Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Japanese Admiral "Drives" USS Seawolf

Check out this picture of Japanese Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Tohru Izumi sitting at the Ship's Control Panel of USS Seawolf (SSN 21) while the boat was in port this week:

I think it's great; it's always good to see our allies getting a good look at our most capable class of submarine. (Note that the other Japanese admiral in the shot is the head of their submarine forces.) One reader wrote in to say that the picture kind of gave them "the creeps". I can understand that a little; to explain that, I'll have to explain the one prejudice I have against a national group. I'll come right out and say it... I don't feel comfortable around Germans.

As far as our former enemies from WWII go, I've never really had anything against the Japanese; it seemed to me that they accepted the verdict of the war, and they really have been a good ally since then. The Germans, on the other hand, took losing two World Wars before they came to their senses, and even then we were still adversaries with half the country during the Cold War. None of that history should make me feel badly towards this new generation of Germans, I know... it's just a prejudice that I can't justify. Nevertheless, it exists. When I was stationed in Groton in the early 90s, a German U-boat came over for a visit, and I got to help tour them around the Topeka. This was the first time I had met German military personnel, and I just couldn't help but think about what their grandparents had done. Later on during my Topeka JO tour, we met with Japanese submariners who were visiting San Diego, and I didn't have these bad feelings at all towards them. Later, when I was at CENTCOM during 2003-'04, the German officers had no problems with letting us know how smart they were for not getting involved in Iraq; even the French officers were much better, saying they were sorry their government wasn't acting like a good ally.

So what do you think? I recognize that I'm wrong to feel uncomfortable around Germans for what their grandparents did, but I know that the feelings are real nonetheless. Do any of you feel uncomfortable about being around any of our former enemies? (To avoid too much political debate, please don't say you don't like Mexicans because of what Santa Ana did to the Alamo.)

62 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not quite what you were talking about, but my husband is stationed at a NATO command, and having uniforms around with patches from the former Eastern Bloc countries took a good year to get used to.

That and the idea that our MWR put together a tour to St. Petersburg just seems a little off considering it didn't seem like that long ago with Reagan's Star Wars program if the Soviets ever attacked.

5/15/2009 9:49 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Jew and I don't feel particularly uncomfortable around Germans, even though their grandparents did their damnedest to make sure I wasn't born. I guess my biggest problem with today's Germans is not WWII, its their sense of superiority. Many Germans are very clear that they think their culture, economic system, and society are distinctly superior to their American counterparts. A German once told me that in America, its sink or swim and there are no second chances.

I had the enjoyment of informing this gentleman that my grandfather got a second chance when he fled to this country, with his German countrymen a few step behind, ready to kill a man who had won an Iron Cross for his (then) country on the battlegrounds of WW I.

My other big issue with the Germans and Japanese is that they have used their bad acts of 60 years ago as an excuse not to pay for their own defense, in blood or money. Time for them both to step up, IMHO

5/15/2009 9:53 AM

 
Blogger phw said...

I can't say that I have problems with Germans, Japanese, Russians, Vietnamese, whomever. I like the Germans and my wife and I hosted a Japanese student a couple years back. My wife actually speaks Japanese...

I do get pissed off when someone pops-off a leftist/populist rant however. So I am not a big fan of communists.

5/15/2009 10:25 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say that I personally draw a distinction between Japanese and German civilians and their military. A Japanese admiral has a duty to report back strengths and weaknesses he sees; a Japanese civilian sitting in that chair would probably ooh and ahh like a US civilian would. And he won't be filing an intel briefing afterward.

5/15/2009 11:06 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tora! Tora! Tora!


I couldn't resist.

5/15/2009 11:29 AM

 
Anonymous Hood said...

I think if some veterans of the Vietnam War (right now I'm thinking of Lt Gen Moore of We were Soldiers Once...And Young fame in particular, but others in other wars as well) can meet up and bond with those they fought against only decades before, I don't see why one would have a problem with people who weren't even born at the time of the war.

For the same reason I don't think I should be looked down upon for my ancestors being slave owners here in the South, I think it is ridiculous to do the same to people who can't choose who they are born to. That being said, if they are campaigning for the rising of the Fourth Reich, then go ahead and despise them; I will join you.

