Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Will Miss #318 - laughing in all the "wrong" places

Seeing an English language movie in Japan can be a surreal experience, particularly if it is a comedy. The movie you are watching may look like the same one that the Japanese patrons are viewing, but in reality you are having a somewhat different experience. While you are following along in your native tongue, the Japanese are following the subtitles; these do not often say the same things as the English, particularly when it comes to jokes. You will suddenly burst out laughing at some retort you hear in the movie. You'll soon learn that you are all by yourself in your mirthful ejaculation, as if someone had just whispered a private joke in your ear. Some people find this to be (understandably) uncomfortable, but I think it is one of those "only in Japan" experiences.

This situation reminds me in a benign way that foreign and Japanese folks are going about their business in the exact same place at the exact same time, but living a different reality, and I'll miss it.