Sunday, July 16, 2006

When to use chin-chin and when to use kanpai

When you're at the other end of the earth, you're easily forgiven for making some remarks which can sound rude or plain offensive to the locals. "Chin-chin" for example, seems to have other meanings other than the plain old european drinking salute. So if you don't want to have reactions over the table, avoid using that word in Japan, and instead use "Kanpai" which is the Japanese equivalent to "Cheers!". If on the other hand, if you like the shock value of it all, then using "Chin-chin", especially loudly, will probably raise a few eyebrows because "chin-chin" in japanese stands for "penis".

Even though we learnt this through trial and error, I made some research and found this funny reference:
"Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin"

That's the same night that we tried the monjayaki dish. This is how it looks like on certain occasions:

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