9:53 Anon, with regards to the Germans feeling they are superior, I imagine many of them feel the same way about Americans.

5/15/2009 11:33 AM

 
Blogger The Boise Picayune said...

Upon visiting Portsmouth Naval Base in England in 1981, the very first crew of a NATO ship to invite us aboard were the Germans, who treated us like family. O Gangers and Enlisted alike.

Additionally, visiting Berlin to participate in the party that was the fall of the Berlin Wall I was struck by the gregariousness of the people, so long as you didn't act like a typical "Ugly American" (You know... EVERYBODY speaks English so long as you speak slowly and loudly enough).

And if we're going to hold people accountable for the sins of their Grand Parents, let's talk about "Manifest Destiny", the Chinese, the Irish...

And those damned Saxons! ; )

5/15/2009 11:39 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

{9:53 Anon, with regards to the Germans feeling they are superior, I imagine many of them feel the same way about Americans.}

9:53 here again - if I heard an American spouting off like that, I'd tell them to STFU. I travel extensively through Europe and I feel its very important to be complimentary and polite when you are visiting a foreign land.

5/15/2009 12:14 PM

 
Blogger cheezstake said...

It's nice when you recognize someone in a picture like that. The COB is ETCM (SS) Jared Hofer. One funny guy.

I received some very bad news right where he is standing back in 2005.

... oh and as for question, it has been many years and we are ALL SUBMARINERS.

5/15/2009 12:46 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was growing up in Chicago in the 60's, one of the Boy Scout adult leaders flew for the Luftwaffle. My dad, who fought in Europe, thought it was cool.

5/15/2009 1:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interestingly, Japan has 19 submarines in the water, judging from Wikipedia. More than I thought.

Any idea on quality of boats and crews?

5/15/2009 2:04 PM

 
Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Adding um back? 85th time

I kind of proud of you guys, you covered it pretty good. So I am so sorry for Third Class John Carlos Rodriguez friends and family...and the men of the ship.

Yep, I remember a New London Day set of stories back maybe 4 years ago about another similar suicide with a young sailor on watch.

Was the USS Hawaii transfer delayed?

I would ask are mental health issues and suicide data made transparent on the big picture...can everyone see the current trends.

I remember it as nearly impossible to get off a submarine if you thought you have reached a limit... psych services was rough with keeping you on the boat. From once you get on the boat, I don’t think it is a voluntary service anymore.

All I can say is at many points in my life, if I had a gun on my person when I got mad or depressed, I won’t be here.

Mike

5/15/2009 2:14 PM

 
Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Rubber Ducky said: “Can we start a fund to buy Mike a weapon.”

This is what I mean by how two face Joel is. He lets you get away with making such a disrespectful response surrounding the death by suicide...weapon...of a submarine sailor!

5/15/2009 2:14 PM

 
Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

http://www.starbulletin.com/multimedia/photo_galleries/viewer/?galID=44971652&photo=1

Hmm, the hull, the brown spots...it looks pretty ratty as a whole. It is a brand new 2.5 billion dollar submarine going to show itself off to it’s new home port for the first time. You would have though the hull would have gotten a new black paint job?
..........................

5/15/2009 2:15 PM

 
Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Personally, I think that is another case of the Navy putting a submarine recklessly out to sea. I think that crew is impaired with grief. Further, it is extremely disrespectful of the crew with not being able to pay their last respects on Third Class John Carlos Rodriguez. Nobody now can go to the wake or funeral including...the CO or the Xo is not going to be their to pay their respects. I know it would be a large inconvenience because everyone expected to leave New London today...but at least they could give the crew a week of grieving and mourning in New New London.

Is than how the Navy respects the dead and a honored submarine service member?
.......................

Strange blog site?
Fav.or.it:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3051381863024180239&postID=3417131510547257157

5/15/2009 2:15 PM

 
Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

I am way ahead of you, way, way, way ahead of you ...and unlike most of you, when I make a inaccuracy or a mistake was brought to my attention, I immediately openly and without reservation apologized and corrected my mistake.
This is one of the few post that Bubblehead graciously didn’t erase.
Mike Mulligan said...
I apologize for my mistake. Hmm, it happened Friday and they notified the day on Tues, for Wednesday paper knowing they were leaving today.
5/14/2009 8:14 PM

5/15/2009 2:17 PM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

I've always hated the English. After what General Robert Ross did, I've just never had the stomach to understand why we didn't take them out when we had the chance.

