Monday, December 31, 2007

The Giant Minutes to 2008...

Well, 2007 is now finally coming to a close with the great new year of the mouse 2008 waiting for us all and I thought I should summarize some notable things from this year as a kind of closure exercise.

The interesting video illustrating this post can be called that of the biggest hit in Japan of 2007, the guy is called Kojima and the act you can see in the video is basically what he's all about so far. He's been hugely popular now for the last 6 months and appear basically everywhere, doing the same stuff every time. It consists of him talking about something (this can vary, I give him that), stopping himself after a small mistake saying "oh, shit" and then the music starts and the next part of his act with the dancing starts, culmunating with him pumping his arms down and singing "sonnna no kannkei nai" which could translate to something like "but that's got nothing to do with it". I think I've must lived here too long now, because I still find him pretty amusing but if he doesn't come up with a good way to diversify he might up in the same forgotten place as the golden dandy and Tetsu and Tomo (don't ask) by early 2008.

Personally, 2007 has been both a great and a horrible year, but in focusing on the good side, the biggest revelation of 2007 has been Ms. Sunshine and I hope I can have her stick around since my quality of life improves significantly when she's around.

Best toy of 2007 is without doubt the great God-Jesus , I can agree that practically the toy wasn't launched this year, but due to the lack of competition it still wins the award of best toy 2007!

Worst country 2007 is also France, same as last year and the year before that. But now, after spending over a month there it's become personal...

2007 has also been a year packed with stupid projects and I have problems selecting the most stupid project of 2007, the competition is really harsh there and I think the only answer here is "most of them" and I have the feeling that I ended up with the most messed up projects, but I am still here so I guess I shouldn't complain too much about it. But I must say that the award of most blatant display of stupidity 2007 must go to Mr. Chin during our "potato chips" project.

Funniest but not unexpected news of 2007 was US nazi fuhrer Kevin Strom (leader of the National Vaguard nazi organization) being arrested on child pornography charges, always funny when they mess up in that way.

The award of Best niece 2007 is also one with hard competition, but I guess it must go to my newly produced little baby niece.

Anyway, to all the readers of this little blog, have a happy new year and see you around in 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007


My Justice League of America T-shirt project is not progressing as fast as I would've like it to do, but now I've managed to add a Hawkman T-shirt to the collection!

If anyone has any ideas where to find Aquaman, The Atom and Green arrow t-shirts, please let me know!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I drink to forget...

There's one Japanese tradition that I'm pretty fond of that is occurring now when businesses are getting ready to close the shop over the important New Year's celebration. Companies often gather together their tired employees and hold, so called, "Bounen-kai".
The basic premise of this little event is simply put a year end party and it doesn't contain any too strange ingredients, usually a dinner of some kind (the type of place is irrelevant, it can be held in a Mexican restaurant or Japanese sushi restaurant) and liberal amounts of beer and similar beverages for those that like that. In my previous life, working in a more traditional Japanese corporate environment it could become a bit too much with me having to participate in events all over Japan with different branches, customers, distributors and God knows what. In the world of management consulting it is not like that.

What I like about this tradition is the bleakness of the event. The events themselves are usually pretty fun, but definately depends on the crowd you are working with etc. But "Bounen-kai" translated into English means something in the vein of "Party to forget the hardship of year". So everyone gathers together and drink, have fun and forget all the trouble from the year so far. It's not about celebrating the year or anything positive, it's all about forgetting the old year.

So, ok, when you had your Bounen-kai and gone on the New Year's vacation. You come back and the there usually is another event waiting around the corner; the "Shinnen-kai" which basically is held in similar format as the Bounen-kai but with the premise to gather up the strenght for success in the coming year. Now, since I've been living and working here in Japan for over six years now, I've been through these proceedures several times and everytime we have a Shinnen-kai toasting to a great new year, but at the end of it we always end up with the Bounen-kai trying to forget all about it...

The total pessimism about this event somehow appeals to me and with a little effort I've managed to gather together a few of the remaining souls in the office for an ad hoc Bounen-kai, a coalition of the willing, if you will. We will do our best to forget about the year so far!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My sincere condolences...

Just the other day, I got an e-mail from a Japanese friend of mine wishing me a happy new year, and this specific friend is always very thourough in sending out traditional new year cards to hear friends and colleagues. In the e-mail she explained to me that since her father had passed away earlier this year it is custom to not send out any traditional new year greeting cards and she apologized by mail for this so I would understand why I didn't get any from her this year.

Personally, I'm a pretty crappy card writer and am very bad at sending out cards like this, I do it from a professional standpoint to business contacts etc. but not very good at doing it to friends, this years effort extended to a simple e-card which I sent out in a cluster to friends (if you're one of those who received it, please forgive me!). But still, like anyone I appreciate getting a physical card, it is nice.

But with this new found knowledge, I have decided to now assume that there had been a death in the family this year if I don't get a card sent to me. Laziness or the fact that not a few Japanese people are similarly bad as me in doing this I will pretend doesn't exist.

I have a feeling that quite a few of my Japanese friends has had a sad year with my definition, but I'm sticking to it.

Oh... it's you again...

Recently something really awkward happened... I was enjoying myself at the Tokyo Disneyland with the always lovely Ms. Sunshine, standing in line for Curry Popcorns, eating churros and riding all the exciting rides like "It's a small world", "Pooh's Honey Hunt", "Peter Pan" and such exciting things...

However, during the Pinocchio ride something really awkward happened, I ran into him again, I had no idea he was gonna be there and not in the Pinocchio ride of all places. It was pretty awkward when our eyes met but we both pretended like nothing...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Sountrack of My Life

I have an internal soundtrack with a number of songs that start playing inside my head during certain situations and I thought I would share this with you. Please note that I do not necessarily like all of these songs, these songs start playing in my head during certain situations irrespective of my wishes...

Ice Cube - Good Day
This song usually plays when I've had a good pleasant days, especially when I'm with Ms. Sunshine it's not unusual that this plays, including the more explicit parts. "Didn't even have to use my AK"...

John Fogerty - Bad Moon Rising
This one usually comes on during mornings when I sense that there will be trouble or problems in a project at work...

Nick Cave - Everything Must Converge
This one is also work connected, but pretty positive at that. This one usually starts playing when we're sitting on plenty of datapoints that are pointing in different directions but I feel pretty certain that we'll figure things out in the end and that the data will converge at some point. "Everything must converge in time, everything must converge someday, somehow some way, in time, I hope and pray that everything must converge".

