Saturday, July 31, 2010

The secret of the high life expectancy in Japan revealed!

When it comes to ranking the average age of death globally, Japan usually shows up in the top positions, boasting one of the longest life expectancies globally. Why this is the case has been speculated widely and I remember discussions on the soy based diet etc. presented as possible explanations.

However, based on some recent news here in Japan, I think the secret is finally revealed! It was recently discovered that the man with the second longest life in Japan, clocking in at a good 111 years of age was actually dead and had been so for a good ~30 years or so. However, the family, who the man lived/died with had failed to "notice" this and kept collecting the retirement money while their beloved father was "resting" in his room in a stage of advanced mummification.

They had successfully wardered off inquiries from suspecting friends and neighbors through saying that their father didn't want to meet with anyone for a good 30 years until things recently fell apart when the authorities finally got a bit snoopy around this after being pressed by other concerned relatives and friends of the long passed away man. (News in Japanese here)

Maybe this could be written off as a one case thing, but a few years earlier a similar business arrangement was discovered in West Japan with a "107-year old" man "resting" in a mummified stage.

So, I think we finally have solved the mystery of the long life expectancy in Japan - they're living dead! I hope Baby Sunshine will some day find a way to put me to use in a similar way for profit and fun.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Caring for your husband!

I think I've mentioned this before sometime in the blog, but I'm not generally a huge consumer of blogs, the stuff I do check out is in the blog links section on the site but I don't actively go around hunting for blogs to read.

With that little disclaimer out of the way, I must admit that I find the blog of Corinne "Always leaving things unfinishe(d)" is one I discovered pretty recently and find quite amusing. Even though I've lived in Japan for many years now and am not particularly interested in general observations on life here, the life that she's living out in the countryside, under siege by the in-laws and some quite interesting relatives passing by, is quite different from the things that I experience here and quite amusing. Somehow I feel that it would make for quite an amusing sitcom.
Also, dwelwing into the comments section is another almost surreal experience since it's populated by a whole community of foreign born women married to Japanese men there trading tricks of the trade and making me feel like a trespasser.

So to her and the commenting ladies I selected today's picture as a piece of advice!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The fire is lit - Manliness recovered thanks to the Almighty Charcoal!

As readers of my blog might remember, I recently suffered a severe blow to my male self-esteem ending up unable to light up a charcoal grill properly (post here). After hiding away the grill and trying to overcome the shame I recently decided to give it another try to see if I could overcome my difficulties performing in lighting a fire.

This time I armed myself with considerable amounts of paper, cardboard and ridiculous amounts of lighter gel, flammable cubes and other means enough to light up a medium-sized German Reichstag. Just to have something to blame, I also purchased brand charcoal in the form of 3kgs of "The Almighty Charcoal" and not the regular non-descript charcoal that I used last time. I am happy to report that I performed well this time with no awkward moments of faltering fire and need for words of encouragement!

I also noticed to my enjoyment that the Almighty Charcoal packaged has the color of the coal written on it and that the package I purchased was labeled as "Black" (see the picture). Next time, with my manliness secured, I might see if I can find any pink charcoal that I can purchase!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Crocodile sightings in lake in Nagasaki prefecture - Beware!

On the more amusing side of Japanese news, and a little break from all the baby leg-breaking news that has been going on lately, the news today featured a story on how three crocodiles has been reported being sighting in an inlake in Nagasaki Prefecture in the southern island of Kyushu.

A picture was also taken of one of the little critters (although nothing really indicates that it's actually taken at the location it's said to be from) and shown to an "expert" zoologist at a closeby zoo. His expert opinion was:
"Well, it looks like you can see an eye here and it seems like the nose is over there, so it looks like it might possibly be a crocodile but I can't really tell for sure" and then very expertly added "crocodiles are not supposed to be in this area so if it really is a crocodile it must be someone who let them loose in the lake" (somehow I have the feeling that that's basically the same thing that I could've said, with little to no expertise in the area of reptiles in general and crocodiles/alligators more specifically...).

Here's the picture for your very own insightful analysis.

Signs has been posted around the lake to warm people to be careful and the local authorities has set out on a crocodile hunting expedition setting traps loaded with tasty raw chicken. The cages were of the size to hold a small to medium sized housecat indicating that they hardly are on the hunt for giant sized killer crocs, or maybe they should since they did not yield any harvest. When interviewed the guy leading the hunt admitted:

"We don't really have any expertise at all here in Nagasaki when it comes to crocodile hunting so we might need to consult some experts for advice", to his credit, he seemed to see the humor in the situation (my advice: at least find a better expert than the one interviewed by the tv news or just pay me some money and ask me).

...I have a feeling that there will be many more crocodile sightings all across Japan now in the near future... I'm a bit torn whether to actually believe this, after all, it's not unfeasible that someone lets out his favorite pets in the lake, and thinking that it's a prank by some happy pranksters who knew the media would go for this bait.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Yep, it's really hot...

I know that there are two type of posts that I keep repeating basically each year; complaining about the cold in winter and complaining about the heat in summer. But this time it's different...