[That was some serious foolin']

5/15/2009 2:21 PM

 
Blogger cheezstake said...

To Mike Mulligan

My second day on the Seawolf was the day the Sonar Tech shot himself while standing Below Decks Watch.

The CREW (yes) had to clean the passage way and pick remnants of the ST3 out of the cableway. I hope the Hawaii has handled their tragedy better than the 21 did.

5/15/2009 2:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't like the Russians. Everything they do is backaswards and stupid beyond belief.

Patton was right when he indicated the thought of telling the Red army to pack up and go the hell home once Berlin fell in 1945. We should have done exactly that. FDR would have had no difficulty with implementing such a move. FDR hated the Russians. He didn't want to include them in the lend lease policy at any time, either. It's too bad Truman was such a jack ass who felt the need to share all the spoils of war once Germany surrendered.

So yeah, it's the Russians I hate. We actually allowed them to stay in power.

The other thing I hate is that Mulligan is putting his posts from a whole other thread from yesterday on this thread.

Commander Joel, you're gonna have to kill the little bastard.

5/15/2009 2:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Joel on the Germans but for an unrelated reason: their language and speech. Having traveled there, I find that their style of speech is somewhere between grating and grueling -- worse than fingernails on a chalkboard. To me, it honestly comes across as a combination of 'utterly rude' and 'throwing up' all at the same time. Just not a nice, harmonious language at all...like, say, Italian.

BTW, the Russian word for German is 'Nemetsky.' It is derived from their word for 'dumb' -- as in 'unable to speak.'

5/15/2009 4:05 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two interesting experiences: While standing surfaced OOD and headed into Pearl I had the good fortune to pass an outbound Japanese submarine, and was utterly impressed by event. Two generations down the line and we were waving and snapping photographs, later at the Pearl Harbor memorial I was impressed by the solemn nature of the Japanese guests, while many of the Americans acted like clowns.

A year or so after the above event, I had the pleasure of being able to attend exercise Yama Sakora (sp?) outside of Osaka. The members of the Japanese military that I worked and drank with were first class guys through and through. Travelling in Japan was more interesting and the locals were more gracious, despite the language barrier, than in my European travels.

I think bubblehead has the right of this...good allies.

Boise Bubba

5/15/2009 4:06 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate talking to Germans sometimes because they all oppose us being in Iraq, and ask me why I think the U.S. has the right to be there.

I don't want to be the rude one and explain to them that the U.S., for a long time, wanted nothing more than to stay out of everybody's business, but Germany went off and screwed it all up.

5/15/2009 5:43 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't say that I have any problems with Germans or Japanese today...or really any of the nationalities I have gotten to know over the years - except...

CANADIANS!

Talk about a country with an inferiority complex. Canadians in general think they are smarter, more worldly, and better looking than all Americans. They have done pretty well living under our defense umbrella and have the gall to criticize Americans for not knowing their provinces. I would like to hear any of them list the Mexican States bordering the US.

If you see Canadians in Europe, their entire goal is to prove that they are not Americans. When I see the Maple Leaf it puts me over the edge.

I am serious about this. I am tired of dealing with Canadians and feeling patronized. They had better watch out when they deal with US. We may need some more land some day!

5/15/2009 6:35 PM

 
Blogger David said...

Anon @ 6:35 PM 5/15/2009

Can you find something less important to throw a hissy-fit about? New Zealanders don't want to be mistaken for Australians... German Swiss or Austrians for Germans, and so on.

Speaking as a Canadian, the notion of avoiding being taken for American, while often overdone, is an understandable one: basically, we're outnumbered and out-funded.

Your Mk 1 Avg. Canadian doesn't have a beef with individual Americans; however, Joe Sixpack, or whatever the current "average dude" buzzword is, is a different matter.