Ministry - Flashback
This is a classic one that usually comes on during girl problems, fortunately it's been many years since it's been on heavy rotation.

N.W.A. - Fuck tha Police
Another classic rap song and this one comes on when I feel that I'm catching undeserved heat during work. I'm not black, teenager, have a lot of gold or a pager, but still the part "fucking with me because I'm a teenager, with a little bit of gold and a pager" speaks to some part of me...

Sisters of Mercy - Nine While Nine
Probably the most important song to me when I was in my late teens and it's still a classic, but it now plays when I'm really cold which makes it a frequent soundtrack to life in a Japanese apartment during winter. "It's so damn cold and I just don't know..."

The Pogues - The Sunny Side of the Street
Another positive song that usually plays after a good party or something similar when I've had a really good time. "I had the women, I had the booze"

Leather Strip - Walking on Volcanoes
This one is a new one in my internal soundtrack is also work related and is also relatively positive in the sense that it comes on when I've managed to navigate my way through internal problems or an annoying client but still somehow managed to come out intact. "I'm not scared, I'm walking on volcanoes, I'm not scared, I'm running through tornadoes"

Tiamat - However You Look at It You Lose
Work related song too, usually comes on when things are getting out of control, last minute scope slippage or something similar that suddenly brings on a host of problems that we had hoped to avoid. Mr. Chin is pretty good at messing things up like this...

Cat Rapes Dog - Thing I Hate
A general song that starts playing when I'm pissed off at something...

Pig - Hello Hooray
The Pig cover of the old Alice Cooper song, a song that most often comes on in connection to work and is another one that can start playing at the end of a project where things somehow got done with some suffering. "I've been waiting so long to sing my song, I've been waiting so long for this day to come"

Dark Tranquility - Misery's Crown
A song that basically stopped rotation now since it was very heavily tied to Mr. J and came on when his personal problems and his problems in the workplace affected my work in a negative way, but since he's gone now this song it basically out. "Don't bring it, don't bring your misery down on me"

and of course, no internal soundtrack would be complete without at least one Ramones song and for me that's "I wanna be Sedated" and this one usually comes on when I'm exhausted for some reason, either work, a nasty cold or something similar...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I take it all back! Bring back summer anytime, I can handle the heat, I can handle the sweating, I can handle the smelly people! I hate this cold here in Japan! Now, some of you might react to this, sure, I don't deny that I'm from a pretty cold country and -10C during winter time is nothing strange to me. However, it's the constant cold here I cannot stand. It's cold outside, it's cold inside and turning on the heater costs a fortune and isn't particularly good for the environment either.

I walk around in my apartment dressed like an eskimoe during polar bear hunting season, getting heated up only during the hot bath or when under a mountain of blankets in my bed. I want to go somewhere warm!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

You break it, you bought it

It's getting close to Christmas here in Japan, unfortunately it's not really noticeable except for the Christmas lights and such so none of that old time European Christmas atmosphere unfortunately but it is something that I have grown used to with the focus here in Japan on the New Year.

However, I am now one working day away from my Christmas vacation which happens to be pretty short (but that is my choice after all) but I desperately need it now... I have severe problems even pretending interest in work or muster up even a spark of motivation to get anything productive done. I usually can at least feign some interest or motivation, but that skill seems to be gone now and I just have to endure one more day in the office...

The two projects I'm working on are also progressing completely differently, one of the progress is manned by The Boy and Dr. Y and they are all over it. It has been running so smoothly that it almost makes me a bit worried. We're so much ahead of the planning that things can be done in a very slow pace from now on if we feel like it.
On the other hand, the other pan-Asian project I'm working on is turning out to be the project from hell... Resources not coming as promised, constant phone conferences with people I have no idea how they will perform and if they can't perform as expected will make my life very hectic at the beginning of the year.

For managing the Korea part we are outsourcing it to a student to help us out with what is needed there. It is actually not that difficult and I think we found someone who can be capable of doing it if given some encouragement. Unfortunately I put Ms. A in charge of managing this person and she is doing so with gusto and pretty aggressively, when I hear her talk to this person I am just expecting the Korean person to scream out "I don't need this, I quit!". And since we really don't have any viable "Plan B" I am temped to enforce a "you break it, you bought it" policy towards Ms. A's management style here.

Well, slightly incoherent post which probably fits my frame of mind right now. One more day and then I get a mini-vacation with Ms. Sunshine!

Friday, December 14, 2007

"I deserve to be beaten"

The current project is turning out to be quite an ordeal since I now once again is forced to deal with Mr. Chin which could drive better men than me to drink.

Working together with Ms. A also means that I have to put up with a neverending stream of "thank you"s. The smallest little thing will trigger a flow of "thank you" in different form and shapes, but when she has finished with that (it usually takes a while) she moves into the next phase which is the "I'm so sorry I am so worthless" phase, and believe me when I say that this can actually go on for several minutes, first the "thank you" and then the "I am so sorry!". This usually happens over MSN Messenger but can also occur in person.

Yesterday a particularly long such incident occurred triggered by me letting her know that I had made something that we needed. I first tried to endure the "thank you"s by the standard "it wasn't a big thing" and after a couple of minutes she, as always, moved into the apologetic phase. Starting off with a "I am so sorry I haven't contributed anything to this project!" and I tried to put an end to this through a "No, you have been helping out plenty" and this went back and forth a few times until I tried with "Don't beat yourself down, we've just started this project" and to that came a reply "But I am so worthless, I deserve to be beaten!".
Repeat that to yourself "I am so worthless, I deserve to be beaten!".

My response? Going to the bathroom and pretending to forget to answer to that...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

This is what everything has been leading up to...

Plenty of stuff going on in the company now and I will try to find some time to dedicate a little space to that craziness that is ongoing now but I just thought I should share a little gem I've found here in Tokyo.

This is taking the concept of the bath tub duck one step further. These guys were thinking outside the box! Not only does this duck float in the bath with you, when you press a button he also quacks a tune and blinks in different lights. Hard to go back to the simple plastic yellow duck after spending some time with one of these I can tell you!

Friday, December 7, 2007

I've failed you...

Normally, I would not work together much with people in the same nasty middle management position as me (as in getting crap both from below and then again from above and trying to dodge it inbetween), but just these recent days I've been hit with managing two projects and also having Ms. A co-ride with me as a learning exercise. Now, Ms. A is not a bad person, she is actually a pretty nice person, but she is always very high strung and very intense, stress just oozes out from her into her immediate surroundings. But she has been having a tough time adapting to the work style in our company.

