Suddenly, America. I mean Japan.

Allow me to take a quick break from the PNG chronicles to give you my opinion on Americans.

The Nikki and Inga show had a brief comeback tour last week when I made an impromptu visit to Kanagawa, Japan, where Nikki is living with her Tennesee navy boyfriend. I spent 10 months as an exchange student in Kyoto back in the day, so Japanese culture didn’t come as a huge surprise to me….the US naval base, on the other hand, certainly did.

Apparently the United States Navy wants its troops to be comfortable wherever they’re stationed; whenever you walk on base you’re essentially walking into America. There’s Subway and McDonald’s, the power outlets are American, they use US Dollars, the groceries are American and so is the beer. I felt like I’ve just spent 5 days in America instead of Japan.

And it turns out I LOVE America. At least, I love the America that’s populated by a couple of thousand military personnel in their twenties. In Australia we’re saturated with American TV shows, music and pop culture, but I confess I’ve only met maybe 2 or 3 Americans in my entire life. I held onto the stereotype that the majority of Yanks are loud, obnoxious and ignorant, and thought my bloggy friends must be the minority. As it happens, I’ve since realised the Australians are loud, obnoxious and ignorant – the Americans are an absolute delight. They’re friendly, polite and earnest, and when you tell them you’re Australian they invariably exclaim “day-um, Orrstraaalia?” and look as if you’ve just told them you’re going to give them $500 and a puppy.

The men have so much more respect for women than our Aussie bastards. Regardless of whether he’s Australian or American, a guy coming up to a girl in a bar has one intention. The difference lies in their skills of persuasion.

An Australian man will make meaningless small talk for maybe five minutes, stare down your top, then ask if you want to come home with him. If you say no, he’ll look ridiculously wounded, maybe call you a bitch, tease or a whore, and stomp away like a toddler.

On the other hand, American men seem to have made an art out of the pick up. All of them will insist on buying you a drink. From there, they branch off into their own manoeuvres. Some ask incessant questions about Australia, some of them will perform magic tricks on you, some will spin you onto the dance floor and one guy even asked me about my hopes and dreams, told me his, then performed a rap he had written. And even when you’ve made it clear you have no interest in climbing into their dormitory bed, they still stop and say hello when they see you on the street the next day, or the day after that. If these blokes came to Australia, they would get vagina thrown at them like confetti.

And don’t get me started on black Americans. Oh my god, they just ooze sexuality – men and women. Nikki and I both had some African Americans try it on with us (yes, men AND women), and we literally squealed like twelve year olds and ran away. We have no coping mechanism for that level of charisma. They’re so sexy it’s overwhelming. And my god, can they dance. They were busting out moves like they were in an Usher video clip. Every now and again a song would come on, and everyone on the club would pile onto the dance floor and start dancing in sync, white people included. We don’t do this in Australia, unless it’s at a wedding and it’s the Nutbush. They even did the Gangnam Style dance, which would get you beaten up over here. I mentioned this to someone, who tactfully pointed out how snobbish this sounds – and he was absolutely right.

There were other cool things, like seeing people drink out of those plastic red cups that are in every American teenage movie I’ve ever seen. The fire hydrants look just like the ones in Sesame Street (I couldn’t even tell you what our hydrants look like). A large McDonald’s meal is a LARGE McDonald’s meal, the sandwiches come with a pickle on the side, and you can buy a ‘handle’ of vodka for $14. That’s a jug of spirits so big, it literally requires a handle to carry it. And don’t get me started on Cheez-Its and the ubiquitous ‘hart saaarce’ on every condiment rack.  There is now no doubt in my mind that I will be coming to America at some point to do it all again.

As for Japan, I have two words: CAT CAFÉ.

Meow.

Meow.

Yes, for 600 yen you can have a coffee and play with a room full of cats for 30 minutes. How jealous are y’all?

Hello, Kitty.

Hello, Kitty.

A wall of pussy.

A wall of pussy.