Besides, and please pardon me for a small amount of flag-waving, there are a few points where Canada is ahead of the US. Education is, overall, better, especially at the K-12 level; crime is lower (though, to be fair, we don't have the same sort of urban concentrations to deal with), and our government has a far better "refresh rate," and, until recently, has been generally free of hard polarities.

Plus, we don't have all that state's-rights hassle.

God Save the Queen!

5/15/2009 7:27 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sense is that American's all like or even love Canadians...right up until they meet one.

5/15/2009 7:44 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...please pardon me for a small amount of flag-waving, there are a few points where Canada is ahead of the US. Education is, overall, better, especially at the K-12 level; crime is lower (though, to be fair, we don't have the same sort of urban concentrations to deal with), and our government has a far better "refresh rate," and, until recently, has been generally free of hard polarities."

Thank you for making my point. To add to your list, Canadians are better looking, smarter, healthier, more polite, "greener" and more savvy in international affairs than US citizens - in their minds. Perhaps the fact that so few Americans know anything about Canada is a validation of Canada's insignificance?

5/15/2009 8:14 PM

 
Blogger phw said...

Come on... Don't pick on our brothers from the Great White North. After all this is the land that brought us Shatner.

5/15/2009 8:16 PM

 
Blogger Chap said...

Japanese have a good sub force. I learned something from the CO of one J-boat I was riding: he schwacked the opfor with style, he did.

The German ship Niedersachsen has a crew who have been absolutely classy in regard to relations with the Americans.

5/15/2009 9:22 PM

 
Blogger David said...

Why'd you have to bring up Shatner...

You do have a point, really. Still, at least we're not the EU!

5/15/2009 11:05 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the early 90's I collected an oral history from a retired EMC(SS) that was a member of the prize crew that brought U-2513 a type XXI U boat back to the states in summer of 1945. He told me that the average age of the German crew was about 19. He told me there were no hard feelings as the war was over for the Germans and they were essentially "brothers of the phin" The Oral History was published in the American Submariner in winter of 2003.

My personal about Germans based on working for DoD in Europe from 1984to 1990 is I find them to be pushy and they can be rude. I think it's part of the German Psyche. their military has taken a 180 degree turn from WWII hard core days. today most are conscripts and I think they would do their duty in wartime. It's just part of the German culture of obedience to authority and being organized. You'd understand it if you lived on the economy in Germany.

For many years I've had contacts with our JMSDF counterparts starting in 1962 with crew training for our Japanese "brothers of the phin" on JMSDF submarine Kuroshio S-501 ex-USS Mingo SS-261 and ending as host for JMSDF first Barbel Class submarine Uzushio SS-566 in 1974.

Their warships are first class. They train hard. Their attention to detail is legendary. Example: In the 60's USN deployed the Drone Antisubmarine Helicopter (DASH) which was a major failure in our Navy. The JMSDF bought the system, figured out the problems and made it work successfully. they gave it up when AsRoc came in and because they could no longer get parts for it from US manufacturers.

I was in Sasebo Japan aboard USNS Shasta T-AE-33 in 2006 when North Korea detonated their nuc. The next morning the JMSDF DD's started cycling through the ammo anchorages and loading out. The entire squadron of 7 DD's sailed out on Saturday morning and we all knew where they were headed. They have a first class Navy and I believe they could whip the Chinese navy hands down.

The Japanese culture tends to be reserved and polite to foreigners. My experiences over many years (1962-2008) in and around Japan supports this.

You might be interested to know that about 200 (plus or minus a few) Navy enlisted sailors retired and were living in Japan prior to WWII. All were recalled to active duty in late 1940 during mobilization prior to WWII. While the number seems small, all were "Old China Hands" and had spent many years in the Asiatic Fleet. I expect the number of Navy enlisted retiree's in Japan today is probably at least 10 fold over the 1940 number.

My two cents, and keep a zero bubble................

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

5/15/2009 11:15 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Japan is the only place where I experienced discrimination. It was mildly amusing, except some of my port visit hopes didn't pan out. And no, I am always polite and well behaved.

Everyone in Australia was cool, even the cabbie who challenged us to name and locate the capital of Australia. Which I did; I didn't point out that the news datelined Washington, DC gets a wider distribution than that from Canberra.

