August 2, 2010

Tokyo Where?

Wow. Now when I look back on my time spent in Japan as an expatriate, I guess it was pretty ballsy.  It was ten years ago. The internet was still a baby, especially in Japan.  Granted we got NTT Dokomo 3G clamshell design "kick ass" cell phones for USD $30 ten years ago but they were only good within the ISLAND known as Japan.

Good luck with that!
However what stopped me short recently, was finding this directory [the image above]. Inside the cover, it tells you in English, what to say and where to call in an emergency.  The directions are in English but they still direct you to say as much as possible in Japanese.  Seriously, they tell you to speak slowly and clearly. If at all possible to speak Japanese using their indicated patterns.  If you cannot make yourself understood properly, do not hang up.
  • Give your address the Japanese way: city, ward, street address and house or apartment number.  
  • Give a nearby landmark for reference - train station or store.
  • Give your name.
  • Give your telephone number.
Don't panic, even if it is a fire or an earthquake or traffic accident. Really? You are in a country where you have no extended family and for Americans, this is a non-Roman language speaking country of people who really don't care for foreign nationals all that much.  Do you know how hard it is to get a working visa?  And everyone gets lost, including cab drivers and local policemen so the landmark idea is a crucial NECESSITY.

On this list, they also have an Emergency Medical Interpretation Service.  This is for when communication problems would otherwise prevent institutions from providing emergency care to foreign nationals.  And as far as the police are concerned, just remember that their focus is on the traffic accident, robbery and ALTERCATIONS.  After having lived there, I can only look back and truly think this is code or translation for public drunkenness.

Finally because I love to end on a high note, if you were to consider living in Japan and you are from the United States.  Their Fire and Ambulance emergency number nationwide is 1-1-9.  Yep, the backwards version of ours.  Arigatougozaimasu!

P.S. Tokyo Doko translated really is Tokyo Where. I added the question mark.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails