If you live in Japan for a while, you will hear this phrase quite often. "You use chopsticks very well!".

I tried to get to the bottom of it. When somebody commented on my expert chopstick usage, I asked them if that was one of their first English lessons. I asked them if they thought that only Japanese people used chopsticks. I asked them about that old guy out of Karate Kid who used to be in Happy Days.

I never found out why Japanese people like to say "You use chopsticks very well". I guess it's because they want to say something to practice their English, and maybe they think foreigners wouldn't know how to use chopsticks. Or maybe I really am some sort of chopstick expert.

But whenever I tried to turn the tables and say something like "You use a knife and fork very well!", all I got back was funny looks.

Sumimasen, yabanjin desu.