Bill Murray just did an AMA on Reddit. I’m a huge fan, so the whole thing is worth reading.
But one comment brought back memories. Someone asked:
What was the oddest experience you had in Japan?
His full answer is interesting:
The oddest… well, I was eating at a sushi bar. I would go to sushi bars with a book I had called “Making out in Japanese.” it was a small paperback book, with questions like “can we get into the back seat?” “do your parents know about me?” “do you have a curfew?”
And I would say to the sushi chef “Do you have a curfew? Do your parents know about us? And can we get into the back seat?”
And I would always have a lot of fun with that, but that one particular day, he said “would you like some fresh eel?” and I said “yes I would.” so he came back with a fresh eel, a live eel, and then he walked back behind a screen and came back in 10 seconds with a no-longer-alive eel. It was the freshest thing I had ever eaten in my life. It was such a funny moment to see something that was alive that no longer was alive, that was my food, in 30 seconds.
But the book reference cracks me up. I spent nine months in Japan (working for Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey) in 1989. And we had that book.
It was hilarious. Just like he said, it was a phrase book with real world slang, but also hilarious random relationship/sexual phrases.
I hadn’t thought of that book in over 20 years…