8:30am Monday in a Starbucks in Tokyo’s financial district. I’m working on a new feature for my business, as I start overhearing a conversation by two business men next to me. They’re both in their forties, local but dressed Western. One of them picks up the phone, puts his headphone in and starts a video-chat. In perfect English with a Japanese accent I pick up phrases that make me think he’s a mentor to whoever is on the other line “Believe me” and “Do you understand?”.
My attention fades back into work, but a few minutes later I notice loud laughter from the man. His contagious laugh makes me smile, and I decide to listen in. “Believe me I can make the loudest sounds. The loudest sounds come not from my mouth but from my ass. Do you know what they are called? Do you know what those loud sounds from my ass are called? Farts. They’re called farts.” I am now very entertained. He continues “Can you fart right now? Are you with people? Just fart, as loud as you can.” Laughter, then “Did a little poop come out? Are you sure?” I am in tears.
Clearly it was his son on the line and as he progresses to describe how the love for his son is larger than the distance from Mt. Fuji Japan’s tallest mountain they start the “No you hang up game” and my day was made.
Today I learnt about Japanese humor, that they love farting and aren’t afraid to share such intimate moments in public. This man was caring a lot to mentor his son with every sentence, and teach him about the things in life. Not a salary man, but a cool dad.