For some reason, I am perceived as performing well (don't ask me why, this puzzles me too) and therefore she has been attached to work besides me and learn how stuff should be done. She has no problem with that and in theory, neither do I.
However, I've got the feeling that this will be an ordeal... Today she e-mailed me her vacation plans over Christmas and New Year's which is good for me to know so I can plan work accordingly. Usually we also have a workplan for our projects where we insert our vacation plans as well so it's clearly visible and in response to her e-mail I answered back with a friendly "Great, you deserve your vacation and can you also please put these dates in the workplan?".
2 Minutes later I have a reply; "I am so sorry, I should have done this immediately, I have failed you!" ... this was a serious reply from her...
This is going to be a challenge...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Are you really going to put all of THAT in THERE?!

Yours truly has for some time been suffering from a nasty throat infection that really hasn't gotten better given time, so I decided to visit a ear, nose and throat specialized clinic to have it checked out and get some nice drugs for myself.

It was my first visit in such a clinic and the doctor was very nice, but the things they do to you there... First he brought out a nasty sucking device that he put in my nose to suck all the snot out of there, which was a pretty funny feeling for a short while until most of the stuff was sucked out. I sneezed for a good two minutes afterwards. After that, he decided that he wanted to take a little better look and brought out a long thin camera with a light attached to it that he decided was a good idea to insert in my throat through my nose. The feeling was pretty uncomfortable although not painful per se, while showing this device deeper into my cavity he kept saying "sorry about this" which was a nice gesture but didn't really help.

After this ordeal was over, he looked at the pictures and the following exchange took place:
Doctor: Well, looking at these pictures, it seems like you might have a bit narrow airways and I think I probably best take a look at it when your cold has passed since you're a bit swollen in the throat now.
Salaryman: Oh, what does this mean?
Doctor: Well, it could become the reason for sudden death ("totsuzenshi") or high blood pressure...
Salaryman: Wait a minute, never mind the blood pressure?! What do you mean with "sudden death"?
Doctor: Well, don't worry about it for now, but you should come back.
Salaryman: You bet I will!

Friday, November 30, 2007

"Please spare my life"

I think it's fair to say that I am a veteran of most things Japanese, there really isn't many things that really tears me out of my bed, bitch slaps me and kicks me out the door anymore, but this video that I was recommended by my lovely ex-colleague The Hag did just that. As an avid synthpop fan the catchy melody and corny synths makes it even better. I have also heard from reliable sources that Mia Farrow is a fan of this video.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What the hell did I do last night...?

What the hell did I do last night...? Wait...? No... no, I didn't, did I?

I'll have another one of those!

Well... Unless you know a little about Japanese (and/or Chinese) food I guess you won't really make sense of this one, but trust me, it sounds pretty bizarre... A gyoza is not supposed to be like this...
Queazy as I am about bizarre foodstuff I did not personally try this, but it sounded worse than it looked...

Please forgive me!

I've now kept up this blogging for soon a year and I am still a bit torn about the whole concept. I mean, I do find the blogging a relatively amusing distraction and it also has the benefit of something close to that of a diary in that I write down some of the interesting things that have happened to me when it's fresh in my memory. On one hand I do this to keep my friends up to date what's going on with me (but since I don't mention too many details, I guess it's not too useful anyway) and I also partly do it for myself, but then it's also really pleasant when people I don't know find this place and makes themselves comfortable here and find my adventures amusing.

However, since this blog is pretty scattered in that it mainly covers Japan, consulting and my general life (with references to serial killers and obscure music intermixed), I do understand that it can be difficult to get in to and that most of the readers probably are more interested in one subject and less interested in another. But since I don't do this with any intention of making money or becoming enormously large or anything I guess I can afford to keep it a bit scattered and hope that some of you find all of the subjects interesting to some degree.
But coming back to the title of this post, I am registered at a number of different blog places with the intention of making it easier for people to find my blog. However, I am not personally a blog hound, I only follow a very minor number of blogs with any kind of real dedication and most of those are written by close friends. Granted, if a new and interesting blog really throws itself in my face I will probably follow it, but I do not actively spend time seeking out new blogs to follow or involve myself in the blogging community.
So to all those people who have added me as "friends" or something similar on different blog search pages, please forgive me and I can promise you that I have at least visited your blog once and probably with a very short attention span that didn't do your blog justice! But I do appreciate the add and please forgive me!
(Hmmm... this was neither particularly funny or interesting, I'll try to work on it!)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Is anyone going to have that last Pizzasausagedanish?

Going back to ancient history, but one of the first topics that I touched upon in this blog was the interesting combinations of food that can occur when Japanese taste clashes with Western foods. I have grown used to seeing these sometimes strange new things and I now rarely react to some things I would probably have reacted to ten years ago. However, today I encountered one of the most disgusting looking combinations ever. The product in question is called a "Pizza-Sausage-Danish" and quick thinkers will quickly realize that this is a combination of pizza with the cheese and tomato based sauce, a hot dog placed upon a danish. Click the picture to see a larger version of the horror!

Now, if this combination does not make you flinch with disgust there are other factors that also need to be considered. This product is not stored cold, it's stored in the bread section of the store and imagine the number of preservatives that needs to go into this product to keep the sausage edible after several weeks of storage in room temperature...

I dare you to eat one of these!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

An imaginary project for an imaginary company

We recently just finished a very stressful project for a very interesting company. The company is a start-up company created from a partnership of Japanese and American investors and the company itself labels itself as a "Speciality Car accessory company" (I hid the real industry here), catering to some nice areas that have high growth and require special considerations. The companies have invested a lot of million US$ in this company and expect triple the return within 5 years, so their plans are very ambitious.

There is only one catch with this...; The company is completely imaginary and consists of a number of small people sitting in a room, having no products, none of the infrastructure in terms of regulatory affairs and quality assurance necessary for selling these type of products. Neither do they have a salesforce that could potentially sell any products if the company actually had any. Neither does the company have any R&D resources or capabilities to develop products that could contribute to the Japanese market. There is no business plan behind what they are doing and the label "Speciality Car accessory company" is completely made up since they actually do not have anything to sell and the company could equally truthfully label themselves a "Extreme sex toys company" since they don't have any products in that area either.

For these people we have just finished a project, taking a quick look into the nice area that they are thinking of establishing themselves in. With no time to speak of and very little money and resources we managed to throw something together that we hardly have any idea about ourselves, but it met the deadline. I would go as far as saying that this was an imaginary project for an imaginary company.
The pain you ask? The pain was very real and I've got the scars to prove it!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Sport of Kings

Hooking up with Ms. Sunshine also means that I've hooked up with a former ranked pretty serious tennis player, and I've decided to take up the challenge of trying out this sport, not without some fear of this wakening her comeptitive instinct and playing the crap out of me, forgetting that she's suppossed to teach me how to play this sport.

