I just had a rad dream where I was still in Japan but all the shop clerks were replaced with American rednecks who were even more prejudiced. When I went to check out at a store (I was buying a white board which I had tested out while waiting in line by telling a random girl in the line “Let’s write a poem. What’s your favorite color?” (her favorite color was a color I had never ever heard of!) and which had impressed me even though the marker was dripping shitloads of ink) clerks started silently signaling each other until one came over to assist me in checking out. When it was my turn to pay, the cashier lady didn’t even look at me, she just whispered the price to the assistant, which was in yen. I was like “Hey, I understand English.”
I couldn’t write a scene like that if I tried. Dreams are cool.
But seriously, pet peeves about cashiers in Japan:
1) Speaking to me through whatever Japanese person happens to be standing next to me, which is a sign of the following (incorrect) assumptions:
-White people don’t understand Japanese.
-Japanese understand white people tongue.
2) Speaking to me in bad English on the assumption that my Japanese is even worse. I had a door-to-door saleswoman tell me to go home once. She didn’t mean it. Besides, I WAS home.
Usually people aren’t that shitty, but it happens. Sometimes they also give me the finger. Just kidding.