Thanks for joining us! Right, as the carryover champ, I'll kick off the whinge-fest. Feel free to vent in the comments box below - anonymously if you so choose - and let's see if anyone can knock me off my high horse.
My topic this week is something I don't complain about very often because I knew the score before I came to Japan. Girlfriends who had lived here for years tried to talk me out of leaving Australia. 'You'll never meet a bloke in Japan, GG', one kind soul warned. "I lived there for seven years and didn't date once."
'Hehe, fuck it!' I laughed. 'That's not my reason for living - I'll take the adventure, thanks.' [Yeah, the adventure, she thinks wistfully, while writing another pile of crud for a blog.]
Where was I? Oh, yes. So ... I didn't expect romance to come a-knockin' on my door, so I was disconcerted to find myself entangled in some intriguing, if not dangerous, liaisons within my first eighteen-months. Looking back, I realise that those events were but bonus episodes in the 90210-esque series of disastrous attempts at relationships with, basically, some pretty suspect choices on my part. And I own that.
Therefore, based on those experiences, general observations, and conversations with other gaijin girls and boys, I have systematically and scientifically clumped straight, foreign men in Japan into the following stereotypical categories:
Attached ex-pats: Men who are usually sent over by their company on an amazing deal. They come over to live for approximately 3 - 5 years and bring their wife/girlfriend/significant other and/or child/children if they have one/them. Generally work- and family-oriented, these creatures tend to stay away from the single social scene.
Single ex-pats: Men who are usually sent over by their company on an amazing deal. They come over to live for approximately 3 - 5 years. These creatures are high-achievers - they're young, they have a lot of responsibility and they make a hell of a lot of money. They spend most of their time at the office (12 - 15+ hours a day) and don't have much time left for a relationship (even if they want one). They are amazed to find the local female of the species to be quite different from those at home. They find this phenomenon to be rather exciting and good for their ego. They work hard and play hard.
Japanophiles - [I]: Men who come to Japan for various reasons and generally teach English. They are not in tune with the culture, although they try, and are quite befuddled by appropriate behavioural norms. Like the single ex-pats, they are amazed to find the local female of the species to be quite different from those at home. They find this phenomenon to be rather exciting and good for their ego. Although they are not particularly fond of life in Japan, they figure they're getting more here than at home, so they stick around. This group is more likely than any of the others to regress into that well-loved character in Japan -- Charisma Man.
Click to enlarge.
Japanophiles - [II]: Men who come to Japan because they are attracted to the culture. They like the food, the particular way of interacting with the other humans, the history, the landscape, the language. They immerse themselves in Japanese life and don' t have much to do with other foreigners. They tend to have Japanese wives/girlfriends/partners.
Reigning champion? I think so.