Where Did You Find That Toy? Part Three

Client hired me to produce an internal training video and they want to shoot it in their Japan office.

Yesterday My Evil Twin went on a rant about ugly American travelers.  Many people reside inside me; luckily they all can write decent stuff…but sometimes, one of them goes off topic.  Today, perhaps, one of my sane alters will get back on track and talk about shooting the training video.

On the plane

They talk funny over there

Griff says to me,

“Do you think they speak English in Tokyo?  I heard…”

(What, in the boys’ restroom at your son’s elementary school?)

“…that the taxi drivers don’t even speak English.  “


“What,” says Griff to me, “are you listening to on your headphones?”

(That would be a Japanese language learning tape, dude.)

Japan had never been on my list of places to visit.  However, being hired to do a shoot in Tokyo led me to discover that I could check out beginning Japanese courses from the public library and download the lessons onto my portable music player.

Not wanting to leave things till the last minute …I started listening to the courses as soon as we go on the plane.  Didn’t even wait for the safety video to end!

And, not being obsessive or anything…I downloaded not only beginners’ Japanese, but medium and advanced.  In ten hours on the flight, I figured, I could get far, ha, ha.

And, not being obsessive or obsessive or obsessive or anything like it…I also downloaded a few other languages, in case I got some free time.  Not many.  Dutch German Korean Chinese Mandarin Chinese Canton Spanish American Spanish Castilian Hebrew Greek French Urdu Swahili Arabic Egyptian Arabic Saudi Portuguese.  I didn’t get Italian because I figured, what with Spanish, I had Italian nailed.

So, I’m sitting in the airplane annoying the shit out of my seat-mates, talking about finding the bus station | how’s your family and | are you from Tokyo in a loud, loud-ass voice in 日本語.

How to locate these strange, foreign lands

Flying over land masses, looking at the map in the pocket of the airplane seat.

Griff says to me, “Why do they call it U.K.?  Isn’t it just England?”

“No, Griff, it’s separate countries united together.”

(Were you picking your nose during the entire European history semester?)

“What countries? It’s all England.”

“No, Griff, it’s Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and Isle of Man.”

“Scotland is a country?  What language do they speak?”

I just choke and turn red.

“So what does UK stand for?”

Me:  â€œUnited Kingdom.”

Griff: “I never knew that.”

(Yes, I’m hep that you did not know that.)

How airplanes work

Griff, looking at the back pages of the seat-pocket information, wants to know:

“Why are we taking the long way around, flying over the Canada and Alaska coast?  Why don’t we just fly straight to Tokyo from San Francisco?”


And this guy is a high-level manager in a huge corporation.

(Perhaps during geography class, they happened to mention that the earth was round, not flat?  Oh, I forgot: you were not awake that year.)


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