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Saturday, May 5, 2001


Just how long will you stay in Japan?

When foreigners come to Japan, we often don't know how long we'll end up staying. Wouldn't it be great if there was some way of knowing? Now there is! Take this quiz, designed to let you know how long you'll stay in Japan.

1. You're serving tea to guests who are right-handed. You serve the tea cup:

a) with the handle facing the esteemed guest's right. b) with the handle facing the esteemed guest's left. c) with the handle at a 32-degree angle to the esteemed guest's left elbow. d) with the handle facing toward Mecca.

Answer: b.

2. Lacey tissue box covers:

a) make you queasy. b) make you wince. c) remind you of your grandmother's house. d) make you want to get home as quickly as possible to start making one yourself.

Answer: a, b, c or d.

3. "Sankyu berry muchy" means:

a) level three, many berries. b) level three, very much. c) thank you very much. d) pick berries in March.

Answer: c

4. You are waiting to cross the street. No cars are coming in either direction but the sign says "Don't Walk." You:

a) go ahead and cross, carefully. b) wait until the light changes, look for cars in both directions, then cross. c) wait until the light changes, look for yakuza in both directions, then cross. d) yell "abunai!"

Answer: d.

5. You're going to the department store. You:

a) get there 30 minutes before it opens to be first in line. b) get there five minutes after it has opened when the crowd has dispersed. c) see the long line of people waiting and decide to go another day, only to get there and find out that the store is closed because it's the third Monday of a leap year. d) get there just after the store has closed.

Answer: a, c or d, but never b.

6. A Buddhist priest zooms by on his motorbike, robes flapping in the wind.

a) You smile and wish you had your camera. b) Your image of Buddhist priests is shattered. c) You feel the urge to tuck in his sleeves. d) You want to become a priest, too.

Answer: d

7. It's a perfect spring day. You see someone you know. The first thing you say is:

a) It's hot today. b) It's very hot today. c) It's cold today. d) It's today.

Answer: a or c.

8. Ikebana:

a) is a form of live clay sculpture. b) is Japanese flower folding. c) is brainwashed flowers. d) tastes better than "natto."

Answer: d

9. The proper way to eat fish is to:

a) check first to see if it is still breathing. b) eat now, ask later. c) swallow whole, ask later. d) eat now, don't ask.

Answer: d.

10. You're walking down the road with your friends, four abreast. A car comes from behind. You:

a) move to get out of the way. b) continue walking and chatting, ignoring the car. c) count the number of stuffed animals in the windshield d) ask another friend to join you so you'll be five abreast.

Answer: b.

11) Japan is

a) an island nation. b) a very small country. c) a very narrow country. d) a country with 14 seasons.

Answer: All of the above.

Results: If your answers were mostly "a," with an occasional "b," you'll last only a few months in Japan and will go crying home to your mother country. If you chose mostly "b," with a smattering of "a," you'll quickly tire of bad Japanese architecture and return home after a year. If you chose mostly "c," you'll be here about five years. If you chose mostly "d," you're already Japanese and you'll be here more than five years. You may even move to an island.

PS, this test has a margin of error of 2 percent. Consider yourself part of that 2 percent.

Visit the Japan Lite home page at www.amychavez.com or e-mail comments to: amychavez@mailexcite.com

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