Monday, April 4, 2011
Breaking and entering - good 'ol regular racism
Today I stood and chatted a bit by the coffee machine in the kithcen space with "Grandpa", one of the older semi-retired guys in the office. He's basically the nicest man I know, wouldn't hurt a fly and always has something nice to say about anyone, and we're very friendly as I have known him for many years now.
So as we stood there chatting, I mentioned that we had a burglary incident in one of the houses in our little area and the conversation went something like this:
Salaryman: (concerned) so they rummaged through everything, apparently, looking for money but didn't steal anything but smashed some stuff in their house
Grandpa: (looks sad) Yes, there's too many foreigners here now in Japan, this would never happened 20 years ago...
Salaryman: (jokingly defensive) Well, this time it wasn't me! (laughing)
Grandpa: (realizing who he's talking to) Oh, of course not, no, you would never do something... (interrupted)
Salaryman: (dead serious looking straight at him)...OR WAS IT?!
Grandpa: (looking confused for a few seconds) Oh, heh, you're always joking, I know it wasn't you.
Salaryman: (starting to head off with my cup of coffee) well, you can never be too careful nowadays, can you?
Nothing like a dose of old school ignorant racism, but Grandpa is such a sweet old man that I couldn't really bother to work myself up over it. If anything, it's a bit of fresh air after all the positive racism that the Japanese has been exposed to lately!