In episode 35 of Ojamajo Doremi, Doremi is auditioning for a role in a film and is asked to pantomime eating a steak, a la Maya from Glass Mask. Before beginning Doremi asks whether or not the imaginary steak is a cheaper, supermarket steak or a high-quality restaurant steak as pictured above. Upon seeing it for the first time, my initial thought was, “TWO-INCH STEAK? THAT’S HUGE!”
But of course that’s not a two-inch steak at all. It’s two centimeters, and just by virtue of growing up in the United States I naturally assumed that the ruler would be an imperial one when given no other point of reference. And it goes without saying that I didn’t bother noticing that each unit of measurement was broken up into 10 sections instead of 8.
It’s really simple and also kind of silly, but it makes me really aware of how my environment has affected me on a variety of levels. In fact, lately I’ve been trying to avoid making too many assumptions based on prior knowledge, even going so far as to read a Japanese language book about American comics to see what might not necessarily be “obvious” to someone who didn’t grow up with a non-robot-driving Spider-Man.
If I can keep learning, then it’s all for the best.