In Europe post Nav, the French and Romanians are fine as people, but have no conception of "urgency". Th Deutsch were easier to work with, but the main negative I really noticed in Europe was cigarettes.

I may have wandered a bit from the ex-opponent topic, but people everywhere I've been feel much like people here, once you spend some time with them.

-3383

5/15/2009 11:38 PM

 
Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

First visit to Japan, very discriminatory. Last visit--very different, had a great time.

The reason the brits and the germans all seem so 'holier than thou' is because that is how they see us. If there is anyone with a superiority complex it's US. "Hey, we are the world superpower, do what we say!" They blow us off and we get mad, just like school bullies who realize not everyone is afraid of us.

Our one time enemies, the Japanese, are now our most heavily armed ally (nuclear weapons excepted). Every submariner I have met (JN, UK, CA, GE, FR, ROK, SE) is a pro, and I wouldn't want to go up against any of them. Top notch.

5/16/2009 4:53 AM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

So let's tote up our former enemies. Let's see...

Germany and Japan. Got that. And...
Italy.
France.
Russia.
China.
Canada.
Mexico.
All of Eastern Europe.
Norway.
Iraq.
Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.
Iran.
Panama.
Grenada.
Lebanon.
Vietnam
Cambodia.
Korea.

And probably more. I guess we need to go with Randy Newman:"We'll save Australia - don't want to hurt no kangaroo." Otherwise, wisdom lies with giving it up and agreeing that nations don't have friends (or enemies), just relationships and interests.

Former Marine Commandant Al Gray frequently said 'there are no crowded battlefields.' The way to decide who your friend is is to watch which way he's shooting. If it's in the same general direction you are, that's a friend.

5/16/2009 9:41 AM

 
Anonymous David said...

First off I would like to say thanks for your blog. I am learning quite a bit about the submarine service. It's interesting since my step son in law and stepdaughter are stationed in Hawaii. He is an Ensign and she is a HM2 in the Navy Reserves. As part of his training he has been on submarines and since I know zip about them, reading this blog has enlightened me. Thanks again for the great stories and information here.

5/16/2009 9:59 AM

 
Anonymous SJV said...

I sense the same superior attitude from Germans, but who really knows?

They have us to thank for treating them with respect after the war, and for us beating the Russians in the Cold War. Without the fall of the USSR, East and West Germany would still be split, and the travel restrictions (and poor living conditions) would continue.

As far as Iraq goes, it seems to me like the Germans share the Iraqi sentiment of "It's okay to put my neighbor in prison, so long as you don't put me there." Things under Saddam were quite open, save for the one thing: Don't make any comments against the government. Freedom of speech, just such a small thing....if you're a mouse.

I had an exended conversation with a couple Indians about that, and they thought it was totally fine that people who criticized the government were put in prison, shot, tortured...whatever. They said such treatment was okay as a condition of the freedoms and openness that Iraqis enjoyed under Saddam.

It goes to show that even though we all share many of the same parts of the human condition, nationality CAN still have a strong effect on our beliefs.

I think most of us who were willing to die so that others could enjoy the freedoms we enjoy here are confused by those who are willing to give it up just so they can live in relative comfort.

Just goes to show we've got a long way to go with human rights in places like India and China. When enough of the regular people who live there find out what real freedom is, there will be some massive bloodshed.

5/16/2009 11:04 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

{Why'd you have to bring up Shatner...

You do have a point, really. Still, at least we're not the EU!}

I don't think you understand. Shatner is why we love Canada. Its like the French and Jerry Lewis. Just nod and smile. You don't really want to understand - it would just be more disturbing.

5/16/2009 11:28 AM

 
Anonymous SJV said...

I think most Canadians are in the club who are okay with the government taking away all their freedom, so long as they have "free" healthcare, "free" time off from work, "free" retirement...etc.

5/16/2009 11:39 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SJV,
Which freedoms do we as Americans have that have been taken away from Canadians? Sure, they pay higher taxes for those things, but I'm quite sure they have all the freedoms we do.

