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(Begin Sophia impersonation)
Picture it. Osaka, Japan, 2001.
(End Sophia impersonation)

I am staying with a Japanese family. I will not name them, to save their face. The man of the house speaks pretty good english, and writes it better. The lady does not. I come down to eat breakfast, half-conscious, and after commencing to drag and drop things with my chopsticks, he asks:


'Where did you get those pajamas?' 'I like them'.

I tell him they were a gift from my mother.

'Is your mother easy?'



...................................
(I am in shock. He repeats more slowly)

'Is your mother easy?'



I run upstairs and grab my handy Random House Japanese->English English->Japanese dictionary. I look up "easy". The dictionary gives 'easy' as 'yasashii' or 'raku'. I point to it. He says 'yasashii'. Then I look up 'yasashii'. The dictionary gives yasashii as 'kind', 'gentle', 'gracefull', and 'easy'.

I explain the double meaning of 'easy' in english, especially when describing women (sei teki ni hooshoo).

The moral: Don't get pissed at insulting forigners. they have no idea what they are saying :-)

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