Last night, my boyfriend and I watched a film, called “Transsiberian “, which is an American film released in 2008. An American couple met a Spanish couple in a train travelling from Beijing to Moscow and the American wife found that the Spanish guy was carrying illegal drugs….
It is a good and thrilling story with a lot of twists. It looked very realistic in terms of how it looks inside trains in communist countries such as China or Russia and how they treat their passengers. If you like suspense or crime action films, I recommend it, and it is an enjoyable movie for people who love train trips.
At the end of the film, the American couple was chased by Russian guys calling themselves ‘detectives’ and the husband yelled to one of the guys who were about to kill them(one of the ‘detectives’), “We are Americans!”, which was absolutely hopeless in the middle of nowhere in the snowy woods.
Why did he have to shout, “We are Americans”? I guess that he wanted to say, “We are not the same as you, because we are some kind of special people here. We shouldn’t be treated like this!” I am not insulting American people. I know there is this type of people anywhere in the world, who believe that their passport is as useful as a magic lamp. In reality, it helps sometimes, but not always.
His reaction at the most fatal moment made me laugh because it reminds me of some Japanese people whom I met in China or Hong Kong and who are thinking that they are ‘special’ people in Asia just because of their Japanese passport.
The Japanese economy is still stronger than in other countries in Asia, even though they have had some difficult periods in recent decades. There are lots of Japanese people living in China or other Asian countries and some of them are very arrogant.
Itis easy for them to misunderstand because they are treated so well there. They have more than enough salary to live on in their expensive accommodation and domestic workers may even be provided by their companies.
They can have luxurious lives which they cannot afford in Japan. Once they go back to Japan though, most of them live in small houses where they have to pay the mortgage and are squeezed into a train to commute.
I was working for a Japanese restaurant chain company in Hong Kong from 2004 to 2014. Many of the Japanese guests were rude and bossy to my local colleagues. However, they always became very nice to me as soon as they realised I was a Japanese who could speak fluent Cantonese. The dramatic change of their attitude always made me laugh and I wanted to ask them, “Who do you think you are?”
The environment can change people. It could easily make you misunderstand who you are, but ultimately we are all the same human beings.
While we were watching the film, I couldn’t stop imagining what would happen if the Japanese people had some trouble in the middle of nowhere in the Taklimakan Desert? Would they cry out loud, “I AM JAPANESE — !?”