreed I'd change my morning lessons to go to the meeting was the questions from me on the fucking etiquette I was expected to live up to, for all I fucking know a Buddhist priest may be there to spit three times on our house money or some shit that I will be taken by surprise with. But Ryota assured me I'd just need to hand over the cash, possibly stamp a few forms and then get a big arse receipt, bow lots at everyone in the room and then return a home owner. This makes me nervous, forms and stamps and bowing, it's all so Japanese and something the native speaker would be so much better at, but when I say that, I'm trying to worm my sneaky gaijin arse out of it. OK, partly true, but I think it makes sense for the native speaker to do it. If we were in Australia I would have to deal with that shite, but we're not, so I guess I'm going to have to just suck it up and do it.

So basically Ryota got his panties in a twist because I was claiming to not understand what to do and started up on the "How long have you lived in Japan!?" but when I tried to explain to him that it didn't matter how long I live here, there is some shit that is just better he do, he wasn't having it. And fair play to him, I have lived here 7 years now, and plus, it will be kind of nice to add 'purchasing a house' on my list of things I can do in Japanese!

We have daily episodes of mis-communication too, like today, I mailed him "Sorry, no time to cook, get Hokka Ben tonight OK!" and his reply was: "I'm older. Nori special no rice?" and I was thinking, 'I'm older? Is that some cryptic message that I'm immature... I need to grow up..??' But then I just realised it meant "I'll order." Ahhh yes,  the joys of an international marriage, they never end. Lucky we produce cute kids who can grow up to be Japanese celebrities!


  1. Damn word verification ....;)..... but I just have to say...for such an IMPORTANT TRANSACTION it should either be done by one of you, or by Ryota.
    I cannot believe they expect you to do this.
    Plus you've had to switch your classes, risk missing Ash's health check.
    This is really weird that Ryota doesn't get it.
    I totally concur with you here.
    I am sure that the people you are doing business with tomorrow will be really shocked that only you turn up, and might even consider it rude.

    Good luck!
    thands uageusu

  2. Oops, meant to write, 'be done by BOTH of you' ...or Ryota.
    Damn, gotta wv....deep breath....
    ianslonv srnav

    1. Again, your suffering through the word verification is much appreciated!
      Yeah, we've already stamped all the necessary papers, this is the last official duty of payment so they said anyone could come so we'll see!

  3. Your paying money. They should bow until their foreheads kiss the floor and then they should grovel at your feet.

    Let me be your "assistant"

    "No deal unless she gets a foot massage and some free phone sex cards.....and a male escort...and and a pair of those cool white rimmed shades like Kanye West wears!!!"

    "I wanna be called "Sexy sama" and you gotta call her Princess of the Universe....louder.....LOUDER!!!"

    1. You'd think so, but the owner is actually the one they're grovelling to so we got shafted, I don't really give a fuck as long as it's over quickly and I can get out of there with my house deeds in hand.
      They gave us a toothbrush set last time... what every girl wants... Better than a lame towel I guess

  4. I would like to take a moment and gloat that the biggest (and pretty much only) miscommunications between me and my J-husband occur during meals out. :)

    1. Really? How so?? I think stuffing our faces is the only time we don't have communication fails, food is an international language for us. Well done to you though, give me some tips!!

  5. I'd be shitting myself, I get the office staff at work to help with anything official, even calling the gas company, just in case I can't understand. Why can't Ryota have gone at the weekend? Those companies are pen all the time, aren't they?
    Hope he got the Hokka ben order right.

    1. Well to be fair to Ryota he did try, many times to get it rescheduled for a weekend but in the end because there were 3 parties involved we were out voted. Hopefully not oo painful!
      And Hokka ben was perfect!

  6. It's a huge transaction, and definitely a bit scary on the what to expect front as obviously you've never bought a house before. Wouldn't matter who long you'd lived here you'd still want to know what to maybe expect. Hope it goes well and you get a nice cup of coffee, a free towel and some gladwrap (I got three ziplock packets, gladwrap, towel, bento cups, shoyu and a cute diary when I signed Marina up for the post office education savings plan this morning)
    Good luck.

  7. Meh, I hate the "my job is more important than yours" mentality that I encountered in Japan. It's unfair and often uncalled for. Mal makes twice as much as I do but I would still expect him to take time off for something important like paying for a house!!

    The house thing is very exciting though... :-)

  8. Good luck with the buying experience! I understand your point i also like to leave my husband do all the administrative stuffs. For the last part we went to a yakiniku restaurant and I ask him if he was happy and he answered :

    "Sure! You gave me crabs."

    I laughed so hard that day. i gave him some of my crab meat of course (^.^)

  9. I think you're scared and you have every right to be, cuz it's a scary thing to do very important stuff alone. But I see a different point there: It's not about how long you have lived in Japan, it's more about having courage and trusting yourself you can do whatever comes your way. He explained everything what will happen and now it was your turn to have courage. You have your own (thriving) business, so you're someone who can make things work! You're strong!

    I realise my comment is a bit late, but oh well. :-)
    You wrote so much about separation from Ryota. Imagine you would, but would also stay in Japan (maybe because of thriving business or so)... you had to do such things on your own all the time! Believe in yourself! The world is scary, even more in a foreign country, but you made it this far. You can do it all!

  10. Purchasing a house is not necessarily an easy thing for most people to do, me guesses. Hidden taxes, liens, gravestones under the floorboards, poltergeists... it's all good fun in any language.