It is amazing to me how rude some people can be while expecting you to be nice and polite.
The first week that I was here (or maybe the second) I discovered a little darts pub. Before you get any ideas, this is not like any pub I have ever been in – it is purely Japanese and they have a dart board… that seems to be the only purpose of the pub. The owner (Papa-san) is a nice Japanese man probably in his early fifties. So far he is the only constant I have found there.
There doesn’t seem to be any gambling going on, but you have to buy into the game (100 yen). If you (or your team) wins then your next game is free. Over three visits (including Saturday night) I have probably won a couple more than I have lost… not bad, considering the fact that I hadn’t picked up a set of darts in fifteen years. As for drinking, there are all sorts of alcoholic drinks available, although I have only been drinking club soda (in keeping with my diet). I do like that I can smoke my cigars there, and Papa-san seems eager to give me a new ashtray every twenty minutes or so.
Most of the people there are really friendly, and even though most of them don’t speak any English and I don’t speak any Japanese, we get along and have fun. My team this evening (Saturday) was thrilled when I doubled-out in three of our four games (2nd dart double-16, 3rd dart 40: 20 double-10, 1st dart double-7).
After our last game this evening a couple walked in and changed the dynamic of the place. She was Japanese, he was Persian. They are probably a bit older than I am – I would put them in their late forties. She asked if I spoke Japanese, and I politely told her that regretfully I only know a few words. I didn’t know until I was leaving that he was Persian, but I could tell from his accent that he was not Anglo-Saxon, although it seemed that his Japanese was pretty fluent.
Then the woman starts pointing at me and jabbering away. I heard her say ‘sumo’ and start laughing. I told her, as I did in my last such encounter, that I was not a sumo wrestler, rather I practice Taekwondo. She laughed even harder, and although I don’t know what she was saying I could easily imagine that it was something to the effect of ‘the fat man thinks he’s a martial artist, huh?’ She then said to me ‘Oh, Taekwondo… you always wear helmets, right?’ I told her that I almost never wear a helmet, as that is only for sparring. ‘What colour is your belt?’ I answered that it is Black. She kept going on and on, and I could tell from the look on Papa-san’s face that she was not being at all polite.
As I had won my last game I asked Papa-san for my 100 yen back. I paid my tab and left. Before I did, the man told me that he would like to play against me some time. While I didn’t say so, I would have liked to explain to him that if he wanted to play against me then he should leave his extremely rude wife at home because I have no desire to play while being insulted. In fact, I have no desire to stay in any establishment where I am being insulted.
As I walked back to my hotel along the Tokaido Road (Yes, I believe it is THAT Tokaido Road) I couldn’t get the rude woman out of my mind. While I know that fat is the last acceptable ‘racism’ for lack of a better term I would have liked to explain to her that I am working hard to lose weight, and that it has been a struggle but it is one that I plan to win. I would also have liked to explain to her that she may laugh at the concept of a fat martial artist, but more than one armed assailant has found out the hard way that my looks are very deceiving. I would also have liked to explain to her that while she may find it funny, I would be a lot more amused by the thought of my kicking her teeth in, but I was not so rude as to say so.
I did not explain to Papa-san why i was leaving. I will, however, explain to him the next time I go in that when one of his patrons decides to have fun at my expense, I will simply walk out. If it continues to happen I will find somewhere else to hang out.
In the meantime I will continue to be as polite as I can be to people here, because it is the right thing to do… but in my dreams I will think he getting mugged in a dark alley by the rude woman and her husband… and showing them the error of their ways.