The basics seems pretty easy, a ball comes at you and you hit the ball back to the other side, preferrably using the tool called "racket", fine, I think I can manage that. However, I forsee more difficult parts of this. It is my understanding that any good tennis player needs to have a very expressive "uh!" exclamation everytime they hit he ball and I am still developing mine. Also, the ball bouncing before a serve seems to be pretty important so I will need to refine that as well, currently I'm thinking of three bounces before serve, but it remains to be refined.

My current practice consists of playing Wii Sports tennis and working on my "uh!" and I think I will settle for something pretty obscene sounding.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You come around here often?

I've recently noticed a surge in visitors and particularly some new regulars showing up on my radar and wanted to say welcome to all of you who have discovered this little place here on the Internet.

I usually have no problem at all with people that are reading the page without leaving comments, something I do myself most of the time, but I would also please invite everyone to leave some form of comment and any comments on what you like in terms of content here would be very welcome. If there is anything you want to hear more about or so, please let your voice be heard. Oh, and yeah, please participate in my stupid immature polls since I gain some amusement from that!

Also, thank you very much to the people who have started linking to me!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wow, he looks just like the real Chuck

I am soon ready to finally get over my trip to the US and get on with my life here as an ordinary foreign salaryman here in Japan, but there is one more thing I feel would be great to share with my faithful readers here.

You see, yours truly has a certain weakness for Wax Museums, the worse they are the more entertaining I find them and I found a real pearl in San Francisco in the Fisherman's Wharf area. Among the famous people portrayed (with varying degrees of failure), including such significant personalities as pope Jean Paul II, Britney Spears and Adolf Hitler, I found a model of Chuck Norris. One of the last great action heroes and worthy of sharing with you.

Fringe Benefits

Things have been pretty calm now at the work front with Mr. Salaryman spending a large amount of time after the trip to the US on the beach and taking it easy, working on going through all pages on wikipedia in alphabetical order. On the private side, I am currently keeping myself busy with Ms. Sunshine and enjoying it thouroughly. I've also realized the importance on keeping an eye on fringe benefits when chosing girlfriend, having a girlfriend that works in a brand clothes company generates the fringe benefit of free pimp clothing.

Just recently I met with a couple of my Salarymen friends (the real Japanese variant) over a few beers and a couple of Shōchū (potato based version, drunken on the rocks, obviously) glasses. The topic of girls came up and with one of my Salaryman friends being hooked up with a girl working at the Four Season, generating hugely discounted dinners and free stays overseas and me with Ms. Sunshine and the brand stuff, the remaining member of the little gathering seemed a bit disheartened since his lady works at an insurance company and generating very few fun filled fringe benefits.

Lessons learned here? Don't underestimate the fringe benefits!
(As I am writing this a minor earthquake is shaking things up a bit; just another day in the life here in Tokyo)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Everything I've ever used I have abused

I'm just back in Tokyo now after my trip to the USA and enjoying to be back home in my crib. All in all I can say that it was a pretty satisfactory trip without too much heavy lifting and relatively stress free and I got to see some of the area around California. Also, on my trip back I managed to get upgraded from business class to first class which further enhanced my quality of life on the flight back home.

However, everything was not fun and games. You see, yours truly is a user of the wonderful nicotine product called "snus", this is basically a very manly way of consuming nicotine directly in to the bloodstream through the gums instead of through the lungs. Your Salaryman directly imports this from Sweden and the supply chain has to be carefully managed in order to ensure that a gap in product supply does not occur. The few times it has happened it has been managed either through temporary smoking or finding a specialized shop that carry this here in Tokyo (usually old and dry, but better than nothing). However, during the trip to the US a slight miss in ordering of the products made it possible that a brief gap in supply could occur and therefore I took great care to not use more per day than absolutely necessary. However, then I discovered that similar products are sold in the US under the brand name of "Skoal" and to my joy I purchased quite a few of these boxes to try out.

I will say this only once, ok, they did the trick in that they managed to satisfy my nicotine craving but the disgusting artifical candy flavour still makes me shudder. This is foul. It is not a nicotine product for manly men, I can hardly see who would be suitable for this and if you are a user of this product I can only recommend you to try the real thing from Swedish Match.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What the fuck is wrong with those people?!

I've now been in the great United States of America for about 4 days and so far it has been a relatively pleasant experience. However, one big issue stands out and it ties back to what I talked about earlier...
So far, I've been "mm-hmm":ed roughly 4-5 times and the pace has intensified the last couple of days even though my own research through a statistically significant poll shows that over 65% think that it's not an acceptable response under any circumstances. This is what's wrong with this nation, not the war or anything else, that's just symptoms of the disease!

Friday, November 2, 2007

In the City of Love

Now I have relocated temporarily to the City of Love, San Francisco, and I've already seen a heavily overweight middle aged male gay couple making out inside a Virgin Megastore, so everything is like it should be.

It's my first time here, but when I walked through the streets of San Francisco (I've been instructed that use of "Frisco" or "San Fran" is not acceptable) I realized that I recognized the city pretty well since I've droven around in it and shot innocent people with an assortment of guns here previously when playing Grand Theft Auto 4. In rare moments of clarity I sometimes think that perhaps I should try to widen my frame of reference, but it passes and I move on.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Current Threat Level - Orange

In case you wondered...

Live from the United States of America

Yours truly, Mr. Salaryman, has just arrived in the greatest nation on earth, slightly drunk from free airplane booze, but not overly so. Now sitting in an airline lounge and leeching off the free Internet and coffee. It feels great to be here, people are loud and fat and not thin and obnoxious like in France, I much prefer this.

So far I have interacted with aprox. 5-6 native United Stadians and none of them could speak proper English. I've also been allowed to have liquids in my carry on luggage from one of the security people because he had relatives from Japan and was impressed that I came from there.

I've also managed to make a few observations that I'd like to share with you since they might come in handy in your life as well, at one point or another. Two things that struck me so far and really made me realize that I'm actually in the US:
1. The bookstores are full of self-help and "political" books (usually with some varation of "America" and/or "American" in the title) with a sprinkle of Stephen King and Dan Brown books added in for good measure.
2. The wheelchairs are wide enough to seat at least 4 standard size Japanese Salarymen.
If you notice any of the two above, there is a high possibility that you might actually be in the US. I advise you to keep an eye open.

