Turning Japanese

January 24, 2018 3:54pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 31 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

You want to be thankful I’m here today because I very nearly drowned. It is lashing down with rain so hard that my windscreen wipers cannot swish fast enough. This is not conducive to staying alive on country roads that are fast turning into lakes. All of a sudden I drove over a dodgy grating and a tsunami of brown water enveloped my car. I couldn’t see a bloody thing for ages; not even the ponce in front of me in the Audi R8. It could have ended in tears but just before I went into his rear end, my vision came back. I’m going to have a chat with the local council today because you can bet your life that the speed cameras are still working but the grates are not.

Talking of Manhole Covers…

It is well known amongst this community that I am a fan of taking photographs of doors and manhole covers. It has often seemed strange to many people but I’m not bovvvered. The other day, fellow blogger and Brit pal, Masher sent me an email with a link telling me I needed to hot foot it to Japan with my camera. Masher often takes the piss out of me for photographing manhole covers but I always knew they had a future as objets d’art and now I have a new reason to travel further afield!

These people have really got their shit together making elaborate and beautiful manhole covers so their streets have no ugliness.  You can’t poo-poo that!- check it out.

Please do not refer to me as a manholer as it sounds particularly deviant and we all know I’m not.

I’ve always been fascinated by the Japanese. My recent sock drawer phenomenon and tidying up ritual was invented by a Japanese girl. The way this chick folds things up is like a work of art.

They are all so pretty and tiny and neat and tidy like little dolls as opposed to tall, clumsy, and chaotic like me. I’m not jealous or anything.


Their writing is both mental and beautiful. That’s one of the things I like about the Japanese but here’s some more:

Tipping is offensive. This I like. If my dinner is a tenner then I know where I am. After a full belly of fine fodder, I can’t be arsed to add 15-20% onto my bill and then have to deal with the petulant waiter who has a face like a smacked arse because he was expecting more.

They make drinking tea a special event. Nice. This experience is on my bucket list. I am going to take my Tetley tea bags to the Geisha girls and see if it tastes better when they make it up. This will be my Japanese version of twisted wine tasting.

They have Samurai’s. Nuff said.

Japanese hold very odd parties throughout the year, like Fukusasa and Bonenkairead into that what you will. And let’s not forget bean throwing. Uh huh. This is where Japanese parents deliberately scare the crap out of their kids by wearing scary masks and their offspring throw soybeans at them. They call it bonding.

Bit tired at work? No problem. Public napping is ALLOWED. Get your head down and have a kip, love. I’m a big fan of this idea and have transported two sofas into my office to accommodate this wisdomous work ethic. I think it might catch on.

Shake hands? No.  None of that malarkey with the great unwashed. They prefer to bow to you. Very respectful though I reckon physio’s over there are on a pigs back.

Christmas dinner. Everyone’s favourite, right ? However, turkeys are hard to find in Japan so for them to get a gobbler on at Christmas, the nearest they’ve got to compete is KFC. Off they trudge in their droves to this fried chicken franchise on Christmas Eve to feast merrily on a family bucket. Naturally, KFC are very supportive of this.


The Onna Prima-donna

I once had a Japanese student stay at my house for six weeks. Accommodating foreign students can bring a wealth of culture into your home and make for long-lasting friends. Or, sometimes it can be the longest six weeks of your life. I once had a Chinese man boil eggs in my kettle and bring the cops to my door because he was taking pictures of kids at the park. Not in a ‘fiddly Dave’ kind of way but just because the Chinese like children and taking photographs of everything. Despite me telling him several times not to do this he continued and had the local parents burning torches and forming a posse. But that’s another story.

When I was asked by the city’s university if I’d take a very rich and well to do Japanese girl into my care, I jumped at the chance of learning to be a delicate flower and making my feet smaller. I went to fetch her from the airport and found that she came with a chaperone.

‘Blimey, she is well to do,’ I thought – though I wasn’t expecting two for the price of one and got the university on speed dial sharpish. Turns out it was just her mother who had flown all the way to London with her because she was scared of flying. Bless. Mum had to fly back to Japan the very next day.  When mum went to leave, my little student just nodded and walked off.

Well, hold on a minute, petal! This woman is flying all the way round the flippin’ world to accommodate your issues and has no doubt paid thousands of Yen to have you study proper British English in the Land of Hope and Glory!

“Give your mother a kiss and a hug goodbye, missy!” I said.

“No. We don’t do,” she replied stoically.

Well, she was a bundle of warm and cuddly let me tell you. I don’t think I’ve ever met such a cold and miserable person in all my life.  And even though I found being bowed to for six weeks rather fabulous, not gonna lie,  and the fact she had different slippers for every room entertaining, she slurped her dinner down like a starving vagabond in a soup kitchen. I cleverly started giving her money for KFC instead because smacking your lips and dribbling at my dinner table ends in violence.

All fur coat and no knickers, as we say in England.


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Oh…Jules you do brighten my Wednesdays up….and the Japanese manhole covers are beautiful…..can you let GBC know that this would make our shithole of a town better…(by the way the drains are full because there is now only one gully sucker for the whole of GBC area)…keep em coming xx

Ahhhhh….well, that’s made me happy, Dalma! Especially on a day like today when even looking out of the flippin’ window is painful!

I spoke to our friends at the GBC and would you believe it, there doesn’t seem to be anybody in charge of drains or manhole covers. Whatevs. However, as I explained to the jobsworth on the phone, I’m sure someone will suddenly fill the role and present themselves when I stop paying my council tax. 🙂

You need to have Nottingham (tell them not to get their hams in a knot) improve their manhole covers and commission you to paint them. It would improve the place and would ATTRACT TOURISTS (from Japan) who would flock to see them.

As to your off-road adventures on-road — you drive a Land Rover. It was designed for this sort of adventure driving!

I’m glad to see that you’re out and about, poking, prodding, provoking and getting into mischief.

I’m on it. I’m going to steal the one right outside the council offices and paint it with something…appropriate! Heh. How can they refuse my requests thereafter?

Please, Larry, I must correct you – I drive a Range Rover…pffft 😉 And yes, it handled the off-roading, water surfing debacle like a pro but they have yet to make decent wipers. Foolish. You wouldn’t get that trouble with a Vantage.

You wouldn’t have me any other way 🙂

On a positive note the Japanese girl did point out you had a glorious morello cherry tree in your garden full of succulent fruit which you hadn’t noticed for 7 years. Your driving. Well what can we say to the most photographed driver in Nottingham, you could be a pin up girl for speed awareness courses, bless. Manholes are beautiful you could pinch some at night, paint them in glorious colours then return them. You could become the anonymous Banksy Manhole Artist of Nottingham.

Oh yeah, I forgot about that! And it has produced great homemade vodka ever since. I should be selling that at the Christmas market to fund my manhole painting.

I should run an anti slow driving awareness course. I’m certain Jeremy Clarkson would back me. You’ll be pleased to know that a speedometer sign actually digitally thanked me today. I nearly crashed. That’s how dangerous these controlling pieces of equipment are.

I like the sound of the Banksy idea. I could call myself the Grate Brit. 🙂

Painting manholes covers? You Brits seem to have a lot of time on your hands or have really shitty landscapes. I thought Nottingham was beautiful? Are you hedging for some sort of artistic grant?

As far as eating with Japanese or Chinese, or for that matter most anyone from Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and that part of Asia… I HATE THEIR TABLE MANNERS with a white-hot passion. They are disgusting. Out of those mentioned, the Japs are the least offensive and they are indeed polite, yet are still offensive and are rude… besides they eat the fishing bait. Lastly, they might have swords but swords aren’t faster than bullets. Just sayin.

Who knows, ‘Nox, maybe this is the future? You’d be surprised at what some artists make. This could soar me to greatness!

Yes, my experience with anyone eating noodles has not been pleasant. Different manners in different cultures. I’m just not a fan of noisy eating, smacking chops and witnessing someones minced up chow. Gross. However, I am bowled over by the face shield on the pic above and have searched the internet so I can buy one for all my friends. I would die laughing at a dinner table if everyone donned one of these.

Have you seen how fast a Samurai can act? he may have your hand off before you got your weapon from its holster! However, I’d probs put my money on the bullet – I’ve seen Indiana Jones. 🙂

Samurais kick ass. So much mote than the government. Any government. Especially the ones that need speed cameras to get wood (pardon my Swedish). I know what a samurai could do about those flashy bastards (pardon my Norwegian). Chop chop.

Hey, that’s the kind of bonding I’d like to try out on my colleagues. And since we all know that size matters, the beans I’ll be throwing are large and heavy. No grudges. Just beans um… I mean bonding.

You jumped at the chance of learning to be a delicate flower… You are a delicate flower. Tough as hell but delicate nevertheless. Not afraid of big hairy spiders but delicate and valuable. You could teach the Japanese a lesson or two.