5/16/2009 12:06 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no problem with Canadians.
Well okay, just one problem...their beer for the most part, sucks. Labatt and Molson should never be imported over here. Moosehead isn't too bad though.

If you meet a German with a superiority complex, then ask them a simple question... If you see yourself as being smarter and tougher than everyone else, then why did you start and then lose two world wars last century?
Any thoughts along those lines Herr Badass?

5/16/2009 12:07 PM

 
Anonymous SJV said...

HELLO, ANONYMOUS! Are you there?

Uh....the freedom to choose (for themselves) how to spend the money they pay in extra taxes for all those things they (and it seems you) THINK are free.

Seems like you aren't really PAYING attention, either ;0)

Sorry, couldn't resist. Anything the government provides for "FREE" always costs more than it will in an open system.

5/16/2009 1:32 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SJV,
This is getting off topic, and I'm going to leave it at this, but Canadians choose to have their government provide those services. It's not as if our government doesn't provide anything for "free". I'm not saying their way is the best or most efficient way to go about things, but they are not somehow less free than us.

By your logic, the high income earners in this country (since they pay higher taxes by percentage and in absolute terms) are less free than those with small incomes.

5/16/2009 1:50 PM

 
Blogger kwicslvr said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/16/2009 3:02 PM

 
Blogger kwicslvr said...

Man that's just wrong you won't let us talk of the Alamo! That's religeon down here in Texas. Especially to those of is that can trace our ancestry to the Great Republic!

:p

5/16/2009 3:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I rode a couple of Japanese submarines in the mid-90's. Very professional, clean boats and dedicated.

Since I was the Ops Chief, I focused more on navigation. They did have a few issues with PMI but quickly caught on with the system we had in place. We even got a couple of Amercan "kills" when I was on board.

Jim C.

5/16/2009 3:23 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No-one give a shit about the Alamo. It's nice to see if you're on the riverwalk, but that's about it. Do you honestly think the Mexican army could defeat the state of Texas? You want some thing to chew on then get pissed off at Ozzy Osborne, who in the summer of 1982, pissed on the cenotaph depicting the names of those who died at the Alamo. Anything short of that doesn't really count now does it?

5/16/2009 4:38 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been to Japan twice while working for the Navy and loved every minute of it. For the most part the people were exactly what you've come to expect from the Japanese. Extremely courteous, attentive, professional, and deferential. However, there were two incidents that made me stop and think, "hmm . . ."

The first was when I visited the city of Kumamoto. I went to see the reconstructed castle which was awesome. Then I took their very convenient city trolley system to a famous garden. Here is where things went a bit sideways. When I got on the trolley there were only two or three other people on the car, all on one side of the car. Following normal human nature I sat on the other side. As we made our way through the city the trolley started to fill up, and I noticed that as people got on they always seemed to take whatever seat was farthest away from me. Only when the car was entirely full did someone take either seat next to me. It should be noted that approximately 80% of the people on the trolley were women so perhaps it's just that unaccompanied women do not usually sit next to an unaccompanied male, but it was still a bit disconcerting.

The other incident happened in Sasebo. Myself and two other Americans went to a Chinese restaurant. We expacted that, like most restaurants in Japan, when we were finished we would take the check up to the counter to pay. And we were pretty sure that's what the other customers were doing. However, when we got the check, there was a note attached to it that said, in english, "Please pay waiter at table before leaving", or something to that effect. Granted, it is possible that they simply understood that most westerners expect to pay the check at the table and they were simply trying to accomodate western expectations, but we also wondered if maybe they were having problems with foreigners skipping out on the check and we were being stereotyped as a result. Again, it just made you go, "hmm . . . "

5/16/2009 9:17 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:17 here again, in the spirit of full disclosure I wanted to add one other story.

Myslef and some other Americans went to a tempura restaurant in Sasebo which turned out to be on of my favorites. We had a great time, the food was amazing, and we were getting pretty loaded on Asahi at the same time (don't worry, we behaved ourselves). We were ordering ungodly amounts of food and not really keeeping track of it. The proprieter seemed to be keeping track of our bill. When we were done we walked up to the counter and the proprieter basically just quoted a price to us, it sounded about right, we paid and we on our way. We were about three blocks away when the proprieter came running up behind us and started apologizing profusely about something. We could not quite understand what was going on at first, but finally figured out that she had overcharged one of us and she proceeded to give back the equivalent of about $8 to one of the other guys. Can't say you'd expect that kind of honesty in the states.