This will be a great time indeed.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Adventures of a Foreign Salaryman in Tokyo in California

Early next week, yours truly will travel to California for a brief visit to the cosmetic surgery capital of the world; Santa Barbara. Something that I believe will be immensly more pleasant than the stay in Paris. I am very curious on how people will look inside the cosmetic surgery company since a certain amount of grooming would be necessary to represent the company. I do myself feel a certain pressure to look my best to not embarrass myself and the company. Rest assured that I will keep you posted on my findings!

Monday, October 22, 2007

My name is Mr. Salaryman and I have a problem...

Hi everyone, my name is Mr. Salaryman and I have a problem. It is my first time here and it is a bit difficult for me to talk about it, but I hope you all can listen to my story. I am a God-Jesus addict, I just bought another one because my old comrade stopped working a while ago and I feel that I need to fill this hole with another one. I found this one also on Yahoo Auctions and without thinking I purchased it (one bidder - yours truly, 2,800Yen).

But I don't want to stop! I'll buy every God-Jesus damn God-Jesus that comes my way and I won't apologize for it. They make for great gifts too!

I know! I wish they stopped doing that here!

Now, to in anyway claim that this is a photo-blog would be to lie horribly, in fact, I would go as far as claiming that it is anything but a photo blog. Illustrating my posts are usually copyrighted pictures used completely out of context (for journalistic purposes; obviously) and the only original picture that I've actually used so far is that of my little little niece. However, in my neighborhood I saw this great sign that I thought is worth sharing with all of my faithful readers.

The text on the sign says "Don't throw up here!" and as you can also see has a picture of a cherub pissing crossed over. So the message is clear, "don't hurl or piss here!". The sign is located in some lady's little garden located just on the corner of her house. However, what I believe has promted the sign is that this little garden is located just next door to quite a few small sketchy "snack" and karaoke bars, of which I can imagine, a number of patrons might have a little too much of the good stuff and feel the need to relieve their stomach or bladder in the nearby vicinity and has instinctively gone for the greenery.

The only question in my mind is, if you are in such an urgency to hurl, do you really stop to read the sign and even if you did would it be something that would make you stop and find another spot to place the contents of the stomach? Questions, questions but no answers. This sign is relatively new, so I eagerly follow any developments in this and you will too!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Uh-huh, Mm-hmm

A new and exciting question has recently been heavily debated inside my little company. The debate in question is regarding the use of "mm-hmm" and/or "uh-huh" as a replacement for "you're welcome" in response to a standard "thanks". Personally I'm strongly against it and find a number of better and less formal sustitutes that actually consists of a word, such as; "sure", "no problem", "anytime" or even "yeah". Anything but "mm-hmm" or "uh-huh".

Granted, there is also the issue here of the well being poisoned, with Mr. B (who by the way has become a man now...) often using the said sounds and also managing to sound very arrogant while he's at it, like he's doing you a big favor when you in reality just asked him because you couldn't be bothered to open that excel file he had been working on.

The debate rages on and there seem to be some concensus around the fact that "mm-hmm" and/or "uh-huh" sounds horrible coming out of Mr. B but the question whether it generally is acceptable or not is still under debate.
However, I would also like to state that I find "mm-hmm" and/or "uh-huh" to be perfectly acceptable as a substitute for a "yes"/"yeah" in a normal informal conversation.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Monster Dog!

Tomorrow I get to see Ms. Sunshine again, but as if that wasn't enough she's bringing me a gift! She's giving me something called "Monster Dog" and I bet it's the greatest and no, I don't want to trade.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Just give me the drugs so I can get out of here!

If possible, I would like all readers to please feel a little sympathy with your Mr. Salaryman. Ever since my French nightmare I have been plagued with a cold that refused to go away and yesterday blossomed out to a more hardcore fever.

So, I did what people usually do when they feel a bit sick, I went to the hospital. The local hospital I sometimes frequent in times of need gives an atmosphere of death's waiting room with an average age of 92 y.o. (if I am excluded it would go up to 95). I did the standard thing, waited for about an hour for my turn and then got the standard treatment (say "ahhh" and listening to my lungs) after which the doc prescribed me quite large amounts of drugs. I'm always amazed by the amount of drugs prescribed here in Japan (well, with experience in Pharma, I know that there are reasons for this, but I won't go into it here), and I especially hate the drugs I get in powder form. They are bitter and the taste is impossible to get rid off. So now I take 3 pills after each meal and take three bags of disgusting powder and feel no effect, but hey, maybe I'll feel better tomorrow.

Most important is that I feel good for Saturday since I get to see Ms. Sunshine again!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hold the presses!

There's now an official new favorite in google search words that led a poor soul to this little page!
Tokyo Gay Toilets

Sir! I think we might have struck gold!

Ms. Sunshine came to visit Mr. Salaryman yesterday in his lair. She came, looked at my large collection of comic books and serial killer biographies without showing any form of dissapprovement, then she played with God-Jesus and seemed genuinely amused by Him (and I can assure you that not everyone gets to play with God-Jesus).

This one, I like. All other R&D activities have now been formally canceled and all energy will be focused in this direction since I feel that I might have a real blockbuster on my hands!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Eigo, wakarimasen!

The other day, as I was sitting peacefully at my desk, doing such typical consulting tasks such as making slides about the bulk chemical market, my phone rings and with my ordinary gusto I pick it up and answer. The call was from an american person living and working here in Japan who at some point felt that he had been wrongly treated by someone in my company and is out to get us. He called my number since I have previously been forced to contact him by e-mail and he must have picked up my phone number from that e-mail.
The following conversation took place:

Mr. Salaryman: (In Japanese) Mr. Salaryman at Mr. Salaryman Inc.
Mr. X: (In fluent Japanese with an american accent) Hello? My name is Mr. X and I would like to talk to Salaryman-san please
Mr. Salaryman: (Cheerful and friendly in English) Well, Mr. X, good day to you, we can speak English if you want to, in fact it's probably easier for me!
Mr. X: (Slightly aggressive in Japanese) No! I've immigrated here to Japan so I think we should speak Japanese!
Mr. Salaryman: (In Japanese) Well, sure we can do that...

I still don't fully understand this...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Adding Value

The current project I've been punished with deals with bulk chemicals and other uninteresting stuff, to add insult to injury we're working with a very marginal budget limiting the number of market reports and overall useful stuff that we can purchase to make our analysis better and also we're a small team working on a very tight timeframe. The team consists of me, the Boy and Mr. Chin Jnr with a little help from the Texan on the side.