A big buddha at Kamakura. Yes, we got a teeny bit cultural.

A big buddha at Kamakura. Yes, we got a teeny bit cultural.

It's no Ford Fiesta, but whatever.

It’s no Ford Fiesta, but whatever.

This, apparently, is beer pong. One of the major differences between our cultures is that Aussies don't need a game to get loaded.

This, apparently, is beer pong. One of the major differences between our cultures is that Aussies don’t need a game to get loaded.

Holy shit, it's Ne-yo!

Holy shit, it’s Ne-yo!

 

And finally, here we are being completely obnoxious to a young gentleman exhibiting the kind of patience that’s only observable in those wanting to get into a chick’s pants.

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25 thoughts on “Suddenly, America. I mean Japan.

  1. You’re becoming quite the jetsetter. Good for you. It is true that there’s more nice people around than the other, no matter where you go. The other just stay in our consciousness longer for that very reason.

    • I went to NZ too, but that’s another story. I’ve had a wee change of perspective over the last couple of months 😉 You’re probably correct that most people essentially are nice…Aussie men in my age bracket hide it very well, however.

  2. There must be some irony here. Every time I go to the States all I get is, “I just lurrrrve your accent! What part of Australia do you come from?” Er, I’m ENGLISH…! Really, it’s not that hard to tell the two apart. Would you dig it if you came to my country and everyone said, “Ooh – nice. Whereabouts in Canada are you from?” No, really…

    But I digress… “That’s an Ing-ger-lish* accent?! Like, y’know, Hugh Grant…? Um, like, can I have your babies…?” Vast tracts of the US are to the Englishman what Oz would apparently be to Americans in the, er, “having vagina thrown at you like confetti” department!!

    Weird, innit…? I reckon it works, though, ‘cos my other half is from Illinois.

    * Or maybe it should be pronounced “Inga-lish” here, out of deference…? 😀

    • Inga-licious, I believe 😀

      The funny thing is when the Yanks were trying to copy our accent, they made us sound British. Apparently we all sound like Joanna Lumley. There’s just something about a foreign accent, isn’t there…must be nature’s way of stopping us all from inbreeding.

    • I’ll have to come to Murica and check the statistics I think. Maybe it was the chatty factor that pleased me – as a whole, Aussies aren’t a particularly chatty bunch.

  3. You should work for the Australian Tourism Bureau … I’m sure that “having Vagina thrown at them like confetti” line would probably make a lot of guys figure the long flight was worth it …

  4. Did you say a room full of cats and coffee? Squeee! We seriously love Eastern culture and hope to get to Japan or China soon. Civets, Buddhist temples and the like, would love that.

    I’m mad that WP once again seems to have dropped this post from the reader, but I’m SO glad I saw this. I don’t want to burst the bubble that we Yanks are the bomb (we are) but I think the charm is partly a function of these guys being American military. They are true gentlemen.

    In the liberal states men get serious sensitivity training, and they can be fired for literally anything that makes a woman uncomfortable. Not to say non-American men are not sensitive, just that I think this kind of awareness pays off outside of work.

    And I’m not single so I won’t go too far but African American men….swoon! Sis is married to as she puts it a “beautiful big black man” and he can charm big time.

    I’m clearly biased but really, come visit New England first if you decide to see America. Even Brits who dislike American culture have said that our region was overwhelmingly beautiful and friendly. Other places are too, but something about the northeast is very kind to foreigners and it is so special in the winter. We’d love to be your guides!

    • Well you have to finish your coffee before you can play with the cats, but YES. There was also a rabbit cafe right next door!

      Interesting perspective with the ‘sensitivity training’ – it certainly does pay off, especially when two vulnerable young Aussie girls are involved. I probably shouldn’t be so harsh on my Australian brothers, some of them are lovely. They just don’t have that fun American accent, or say ma’am and stuff.

      I would love to do New England, it looks beautiful! And I do love The Cider House Rules 🙂

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