There was a guy -- I remember his name: Vincent Bandoh. He was from Vancouver and somehow he had found his place teaching English in Japan, alongside me. This must have been 1990 or so -- he must be in his forties now.
But Vince had a problem. He looked Japanese, acted Japanese, but couldn't speak Japanese to climb a tree. He WAS Japanese, but he told me his parents spoke to him in Japanese but he spoke English back. Because he really, really, couldn't speak hardly a word.
So when we went to the McDonald's, everyone was confused. We had to order, but the waitress was looking at Vince. She refused to look at me, no matter how confused Vince looked. When he started telling me his order (he couldn't even read Japanese) and I started telling her, she still ignored me, expecting some kind of "Japaneseness" or maybe "Asianness" out of him.
When I finally put him out of his misery by ordering for him, he was a trembling wreck.
"Vince," I said, "You LOOK Japanese, ACT Japanese and ARE Japanese, so you kind of have to LEARN Japanese."
He looked at me and said "You really think so?"