Granted, we were given three key phrases from El Presidente at the start of the project that made us feel a bit relieved; "All hands on deck", "indicitative" and "winging it" which made us feel a bit more comfortable with doing the stuff. However, recently that seems to be forgotten and now replaced with the phrase "adding value", repeated a number of times by Mr. K who is managing the project (going back to ancient history, but here you can find more info on the gallery of characters). The question "are we adding value here?" usually comes in conjunction with him looking at one of the slides made, based on what we are committed to show in our proposal. This usually elicits a moment of utter disbelief and a response of "well, that depends on what they want and are expecting, but we're giving them what they ordered and we don't have the time and budget to do anymore than this!". This is usually rinsed and repeated a number of times during a meeting until we finally agree that things could be better but we can't do much more given time and money.

However, the best episode of today was when we were going through a section dealing with outsourced R&D, a field in which we had spent relatively little time and made 5 slides dealing with the basic premises of the market without going into any level of detail to speak of and getting the question "Ok guys, do you think that we have captured everything that is important in these slides?". This caused a few seconds of confused silence followed by an empathic "No, of course not, but give us more time and money and we might be able to do something good" from our side. He did not bring up this topic again.

This also reminds me of one of the golden moments in a previous project. The premise was that we had difficulties getting some information from the client and were a bit held up in our work. We had a meeting discussing the situation and Mr. K throws out the wonderful conclusion; "well, it seems like the client is the bottleneck for us in doing this project...", I'm a bit ashamed of myself since I did not initially react to this but one minute out of the meeting the hilariousness of this statement struck me. I've sworn to never ever let any client be a bottleneck for me to finish a project ever since!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Well, this isn't really normal, is it?

Now recently there has been more random people finding this blog through google searches and as a follow up to my earlier post on this I thought I could show you all some of the interesting key-words that has led people to this cozy place:

Tokyo boobs - Well, not too far off
French boobs - ...this is just plain offensive
Sex baby in Tokyo - Even more disturbing is that this search led him/her to this post...
Beaten by girlfriend in karate - Not really sure what this person was looking for, but I hope he found it here...
Luke and Leia potential lovers - Great thing to spend one's free time researching!
Star wars blogs jedi gay - I like this one!
Salaryman gay video - This is something I maybe should consider branching out to?

Then finally, my all time favorite so far:
Hate the French - This guy was dead on!

Things that have improved my Quality of Life in 2007

Now, I've kept myself from pushing things I like here in my little blog, but there's a few things that I discovered now in 2007 that I feel could use a little endorsement form my side and who knows, they might even enhance your life as well, you just don't know about it.

First I can't recommend the comic "The Ultimates" enough, a reinterpretation of the classic marvel comic "The Avengers" but set in a semi-realistic setting with a more mature audience in mind. The first volumes just finished up and are now out in trade paperback form, penned by Mark Millar and drawn by Bryan Hitch. The final story arc "Grand Theft America" hit like a punch in the stomach and is one of the most powerful post 9/11 commentaries I've seen.

Even if you're not normally into comics this could be something worth checking out, especially if you liked the X-Men movies and I would be very surprised if someone didn't quickly snag up the movie license for this.

Secondly I discovered the synth-pop group "Universal Poplab" earlier this year and got completely blown away. Extremely slick and well produced but packed with hit songs and definately has the potential of breaking out into the mainstream music scene if enough people heard them.

Thirdly, another music group but in a slightly different genre is the band "Strip Music". Their second album "Hollywood and Wolfman" gives very pleasant The Cure vibes and echoes of the album Disintegration in general and the song Plainsong in particular. Maybe not something for everyone, but deserves a listen.

You know you should trust me. Now, where did I put that Terror Punk Syndicate cd again...?

Life ain't nothing but money and bitches

For those of you who haven't followed my adventures in detail I will for once do a quick recap of events. Yours truly came out of a long relationship earlier and has readjusted to life as a single man. Iniatives started has born fruit and I am now going through a screening process to sort out the harvest.
Since it's a known fact that life ain't nothing but money and bitches and since consulting generates a decent amount of the first I've focused my attention now on the latter. Even though I've lived in Japan for something like 7 years all together now, I've actually never dated a Japanese woman, believe it or not. But the line-up of suspects below are all Japanese.

I will here give you a quick review of the current status and women:
First, we had the Karate Kid who is removed from current development activities due to the reasons stated in the post, although I really liked her as a person.
Future Potential Rating (1-10): 4

Then we had Ms. Financial Journalist who is also removed from current development activities. Also a nice person but somewhat in need of a light personality transplant.
Future Potential Rating (1-10): 2

There was also the Rock chick who I met once just before going to Paris for the boob stuff and felt that there was some chemistry at work but she went through a stormy relationship with me without me actually participating. First sending very affectionate e-mails which after a couple of weeks started turning more neutral and then rarer. Then when I get back to Japan she "breaks up" with me over e-mail. It made me feel slightly violated since we actually weren't in any form of relationship.
Future Potential Rating (1-10): 2

Recently I met with the Journalist Girl, also a really nice person, very caring and considerate but not really my thing. I am now a bit torn whether to remove her from the development portfolio completely or give her another shot at some point.
Future Potential Rating (1-10): 4

Last, but not least, there is Ms. Sunshine who has entertained me with amusing stories about the large number of gay men working in the brand goods industry which is a sure way to entertain me. I am now thinking of pausing research and development activities and focus my activities on her since there is high potential for a blockbuster hit here.
Future Potential Rating (1-10): 8

I will not even mention Needy Phone Girl, Boring Girl and Psycho Girl here.

A sharp kick in the head

First of all I should apologize for the lack of updates lately, it is not meant to be a trend but getting immediately thrown into a new project after the boob job and a nasty fever has kept me away from posting. The new project is about bulk chemicals which is not the most exciting stuff to say the least...

Last week a bunch of people from the office including me, The Boy, Mr. Chin Jnr and "I'm your c***" girl went to see the a K-1 (basically kick boxing) Middle weight tournament in the Budokan here in Tokyo. I don't really follow these events so I'm not too familiar with the fighers but a couple of favorites were quickly established. First the great "Mr. Stoic" (definition of "Stoic" from : Not affected by passion; being or appearing indifferent to pleasure or pain, joy or grief) and the Ukraine fighter who fought to get enough money to buy his mother a new house.

In addition to the fights, one of the most entertaining things was to hear the entrance music the fighters had chosen for themselves. Unfortunately it seemed to fall in two categories; either trashy Eurodisco or trashy metal but the big exception was the Dutch fighter who actually used "Eye of the Tiger"!

