Rude as Usual


Events over the past couple weeks have thrown my schedule into a more frenzied state than normal, so I have found myself grabbing meals at strange times in locations I don’t normally eat. At one shop, they had a special advertisement in front of my face the whole time. My preference would have been to keep the window clear, allowing me to look out at the world; however, as a result, I kept getting bothered by the typo in the ad. The main text read: 樽ハイ

Rather than just letting it slide, I felt compelled to ask about the sign. Of course this is a rude approach, because their first assumption is, “The poor foreigner can’t read Japanese, so I’ll help him out.”; which lulls them into a false perception far from, “This jerk is getting ready to embarrass me.”

” Oh, it says ‘chuuhai’ special”, came her helpful and slightly condescending response.

“Ah, this is a little embarrassing, but I think that first character is actually ‘taru’ (barrel) and ‘chuu’ is a little different.”, was the blow that fell from my tongue. “Perhaps, someone made a typo.”

Her response sounded like she was blowing me off because I couldn’t possibly be right. My experiences with young people not knowing their language well, are expanding. (‘Young’ here includes people old enough to be restaurant managers; which is making me feel a little older.)

One thing that struck me as odd here is that normally kanji typos consist of similar characters with the same reading being accidentally chosen; however, barrel never has the reading of ‘chuu’, so I don’t know how it would have come up. The characters do have a lot of similarities, so once it came up, a lot of people might overlook it at first. Chuuhai should normally be written: 酎ハイ, since it is an abbreviation of shouchuu haibooru (焼酎ハイボール). Shouchuu is a Japanese alcohol and haibooru is a highball.

I’ll try to be more polite next time and let the pedantic stuff slide by.


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3 Responses to “Rude as Usual”

  1. titus2woman Says:

    Very interesting~I always love reading about your experiences in Japan! I can’t say anything about rudeness these days. Being pregnant and CrAzY there is barely one person on the planet left that has not irritated me. That’s pretty much why I’ve not communicated much privately with anyone~I’m afeared I’ll offend! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  2. kevenker Says:

    I think it is awesome that you do that! Granted when you did it to me it was annoying at times. 🙂 I wonder if I should leave a grammatical error here for you to correct. 🙂

  3. びっくり Says:

    Or as a test to see if I can just let it go?

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