Friday, February 15, 2008

Ruminations of the Rising Sun

If there's one thing you invariably do in a land where you don't wholly speak/understand the language or culture, it's observe, think, and reflect. There's only so much time you can spend delving into English/Japanese translation tools to explain a few simple topics such as how best to serve shochu (15 minutes) or why I rarely carry a cel phone (impossible to quantify). Thus, I spent a considerable amount of time living as a mute during my brief stint in the east. A mute, contemplating some of the following:

-Shochu really is best served in a 5:5 ratio.

-American's habit of tearing through wrapped gifts like rabid wolfmen may be considered poor manners, but watching someone spend 10 minutes to open a box isn't so great either.

-There are some spectacular rides on incredibly varied terrain to be had in Kyushu.

-I read the book "The Good War" by Studs Terkel while there. By all accounts, WWII wasn't so "good".

-Cold weather has little effect upon Japanese dress. Including extremely short skirts.

-WTF? Seven bucks for a bottle of Miller???

-Cheap Japanese beer is better than cheap American beer.

-Expensive Japanese beer is a lot like cheap Japanese beer.

-The lack of viable, safe, clean, respected alternative modes of transportation in the US is a savage embarrassment.

-Everyone slurping udon in one room is kind of disgusting.

-Sadame-san moves around better than the 7 year old fatty with the Mountain Dew glued to his porky little hands this past summer.

-Sadame-san was born during the second year of Theodore Roosevelt's Presidency.

-Cel phones can be used is public places with discretion and courtesy.

-Cycling helmet use in Japan is on par with the old BS rides: nonexistent.

-Mt. Kempo is approximately a 10km climb with an average gradient of 7% and a maximum of 13%.

-Outdoor and cave onsens are the best way to kick it old school and an excellent post ride haunt.

-Soft core porn mags are shelved, uncovered, next to the manga. Sugoi!

-Customer service is the best I've ever experienced. Even from the 16 year olds. Worst-Buy, Walfart, and just about every other big box retailer don't hold a candle to them. Not even a turd candle.

-That goes double for government services (Wow, you mean you won't talk down to me and sigh loudly because I'm wasting your time?)

-Dogs are dogs. Not pseudo-people in cute fur outfits.

-Fish heads aren't so bad. Puffer fish testacles aren't either.

-Pig intestine is wretched.

-Central heat and AC needn't be standard issue in homes when all you use is one room at a time.

-Weird Japanese television shows seem to be relegated to American TV screens. I didn't see any.

-Tommy Lee Jones is on every single Boss Coffee vending machine.

-Japanese ads have a superb knack for making Hollywood stars look completely ridiculous.

-Obama would easily take a Kyushu primary.


The King said...

What.... No anime porn?

Strangelife said...

I saw some manga of that nature, but no anime.



Ari said...

After 20 years in Chicago, I still wonder why I am here. Do you know??

Ari said...

After 20 years in Chicago, I still wonder why I am here. Do you know??

Ari said...

Wow you got a double!
You win!