I do however have one big complaint for the whole event. When they announced the fighters they called out "... and now entering from the red stage ..." for the first fighter and then "blue stage" for the second. Well, that's nice you may think, two different stages for two fighters, but no! It was the same stage and the only difference was that they lit it up in red first and then blue. That's just plain wrong!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The boobs, the French and home

After a pretty intense and unfortunately pretty humour-free couple of weeks as we rushed to finish up the boob stuff things are now finally back in order. The stuff got done and the client was really really happy. My jet-lag is gone and I haven't seen a French person in at least one week so I'm starting to feel normal again.

Now I'm hoping for some time on the beach before the next exciting adventure here in management consulting starts.

While me, The Boy and Captain Britain were fighting the French and complaining about the project, French food, French people and life in general there has been some great development in the HQ that I have to make sure to give proper attention at some point. It seems like Mr. B actually has managed to get a girlfriend and... might... have his first intimate experience with one of the female species. The whole office is in disbelief.
Also, there's the story of Mr. Chin Jnr. throwing up all over the place in a restaurant at Meg's farewell dinner since she's left the company to spend some time in the blackest parts of Africa doing God-Jesus knows what. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Adventures of a Foreign Salaryman in Tokyo, again!

After almost 5 weeks of living among the barbarians in Paris I am now finally back in my crib in Tokyo! Sunshine and relatively nice temperatures greeted me at my arrival and to my great surprise and relief I had remembered to flush the toilet before I left, I hadn't forgotten anything in the garbage that stunk up the place and the gas, water and electricity was still working although I did cut it a bit close with some of the bills...

To use the words of John Constantine:
"HQ. Sanctuary. Home. I get quite sentimental about this place, especially when I'm away. It looks like a bomb's hit it, but that's normal"

The boob project is unfortunately still not over and I will not be able to completely relax again until sometime next week (hopefully).

Things I really really like about Tokyo:
The number of French people and children per capita is mercifully much lower than in France

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm going home, baby!

I'm going home baby! No more French people. No more French children. No more French food.

Things will be all right again!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I miss Japan...

Now, I'm not going to make it a habit of posting a lot stuff that's not mine here, but thought this instruction video for going to a sushi restaurant is a classic so I think it deserves to be watched. I think I'm getting homesick, but watch the video, I promise it'll be worth your time!

Well, that's a good question

Sometimes people ask me; "Mr. Salaryman, I understand that you hate the French, but what type of French people do you hate the most?", to this I usually give a half-smile, lean forward with my elbows on the table, fingertips together and explain. It goes something like this:

"Well, that's a very good question, it's very important that you understand that this is not a race issue, I hate French people of Middle-eastern, Asian or African descent as much as I hate white French people. The second you become a French citizen, that's when you have crossed the line. The men are slightly more obnoxious than the women, but that doesn't mean that the women are pleasant at all, just slightly less annoying than the men.

But to answer your question, I hate the children the most. They are in the larvae stage of becoming full blown grown French people. I hate the children so much."

Then I lean back, take a deep breath and try to gather myself and after a little while my face will return to its normal color and the throbbing vein in my temple will no longer be visible.

Things I really hate about France and the French 8:
The children

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Been there, done that

Now, yours truly has seen the sights here in the city of frogs and in order to make your stay in Paris as pleasant as possible I thought I could give you all a brief review of some of the main attractions here in Paris.

I will rate the attractions on a scale from 1-5 Salarymen where "1" Salaryman is the worst and indicates that you'd be better off not seeing this particular attraction while a "5" would be the best.

The Arc of Triumph
The Good: It's a relatively big building
The Bad: "Triumph" and "French" doesn't do it for me, the view was in theory good, but unfortunately the only thing I could see was Paris...
Rating: 1.5 Salarymen

The Louvre
The Good: It's got some art and stuff
The Bad: It's too big and it was featured in the God-Jesus awful book and movie "The Da Vinci Code"
Rating: 1.5 Salarymen

Notre Dame
The Good: It's a big building
The Bad: It's a sacred place of worship and a pretty boring one at that
Rating: 1 Salaryman
Monte Martre
The Good: It's close to a relatively mild red-light area with pretty funny looking pubs
The Bad: It's up on a hill and got plenty of crappy artists
Rating: 2 Salarymen

The Eiffel Tower
The Good
: (Nothing)
The Bad: Just a cheap rip-off of the Tokyo Tower and shorter to boot.
Rating: 0.5 Salaryman

All in all, I highly recommend visiting Paris if you are staying in a decent hotel and stay in the hotel room most of the day.

I hate it here and I want to go home!

Scenario from last Friday:
French Manager: (Smiling) 'ello Mr. Salaryman, 'ow iz it going?
Salaryman: (Neutral and slightly tired) Yeah, it's going ok, just a lot of stuff to pull together now before the deadline...
French Manager: (Frown and worried look) Yes? You are having difficult, yes?
Salaryman: (Neutral and pretty tired) Yeah, but we'll be fine, we just have to get this stuff done now...
French Manager: (Theatrical laugh and arms out and upwards) Haha, yes? You'll be fine, yes!
Salaryman: (Neutral and pretty tired) Thanks...

Later on in the day the boy asked me, "Wow, you really do hate the French, don't you?".

Things I really hate about France and the French 7:
The country and the people

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I don't care about the boobs anymore!

In theory we're doing a great project but after a couple of days of suffering first a message of "you guys are incompetent and are not doing your job" one day and "wow, you guys seem to be on top of things and ahead of schedule" the next day it could bring much stronger men than me to drink. Which is just what I happened to do, in the Paris Hilton hotel bar of all places with my old friend and current consultin biz comrade Big D who happened to visit Paris while I'm here. An interesting discussion were held, us consultant, about the potential benefits and demerits of hotel bar prostitution, traditional streetwalking and utilizing the Internet. Our view on the current situation and market environment differed a bit but our forecast on future development and trends were somewhat in line. What analysts predict we haven't looked into.
Today was slightly rough so the only solution to stabilize things is some Joy Division ("Unknown pleasures" in general and "disorder" more specifically) and a big fat whiskey.

Tomorrow is sightseeing day here in the city of frogs though, I'm pretty confident that I'll hate it and if I don't I'll hate them for tricking me into not hating it!

