Overall I have been living in Japan for nearly 2 years now. Before I came out to Japan I had only ever used chopsticks once and that was at my job interview where I was given a free bento box (Japanese style lunchbox usually containing rice, fish, vegetables and meat). I was fairly hopeless at using them at first but within a short amount of time I mastered it and by the time I had to use them for the first time here it wasn’t really a problem.
It is therefore still a little incredible to be constantly asked by Japanese people (when we go out for food and drinks) whether I can use chopsticks. It seems that many Japanese (and in particular those who have never been abroad) assume that us ‘gaijin‘ (foreigners) stick exclusively to western food and eat it with a knife and fork.
Given the number of Japanese people to be found in Italian, Korean, Chinese, Indian, French and Spanish restaurants in Tokyo I really don’t understand they’re coming from in terms of why they think we would eat only traditional western food rather than food which is popular the world over. Anyway, thats enough of this rant as I’m off to get some fish and chips at the local British bar!!!