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"Hai!" said the Japanese attendant, failing to understand that Jones wanted the tray to be refilled.
Reaching back for a little extra linguistically, Jones said, "Hai! Hai!"
The Japanese responded immediately to this new American game. He laughed and said, "Hat! Hai!" The two stood there shouting hais at each other over the counter until Jones finally said, "Hey, man, come on. Give me some salad!" Instantly he was provided with enough lettuce and tomatoes for 10 men, which occasioned another round of hais, a few bows and a perplexed look on the part of the American.
One night a manufacturer of track equipment took U.S. Sprinters Paul Drayton, Ulis Williams and Henry Carr to a geisha house (a geisha house is not a home, but it is not a house, either), where another epicurean difference of opinion popped up. Talking about it the next day, the cheery Drayton was still in a state of euphoria. "Great!" he said. "Wonderful! Magnificent! They fed us. They actually sat there and fed us!"
"Yeah," said Carr, unimpressed. "They fed us seaweed."
More piquant times were enjoyed by those who visited the Japanese nightclubs whose hostesses are sort of Oriental B-girls. Giggling and grasping, they give the old come-on to the handsome and the ugly, the scintillating and the insipid with equal ebullience, so long as the customer keeps on swilling drinks and setting up drinks for the girls. It may be said without exaggeration that never before have so many officials, coaches, timers, journalists and athletes nibbled so many ears to so little avail, and at such high cost. One night a pair of Australian weight lifters had a happy time in a bar on the last night of liberty before their final training program. Hostesses came and went, merrily ordering drinks, and at the end the Aussies were presented with a bill for $80. They paid up and grabbed a policeman, who talked the manager into making a 50% refund. The Aussies accepted the money and then gave it back, in the interests of international accord.
But what East was doing to West was as nothing compared to what West was doing to East at the Japanese stores in the Olympic Village, where athletes could buy goods ranging from cheap gewgaws to $200 pearl necklaces. By the end of the first week of training, there was hardly a shop that had not taken a beating from shoplifters. One unscrupulous group of athletes entered a radio store, and while several of them engaged the clerks in conversation, others skipped with two transistor radios worth $11 and $22. "We are sorry we are off guard, believing all the athletes to be ladies and gentlemen representing their country," the manager said later. A watch store nearby was missing two $20 items. A jewelry shop took a spot inventory and found a pair of $125 pearl necklaces had been lifted, and doodad shops reported any number of stolen ballpoint pens, silk neckerchiefs and other mementoes of the Games.
The Japanese press underplayed this scandal, carrying out its motif of don't-rock-the-boat courtesy, but the consensus among old Japan hands was that a few more such larcenies would bring out another aspect of the Japanese character, and one not so palatable. Underneath their bowing, smiling exteriors, the Japanese retain a layer of hostility and hurt, a sort of riot complex compounded of the old warrior tradition, the memory of B-29s, and resentment of the unreasonable conviction of most gaijin, or foreigners, that all Japanese are patsies. Already there were Japanese who were as set against the Olympics as some New Yorkers were against the World's Fair, and one Tokyo paper went so far as to run a violent anti-Olympic diatribe on page one. A little fanning of that non-Olympic flame, plus a few more peccadilloes by the gaijin athletes, could produce some fancy confusions and disorders at such events as the marathon, an event which already troubles Japanese police, since they do not know if they will be able to contain the crowd along the full 26-mile course. There are rumors that disgruntled Indonesians and North Koreans will try to snarl some of the events in retaliation for the banning of some of their countrymen who took part in the 1963 Games of the New Emerging Forces at Jakarta.
So all was not necessarily peaceful beneath the exterior of flowers and ginkgo trees, Cio-cio Sans and Lieutenant Pinkertons, geishas and frug dancers assembled in Tokyo. One could only hope that the spectacular opening ceremonies and the first splashes of competition had served to revitalize the Olympic mystique, and the XVIII Olympiad, biggest ever, would become the most memorable. Clearly, the time had come to put away childish things. The time had come for grandeur.