5/16/2009 9:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel-
I'm disappointed in you for even raising this topic. Is this a KKK blog or what? What about the people who can't stand or are "uncomfortable" around Mormons?
You've dropped a couple of notches in my book, CDR.

"If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other cause for prejudice by noon."
George Aiken

5/18/2009 5:33 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am extremely uncomfortable around people who wear khakis. Never trusted them. Never will.

ex EM1(SS)

5/18/2009 6:05 AM

 
Blogger phw said...

Anon@0533,

There is no need to get in an uproar. The topic is tongue-in-cheek stuff. In any event, I am sure every other country has similar things to say about Americans.

5/18/2009 7:46 AM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"I am extremely uncomfortable around people who wear khakis. Never trusted them. Never will."

As former chief and officer... me too.

5/18/2009 7:57 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate Kansas farmers. Why? I drive a 2 lane road 30 miles to and from work each day. It's a fairly rural road, traveled by lots of hayseed farmers in their old pickup trucks. They drive 10 mph under the speed limit on their way to the diner to drink coffee and talk about the weather. They are slow pokes, operating at the pace corn grows. I'm a fast poke, and they get in my way.

Sometimes I wish I had a set of those vertical bumpers attached to the front of many state trooper cars. I'd just scoot up from behind until I made contact with their rear bumper, put the peddle to the metal, and just scare the crap out of them. Maybe then they'd get their slow poke asses in gear or off my road.

Coalition Against Slow Poke Kansas Farmers (CASPKF)

5/18/2009 11:40 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've not met a group of people in my life that are as kind, humble and freely giving of their time and efforts as Midwest farmers...including those in Kansas.

Slow down, CASPKF-guy, you might just learn something...including good manners from good people.

5/18/2009 12:08 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interestingly, Japan has 19 submarines in the water, judging from Wikipedia. More than I thought. Any idea on quality of boats and crews? The new boats are top notch. Unbelievably clean (& they don't Field Day) and capable. ALL of their crews (on new or old boats) from Officers to Chiefs to Sailors are extremely competent.

I was fortunate enough to spend a few days at sea on the Uzushio last year, and I've done ops w/ several others of the Oyashio class.

Oh, and they treated me like I was a Fleet Admiral the whole time.

STSC

5/18/2009 11:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5/18/2009 @ 12:08 guy,

Relax dude. It was just a bit of humor; the same as all other's posts to this thread should have been.

Kansas farmers, and farmers in general feed us and provide us with corn based gasoline. They are mostly good folks who do not deserve to be the targets of hate groups such as CASPKF.

But they do tend to drive too slow for me.....

5/19/2009 10:30 AM

 
Blogger Greg said...

I'm of German descent myself. Growing up, I was told my grandfather (on my dad's side) was a German soldier who was captured and interred in a POW camp here in the States and stayed after the war ended. Frankly, I'm less ashamed of him than I am my grandfather on my mother's side who descends from early 1800 immigrants and was in the US Army during WWII, but was a racist, anti-Semitic, male chauvinist SOB who abused his wife and kids.

5/25/2009 7:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel, regarding Germans perhaps you heard about this incident after 9/11:
http://www.snopes.com/rumors/winston.asp

Now, back to lurking, but let me tell you first that I really enjoy your blog.

5/29/2009 9:36 AM

 
Blogger Zoe Brain said...

The Russian submariners? Our opponents, never our enemies.

6/01/2009 11:32 PM

 
Blogger derek said...

who is cheezsteak??? this is squishy.

9/01/2009 3:49 AM

 
Blogger 123 123 said...

Interesting story you got here. It would be great to read a bit more about that topic.
BTW look at the design I've made myself Overnight escort

11/16/2009 3:32 AM

 
Anonymous viagra online said...

A Japanese admiral has a duty to report back strengths and weaknesses he sees, It will be our share?

6/03/2010 10:14 AM

 
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