The heat this summer is unrelenting with Japan actually being hotter than most other places in South East Asia and the Kanto (Tokyo and surrounding prefectures) is very hot now with degrees over 35 C with sunshine reflecting the heat back from paved streets making it even hotter and basically no wind to cool things down a little. This is probably one of the worst and hottest of the ~12 something summers that I have spent in Japan now and the Salaryman household will rack up a considerable electricity bill and bad karma due to the amount of aircon and that we constantly pump out inside to survive.

On the other hand, I guess we shouldn't complain too much since some areas in South and West Japan has been suffering from constant and overwhelming rain the whole rainy season.

Previous years I've been scoffing at the ridiculousness of some of the goods that are marketed now in summer to ward of the heat (portable fans, cold scarves and towels etc.) since using them would make you look like a total clown, but I am seriously considering that looking like a clown might be a cheap price to pay if actually would help...
(Ok, not very amusing post perhaps, sorry about that but hard to scavenge up much wit in this heat...)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sleep, baby sleep

With Baby Sunshine now growing bigger by the hour and the previous more pure aggression seem to be replaced by more cunning and calculated attacks of crying and misbehaviour. So as a preemptive strike, I have now gradually started introducing lullabies to pacify her when required, something which seem to be working reasonably well so far.

My plan is to use the Fad Gadget song "Sleep" (listen to it on youtube here, great song) as the primary lullaby over the coming years. The lyrics are:

Sleep, baby, sleep
Daddy's out to earn your keep
Sleep, baby, sleep
Mama's sad, hear her weep

Watching over you tonight
I get the feeling that life's alright
You can laugh aloud at those middle-aged fakes
Well I hope you don't make the same mistakes as me

Don't you do as I do, do as I say

Sleep, baby, sleep
Mama's out to earn your keep
Sleep, baby, sleep
Daddy's mad, hear him creep
Watching over you tonightI get the feeling that life's alright
You can laugh aloud at those middle-aged fakes
Well I hope you don't make the same mistakes as me

Don't you do as I do, do as I say

Sleep, baby, sleep

She also seemed to enjoy "Chinese Black" by the Neon Judgement for some reason...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Evolution of the Species

Now in the 2010, after several decades of hard commute, it seems like most Salarymen and Office Ladies commuting in Tokyo have evolved to a higher stage and adapted themselves to the hardships of the never ending commuting war. The most apparent ability here is the uncanny ability to fall asleep mere seconds after sitting down in the commuter train and then, through a sixth sense, slowly come out of their slumber one or stop before the target station. Some have even evolved beyond this and has learnt to semi-sleep in a standing position. I think the evolution is something similar to that of dolphins and whales who sleep with parts of their brain while maintaining an awareness of the surroundings with the small parts that stay awake.

As for myself, I have not yet reached this stage despite almost ten years of life in the commuting battle zone and I remain painfully awake and way too aware of my surroundings. In order to survive and maintain my sanity in the harsh reality of the commute, I have come to rely on artificial means.

Primarily this means that I watch downloaded tv-shows on my PSP and these last months I have been working my way through The Wire (ok, I know I'm late to the party but I have realized it's greatness now!) and have managed to keep my discipline in not watching the show at home and limiting myself to watching it during the commute. This has had the benefit of me actually sometimes looking forward to getting on the train since I'm eager to find out what happens next to Omar, Prop Joe, The Bunk and all my favorites in the show.

However, as of today, I am not completely finished with all five seasons and 60 hours of The Wire and there is a great emptiness waiting for me which I have not yet figured out how to deal with. Perhaps I will watch those MonsterQuest episodes I have piled up since there's something delightfully tragically comic about those characters seeking "evidence" (and never finding any) of these mysterious creatures that doesn't exist.

The commuting train is my battle ground and I have just used up my best means of self-defense, now I have to improvised, adapt and overcome.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Can't you at least pretend that it's a bit exclusive?

Now during the summer months, the fast food chain Subway has a bit of a limited time Hawaiian theme going on here in Japan with some "Aloha Subway" campaign. As we frequented one of their chains recently Mrs. Sunshine thought it would be nice to try out their "Tropical Tea" (yep, the one you see in the picture) at a price of 250 yen for a relatively small cup of it.

After ordering, without one once of shame in her, the lady at the register takes out a package of the cheap ass "Top Value" brand pineapple juice (which I'm sure that Subway buys in bulk at less than 50 yen/litre) and basically fills the glass with it and then adding, maybe 10% of some tea on top of the juice to bring out the color...

Ok, I know that calling fast-food chains on making a lot of money of their softdrinks is not really anything revolutionary, but for that price and the campaign, they could at least have pretended that it was something more than top value juice with a sprinkle of tea...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Super Adventure at the used car shop!

Ok, now the Salaryman household is officially equipped with a car. You know, one of those Japanese types that basically larger in height than in length, but that's ok with me since it will be primarily be driven by Mrs. Sunshine on shorter excursions with Baby Sunshine in tow and cars rank very low among my interests.

