What I Learned About Asia

Following is a comprehensive list on what I learned about Asia, though mainly Japan and Korea, through extensive, ahem, research through dramas, manga and the occasional anime.  Some of these points are obviously not true in current Japan, but in the parallel universe, it’s the norm.

– Apparently, it’s really difficult to differentiate between a guy and a girl if the girl has short hair. This really amazes me, since there are almost no movies I can remember, save Mrs. Doubtfire and Sorority Boys, where dudes dress up as girls, in the West. I’m sure there are more, but there is actually a genre about this in Asia: gender bender. Countless examples in every medium. Hana Kimi is the most obvious example. 

– The guys have almost no problem falling in love with the guy, even though he’s a girl, even though they don’t know that and they are not gay. It’s almost as if they have a radar, which works to fall in love but not to actually understand the situation. 

– Parents are usually missing. Shojo characters have no problem bringing home boys, or friends, and they always, always have to cook. There are a healthy number of people in their teens who live alone, including middle school kids. It seems like they are able to look after themselves.

– Mouths don’t move when they kiss. They just touch their lips for the stage kiss, and that’s it. However, kisses in yaoi manga are a different matter, where they border with pornographic, but since this is a PG-13 environment, let’s say that it’s sufficient to take each other’s temperatures through your lips to kiss.

– It’s really easy to turn a straight guy gay. You just have to drink a little bit, and snap, next thing you know, they are kissing away their blues. Also, if you find out that your fried/boyfriend is gay, you should not be surprised at all.

– Empty classes are really good places to make out.

– Teachers are convenient to fall in love with, and there’s always a good chance that they’ll love you back.

– Drinking is a very important part of life. School and work friends should always go out drinking after work. Cooking also. Whoever comes to your house, even if it’s someone you don’t like, you have to put up with it and cook for them. 

– Rich and poor have a huge, huge gap between them. And the rick should always, always make fun of the poor until they realize that they are in love. See Hana Yori Dango for a very, very long illustration of this point.

– Public displays of affection are frowned upon, even though manga and anime characters have no problem with it. When they kiss in public, the whole crowd goes: “oh my god what are they doing”. 

– Asian people, apparently, are never, ever fat. Even though all they do in all these mediums is eat and cook and drink. If  I did that half as much, I couldn’t go through my bedroom door.

– Friends have no problem sleeping over, even on work nights. All you have to do is show up with your handbag which contains nothing, and after you eat or drink or do whatever it is you wanted to do with your friend, you roll your futons and you go to sleep. But even if you have to go back, the last train never leaves before you’re done.

– There’s always a train station three minutes to your house.

– Parents are loud and they make really, really bad jokes: this is true for dramas, at least the ones that I watched. In manga, they always have very good advice to give.

– There’s probably a dead handsome pair of twins in your school.

– Girls should swoon over handsome guys in school, and actually give titles like “prince” or “king”. When that person passes, girls point to each other and yell: “how handsome”. If a girl tries to date him, all the others of the “fan club” (which apparently is not a figure of speech but quite literal) will gang up on her to beat her up, though the guy usually saves the day.

– When a person wants to make out with the other, they should just go up and ask: “wanna play?” and that’s it.

– The roof of the school building is a place where only the main characters can sit and whatever they do will be kept a secret, since no one every walks by. They can do anything, including sex, and no one will ever walk in on them.

– Girls confess to guys after school outside the gym.

– I am disgusted as I write this, but fancying your brother or sister, or saying this out loud is not considered weird. Some really sick manga/anime extend this to other family members.

– It’s not weird if you like your son’s/daughter’s friend.

– If a handsome guy says something, everyone there agrees.

– If your parent or older sibling hits you, it’s okay.

– It’s perfectly normal to fall in love with your rapist or captor. Especially in yaoi.

– The most handsome guy in the school is probably also the richest and the smartest.

– A (especially Korean) guy, if he’s rich/handsome/successful or whatever, has been in love with his childhood friend forever, but that girl is in love with someone else but they are still very, very close friends. The girl actually uses the guy as a pillar of strength. And these love rivals are probably related. Sometimes I’m amazed at how many dramas can be made about the same theme.

– Japanese cannot speak English, though I believe they can understand it perfectly well. Actually, this is only true in the parallel universe. When I went there, they spoke perfectly well.

– People take off their shoes anywhere they go.

– It’s normal to wash in other peoples’ bath water. Or to bathe together.

– People don’t realize they are in love with someone unless someone tell them it is so.

– Age difference doesn’t matter at all.

– Even though Tokyo is huge, it’s perfectly normal to bump into people you know.

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1 Comment »

  1. Burcu said

    “to take each other’s temperatures through your lips to kiss” demişken aklıma hangi manganın geldiğini söylememe gerek yok herhalde:))))

    Usagiyi nasıl özledim belli değil!!!!!

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