Over the weekend our friends Chris and Caitlin had a couple of their friends come to Nagoya to visit and we all went out for dinner. While we were eating these two Japanese girls came over to talk with us. This is common in Japan. After a sufficient number of alcoholic drinks, Japanese people lose their reluctance to practice their English on foreigners. They stayed for a few minutes to talk about where we were from and how they wanted to go to America and Canada and then returned to their table.
After dinner we saw them again with their male friends at the subway station. This is where things got a little weird...
I guess the male friends wanted to see what I looked like under my shirt so they come over and before they had even introduced themselves they lifted my shirt up to see what I was hiding. I found this very amusing. I guess they liked what they saw because then they felt my pecs. They felt over my shirt so it was only a little weird. I probably would have drawn the line at being felt-up underneath my shirt. Instead of responding like a lot of foreigners would (yelling, lashing out, screaming) I just lifted their shirts up. They and their girl friends found this incredibly amusing because they all burst out laughing. The guys then slapped their bellies and said they were fat. I told them that I'm skinny because I run every week; they told me they were fat because they drink beer every week.
That episode was definitely the strangest thing that has happened to me since moving here. I thought maybe I wasn't offended because I had been drinking but even two days later I still think it's just funny. I think a lot of it had to do with the demeanor of my frisky friends. They were drunk and happy and harmless. Had some sober Japanese business man come up to me to lift my shirt my reaction would have been much different.
My only regret was that I didn't tell the guys that next time they want to see a foreign man's stomach they should send their girl friends over to do the undressing.