1.27.2009

Ain't Not Misbehavin'

Everyone knows that tourists act dumb no matter what country they are in. Its hard to even say the word "tourist" without it sounding derogatory. But for some reason, tourists in Japan, as well as some long term foreign visitors, feel compelled to act even stupider and ruder than your typical out-of-towner. A couple months ago there was the British guy who stripped off his clothes, jumped into the moat of the Imperial Palace grounds, and swam around while police tried to catch him. I have to say, when I saw the video of this incident, I found myself laughing at the insanity of it all, and the Keystone Cops aspect to it.
But I didn't laugh when I saw the video of drunk white guys licking fish and joyriding in forklifts at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. Behavior like this forced the market to temporarily place a ban on tourists. The ban was lifted on Jan. 19, and I am sure that the antics will begin again. You can read the AP story here. I remember how the Lonely Planet guide book for Japan that I read back in 1998 suggested going to Tsukiji in the early morning hours when you are wide awake due to jet-lag. It's also common for people staying out all night drinking to take the first train to the market, which accounts for some of the alcohol-induced retardedness. There's talk about the market moving further out of central Tokyo by 2012. Will it be far enough to keep gaijin from getting fresh with the tuna? I doubt it.