P.S. Never go into a guy’s rear end. Manhole covers are essential. Just saying. (Smile.)

You can be as Swedish as you like on here, my blue friend. As it happens, I’m trying to wear a different outfit for each speed camera so I can end up being the Vogue star of the speed trap.

I’d like to throw some beans too. Big, hard boulder type beans. I don’t need a scary mask as I have an excellent resting bitch face by nature.

Why thank you! That’s the first time I’ve ever been described as a delicate flower! I’ll take it cos it’s likely to be the last time, too! Ha!

You have my word that I will stay away from men’s rear ends. An abyss is a dangerous place! 🙂

“I’m trying to wear a different outfit for each speed camera…” I nearly fell off my chair. Your sense of humor — I’m sorry, humour — is THE BEST! 😉

Back at ya, Blue 🙂

I had to Google ‘bovvvered’.

I, too, have a fascination with Japanese culture. You can move to the U.S. and become American. You can even apply for British citizenship and become British. But you can’t be Japanese unless you’re Japanese. Huzzah! Did you see our imbecile President in Japan? At a goldfish-feeding ceremony he just dumped the box of goldfish food in the pond like it was a burden. I hate him so much. In Japan, sometimes they’re not napping at their desk. They’re dead. The drop dead from overwork. It’s true.

What? But I’d make an excellent, tall, blonde Japanese chick with proper feet. That’s unfair!
They’re dead? Are you serious? That’s horrendous! Actually, it’s probably because people think they’re napping and neglect to call the emergency services until its too bloody late. They do work like demons though.

2 lessons I have learned about the Japense:
1) they have hideous taste in handbags
2) they have no sense of humour when ridiculed on the above !


Having had a part to play in said incident I obviously concur!

Shall we go there on our next trip? Heh.

Funny, funny funny, Jules!
We have had a few Japanese interns at my company and they are incredibly polite and industrious but lack a sense of humour so I understand you finding your student a little cool. Thankfully I never went to lunch with any!

Laugh a minute in my world, Jane.

You had a lucky escape. I taught mine how to eat properly. When in England, one shuts their mouth. 🙂

it sounds like we’re ready to take the next step. to the next level. but I must warn you, learn from my life, once you watch one episode of anime, there’s no turning back. you will have to watch all the episodes of anime. under a blanket, locked in your room forever.


I knew you’d mention anime, my sweet! I left it just for you. One can most certainly get lost in this life with the big-eyed people. *)

Hey Jules; Don’t take this personally but I had to use google translator while reading some of your wording…lol

The Japanese have always fascinated me, as well. We once had our dining room decorated with dragon and crane wall murals along with a close-to-the-floor table and sitting mats. The landlord wasn’t too happy with the murals even though she did like the simplicity and artwork (she was concerned about re-painting it for the next tenant).

Well hello, HEA! Welcome to the dark side. Nice to see you here. Dear God, you must be bored 😉

Ah, I love it when Googling happens and it happens a lot here. I make my readers work for their blog post. It is my mission to have Americans fluent in colloquial Brit speak within the next five years so that they stop thinking that all we say is Tally-ho! Please go forth and speak my jibberish to your fellow Merricans and get this trend spreading!

I love Japanese murals. Everything they do has a simplistic beauty about it although I’m not gonna sit on the floor to scoff my fodder. I like chairs.

Your landlord should have been a bit more imaginative and rented out to a Japanese person. Some people are just unable to think outside the box.

Thank you for visiting – you’re welcome anytime. 🙂

I’ve long been fascinated with Japanese culture… ever since The Vapors.

No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women, no fun, no sin, no dishwashers either I’m tight 😉

Excellent work!
It even scans! 🙂

I agree with Masher. The Vapors were a big inspiration and I want a samurai sword, a real one as opposed to the tinny rubbish you get at Walmart or the local pawnshop.

You need more fur. This is important.

The Vapors. Legend. You need to go to Japan for one of those, LSP and then you can skin some fur. 🙂

Looks like something you could do in your spare time Jules – take your talents to the manholes (and your foot to some a-holes, but that is another story).

You can’t go to Japan, it’ll be cold and raining there as well. Now I’m sure Bora Bora has a man-hole somewhere… 😉

Spare time? What is that, Azra?! 😉
Foot into A-holes seems like a great activity for stress release and mental pleasure but the line is looooooong….

Botticelli of Bora Bora! I LIKE it! 🙂

Did someobody say Bora Bora?

Oh yes, Blue! If we keep saying it, the inevitable will happen. Imagine that day….

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