Things I really hate about France and the French 6:

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Star Wars is a great gay movie

First of all I should state for the record that I'm a pretty good Star Wars nerd, I loved the movies (especially the original trilogy) and I can do my fair share of nerdy quotes from them. However, one thing that I've always seen as obvious but that I discovered from discussions with other Star Wars nerds is that the gayness of these movies is completely overlooked. The movies are such an obvious tale of a confused young man's way to realizing he's gay and exploring that side that I'm actually stunned that people have not realized this before.

Now, you are probably one of those people who had never thought of this before and all I ask of you is a little patience and I will lay out my case and I am certain that by the time you've finished reading this post you will be as convinced as me. Once again, I would like to state that this does not detract from the movie in any way, quite the opposite, this dimension makes the movies even more enjoyable.

The movie is about a lonely young apple-cheeked farm boy living on his farm in a small town dreaming of "going to the stars" and be something more than just a farm boy (que the song "Smalltown boy"). However, by coming into contact with two droids (R2D2 and C3P0) who both appear to be masculine and in a long-term relationship he learns of an old "Jedi-master" whom he seeks out. He meets with Obi-Wan who has lived a different life than him on the farm and promises him to "show him the world" and teach him to "use the force" and "use his sabre".

Luke hooks up with this older man and the lovely droid couple in search of transportation and heads off to a gay club where Obi-Wan disciplines a few roughnecks who try to pick up his young friend. They find the two men Han Solo and Chewbacka that seem to be living in a free relationship which is hard for Chewbacka, but he loves Han Solo so much that he puts up with him playing around with people like Lando and Jaba. After all, the hate that Jaba shows for Han Solo is much more that of a scorned lover than a businessman... (I should also state that my own personal belief here is that Obi Wan and Luke never engage in a sexual relationship, just that of a mentor and apprentice, but that can be argued)

After some adventures in which Luke starts to get some competency in how to use his "saber" the merry team is confronted for the first time with the evil Lord Vader, clad in black rubber and a fiercesome looking saber of his own, red, as if it had been dipped in blood. Darth Vader represent the dark side of homosexuality; sex without feelings and self-satisfaction. Obi-Wan meets his fate and "fades away" but wishes Luke luck before he dissapears. Luke also meets the Princess Leia and is even more confused since he realizes that he has feelings for her as well which is confusing for him since he believed himself to be homosexual.

The movie ends with the climactic scene in which Luke needs to "shoot his load" directly into the "little hole" on the body of the entity they are attacking, but keeping Obi's great advise in mind he manages to unload in just the right time and there is an orgasmic explosion when he realizes that he has succeeded. For me, this is very clear; it is an elegant metaphor for Luke's homosexual sex debut in which he finds himself.

The second movie is very much a middle movie as it's about Luke finding out more about his sexuality and also the risks that he must be careful to avoid. He meets with Obi's old lover, Yoda, who is fading away in a terrible disease (very much colored by the '80s environment) who warns him to give in to his dark impulses but to seek love and happiness. Meanwhile Han Solo is hunted by his former lover and is in turn betrayed by an old lover at Cloud City, if you are observant you can notice how Chewbacka from the beginning is very cold towards Lando. It ends with Han Solo being frozen down in a suggestive pose for Jaba's entertainment.

In the third movie, it is a different Luke we meet, now safe and secure in his sexual identity, now himself a "master" of the "force", wielding his "saber" as an expert. Together with his gay band of friends they rescue Han Solo, even together with a Leia that has butched out as a special performance but later on play the role of a more traditional fag hag. The rest of the movie is a tour de force of the new secure Luke, with the help of a gang of furry dwarves he manages to reach and confront the dark side of his own sexuality and win over his dark urges by throwing it in the well.

I know that there are people who would accuse Lucas of misogyny since there are so few women in the movie and they play such insignificant roles, but I would argue that the trilogy is about "Men who loves men" and not about "men who hate women". For me, it is a touching tale of a farmboy growing up, discovering his sexuality, coming to terms with it and emerging as a secure and strong gay adult. You do not have to be gay to appreciate the message in this movie.

This is also just a brief scratch of the surface, there are so much more of these things to find in the original trilogy that I recommend you to see them again with new eyes if you haven't realized this before!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Yeah, let's go for Chinese food!

Today me and the boy got fed up with the standard menu which all restaurants in Paris seems to carry which consists mainly of steak and fries. We thought we should try something a little different and since Captain Britain is away (for some reason he always vetoed Asian or Indian food) we thought it could be interesting to try some Chinese food here in Paris and get a little change.from all the meat and fries.

Well... we were in for a surprise... We actually looked at one place and discarded it as crappy looking and went for the place with red ailings and gold writing which should be an universal sign of authentic Chinese cuisine. It is hard to describe the quality and service we received at this place, and the bad quality of the food was almost entertaining. Since we in Japan are quite used to Chinese food and your Mr. Salaryman has also been to China having the real deal I think it is fair to say that we know decent Chinese food when we have it. This place didn't have it. The soup I had as a starter really tasted like warm water and The Boy refused to believe it for a good while until he tasted it. To add insult to injury the place wasn't particularly cheap either and service consisted of a middle-aged Chinese man with a bad moustasche coming to our table, looking pissed off and aggressively shouting out the name of the food we ordered. At least the extreme bad quality of the food resulted in some entertainment from me and The Boys side speaking in English and probably embarrasing the middle aged British couple next to us, probably on their second honey-moon or so thinking they had hit the genuine deal. I can tell you that we're not going back, looks like steak and fries is the safest way to go here in Paris...

Things I really hate about France and the French 5:
Chinese restaurants in Paris...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hey there, baby

In this humble post I thought that I might also reveal something that probably people reading this blog never really cared about in the first place. But your Mr. Salaryman is of Swedish nationality with friends and family living in this small, and in the grand scale of things, insignificant country. One of the good things about working from Paris is that I can travel home to Sweden during the weekends which is exactly what I did recently.

You see, Mr. Salaryman has recently become Uncle Salaryman to a very tiny little girl. The baby girl was just one week old when I visited her and her main activities consisted of sleeping, screaming a little to signal hunger and eat. That was basically it.
I must admit that I feel a slight dissapointment in that it was a girl since I had grand plans for buying presents and stuff if it had been a boy. My overall plan remains though, and it is to buy presents that generates significant amounts of noise such as drums and toy guns with sound effects built in.
Other parts of the visits are kinda blurry but I think it involved meeting an old friend and ending up in an empty bar drinking beer until they threw us out. However, now I'm back in Paris and working on the boobs again!
Things I really hate about France and the French 4:
Hotel staff that acts as if you are offending them, their mothers and other parts of their extended family when you are trying to get the answer to a simple question.
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