A foreigner staring blankly up at the Tokyo sky has told of his harrowing experience of Japanese people continuing to reply in terrible English despite being fully aware that he speaks fluent Japanese.
“Now, when I start a kaiwa in Japanese, I intentionally throw in a few high-level phrases,” says Nigel Grimes.
“Even then, they pretend not to know I’m fluent in nihongo – but they know.
“Nani the actual hell!”
Grimes’ life as a foreigner is in a perpetual state of proving he can speak Japanese to strangers.
“I keep telling myself I don’t have it half as bad as halfs – they were actually born here and still get the eigo treatment,” says Grimes.
Grimes has the same mondai whenever returning home to his own kuni.
“Then they want to speak English to me because they claim they’re living in an English-speaking country,” he says.
“I can’t katsu.”