Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
- Shovel the driveway for me
- Fix my computer problems for me
- Carry heavy stuff around the house for me
- See if he thinks I should buy a new digital camera
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
The basic premise of this toilet is that there is basically only a small hole filled with water at the front of the toilet meaning that there is significant splash damage when peeing in it from a standing position; however, the simple remedy to this problem is sitting down. The problem with crapping in one of these is significantly more worriesome... Due to the lack of a larger area filled with water, what comes out of you will end up on the "ledge" of the toilet producing significant stink since the product will not be immersed in water. I took the liberty of illustrating this more clearly for you here;I do pity the poor Germans and Austrians who have to utilize this misfit of toilets and I really wonder how the sales reps selling this toilet design go about to have their customer chose this instead of a toilet model that actually is user-friendly and makes sense...
Friday, February 19, 2010
The way to prepare is simple:
Buy plenty of stupid Japanese toys - All with the great Japanese superhero Anpanman
Buy plenty of clothes with stupid Engrish on them for the kids - "Super Bowel Recess, Smile like a shot fox" etc.
Buy plenty of Japanese whiskey and Japanese shouchuu for parents of said kids - Bring way over the 2 liter limit you are allowed to bringPrepare to rejoice and bask in the thanks you will receive!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
However, my problem is that I have too many names... I have a Swedish first name and family name, and add to that also a Japanese first name and family name and then an extra middle name thrown in there just for good measure. That people can have quite a few names is nothing particularly unusual at least in Sweden, so things go fairly smooth there. But adding to the confusion is that I quickly learned that calling and ordering a pizza in Sweden is much smoother if I use my Swedish name but on the other hand using my Japanese name in Japan when calling for a pizza also usually creates less confusion. Since I work in Japan, I basically use my Japanese family name but this also creates some confusion when I meet people from head office who would have an easier time relating to my Swedish family name.
But the above is just minor practical things that are easily set straight, the real difficulties I run into is that when filling in official forms where "full name" is required, the space is not adapted to the 30+ letters that I need to actually write my full name. This can really create some serious confusion and creative solutions among Japanese officials. Then some forms require the name to be in the Japanese "Katakana" alphabet and not in roman letters, while some forms require the name to be written as "in the passport" which for me of course means roman letters...
Basically everytime I fill in some official forms related to credit cards, banks etc. where consistency is required I run into problems and get forms returned to me with instructions to write my name in a certain way since some clerk had made some creative solution in his/hers files that I am not completely aware of... Usually forms are sent back and forth a few times until someone gets creative and things can get solved...
In work, just for fun to the people I am on friendly basis with, I use my Japanese first name "Takao" when signing e-mails and likewise sometimes people uses that name to me as a joke. One particular time I remember how someone had written "Takao will take care of that" meaning, of course, as we both understood, that I would do it, but a person who wasn't aware of my Japanese name was also cc:ed and replied back to everyone "that's fine but who the hell is Takao?!".
Sometimes I envy the Malaysian exchange student I briefly studied with in Japan who only had one name... Very little room for confusion there!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
There's a real "Stressed Eric" vibe about this regularly updated life-tale of a genuine gaijin salaryman in Tokyo. That and the frequently bizarre imagery make for compelling viewing."
Friday, February 5, 2010
As we sat down across the two nurses (actually both male if anyone is keeping notes) and the rep gave them the hand-outs and started to explain the software and operation to them.
After about five minutes into it both the nurses had closed their eyes and seemed to drift away, for a while they momentarily woke up when the rep asked them to turn the page; they turned the page and then again drifted away.
Ten minutes into the presentation they were harder to reach and no longer turned the page when instructed to, at one point one of them dropped the hand-out, momentarily woke up looking confused, but the rep handed him the hand-out, flipped to the correct page and the nurse again closed his eyes and went away. The rep soldiered on, didn't budge and kept talking and explaining to his semi-sleeping audience, I admit that he wasn't doing it particularly passionate, but the topic was quite sleep-inducing.
...Japan must have the highest sleep deprived population per capita in the world...
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
The other day he came around my seat and stopped behind me, standing still for a few seconds. I felt the awkwardness radiate around my area and turned around. He stood there for a while, slurping his tea (yes, he's one of those people who slurp any hot drink) and then very mildly asks "Salaryman, have you seen Avatar?". I am completely thrown off balance by the sudden question and answer back "No, have you?". For a moment he smiles to himself and seem to space out a bit before he answers "Yes, several times". In my mind the image of the movie "Avatar" and the comb-over "ossan" (old geezer in Japanese, but I mean it slightly affectionately) fervently tries to reconcile and I can only squeeze out "I don’t really see you as the type who would enjoy that type of movie...?". Again he smiles and says "the 3D was really amazing, I also really liked Terminator, the 2nd one was really cool with the special effects". Then he walks away, slurping his tea...
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
The dog-carriage is, as the name implies, a carriage for dogs, similar in form and function to the baby carriage. But where the baby carriage is made to transport infants and small children who are way too small and young to be fully mobile on their own, the dog carriage is designed to transport fully grown dogs of the smaller sizes. However, not only are these dogs completely mobile on their own, they also benefit from the exercise that running and walking around gives them and does not particularly want to be rolled around in a carriage when they can walk on their own little legs.
It has happened that I have met one of these dog carriages on smaller streets and mistaking it for a baby carriage; I get in a benevolent state of mind and try to make it convenient for the carriage to pass... Then I notice that there's no baby inside, usually there are a few happy dogs there who are basically climbing the sides, eager to get out and walk but being pushed around instead for some odd reason.
It’s a completely unnecessary product without any practical need whatsoever and if anything, it is counter-productive against the little pests... I have not seen this in any other country than Japan but feel a bit confused; is this type of products ever used outside Japan?!
Monday, February 1, 2010
Maybe that garbage can shouldn't be judging other people so blatantly like that and instead take a long hard look at it's own life and what it has achieved?!
Some garbage cans just seem to think that they're so much better than everyone else...