The actual car purchasing and things weren't particularly amusing, pretty straightforward of checking out the cars and then having the Father-in-law do some price negotiating on our behalf in his very friendly Kansai-Yakuza style which always seem to scare the person on the receiving end into submission and a considerable discount to our benefit.

But that's not what is interesting, the amusing thing here was that the used car shop we picked had a great tag-line. They did not opt for something like "your number one choice for used cars" or "best price for best quality" or something similar dull-but-descriptive. No, they had picked the tagline "Super adventure & Successful Company" in English and had binders that helped you "how to choice".
Not sure really where the super adventure comes in, but the successful company must be their own humble description of themselves. In any case I'm sure there will be many super adventures for the Salaryman family with that car and if their company is, in fact, successful (which I doubt), then I guess it's a quite suitable tagline in the end!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Something to look at while summer is ongoing - Tot Big commercial

Ok, it's the middle of summer, most civilized nations are now closed for vacation and Baby Sunshine is keeping me on my toes during the night so you will have to excuse me for not being completely alert now.

So meanwhile, I can perhaps recommend this recent commercial for a large lottery here in Japan featuring the "ugly girl" comedian group Morisanchu which I find quite entertaining (and it's playing a lot recently). The basic premise is that in the next round it's the 100th person that will get the big jackpot of 600MN JPY (~$6MN USD) and they're imagining that they will be the one (whatever, just watch it, doesn't matter that much).

Friday, July 16, 2010

"No! You stupid woman, pasta is for lunch!"

Ok, this is a pretty old anecdote from quite a few years back and I was almost sure that I had blogged about it at an earlier point, but after a little thinking it seems like I never did...

This was a few years back and before I had joined the consultant company. I was part of a training course in Brussels with members from across the world (well, actually mostly European, but still) for a few days. Most of the participants were relatively young (as in late 20's, early 30's) and it was actually a quite relaxed feeling.

During our first evening, our group of around twenty participants had been scheduled in for a dinner at an Italian restaurant and when this was announced, a British lady excitedly exclaimed "(imagine a very heavy British accent here) Oh, how lovely! I just love pasta!". To this, immediately the one participant from Italy (tall, large and with a shaved head, quite intimidating) turned to her, towering over her and loudly and angrily said "No!!! Pasta is lunch, pasta is not dinner! We will not have pasta! (muttering something which I assume was something like "stupid sow" in Italian). As I ended up sitting close to the British lady, she was quite pacified by the previous outburst and did not seem to enjoy her, non-pasta, Italian meal much.

But after a while, she seemed to recover and when it was time to order coffee, she again loudly and excitedly exclaimed "Oh, I hope they have cappucino, I just love cappucino!", and just as some of the people in the groups started to nod in agreement, again came the loud voice in broken English "No!!! Cappucino is for daytime! Now is espresso! (again muttering something in Italian)".

But hey, he was a nice guy, but it seemed like Italian eating and drinking was quite a delicate spot for him and I don't think I saw him and the British lady talk again after that dinner... Good times!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Faith healing!

We recently got some feedback on one of our products from a customer who was extremely happy with the performance of the product.

The product manager in my company excitedly told me of how impressed the customer had been with the product, and the dramatic improvement that was seen in the patient previously in a critical condition.

He went on to tell me of how the patient values had improved and then, for additional impact added with emphasis "They told me that the patient even managed to eat a little on his own!". Then he suddenly became silent for a few seconds, looked a bit introspective and thoughtfully added "but I have no idea how that happened because when I was there just now the patient was in a coma with IV nutrition and has been since admission..."

It seems like our product can perform wonders indeed!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Now showing on the Nat. Geographic Channel: The Charisma Dog Trainer!

Having little Baby Sunshine around means that I quite often find myself with a little baby that is either, crying, sleeping, vomiting or just generally flailing around for no apparent reason, on my chest. This means that my movement gets severely limited and sitting in the sofa in the living room with just enough room to manoeuvre the remote control to the tv.

Now, I think it's more than clear to anyone who's spent any time in Japan that daytime tv on weekends is less than great here in Japan. Thankfully we have cable which means that I usually first try to check out the History Channel, Discovery Channel or National Geographic in hopes of some exciting documentary about WW2 or big guns and tanks.

However, even those channels doesn't always serve their purpose, lately there's been too much ancient Egypt and about the Universe for me on the first two channels. NGC on the other hand seem to have dedicated their full schedule now to repeat airings of "The Dog Whisperer" which for some reason has gotten the Japanese name "The Charisma Dog Trainer"... I like the kinda "A Queer Eye for your Dog" vibe that this show has going (but was shocked to see his wife appear in an episode...)

Well, it could be worse I guess and if you want me to come and train your dog, at least I'm getting educated...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Buying a house in Japan Part 5 - The Hunt is on!

(Ok, I know I promised the reps in this installment, but I think that I'd better discuss the actual hunt first, so wait 'til the next time please!)

As we were now basically had narrowded down our preferences and done some initial scouting, we were now ready to more seriously start to hunt down the Salaryman-cave that we both wanted.

Basically the search went through two separate ways; one was our own hunting via Internet to see if we could find a house that A) Was the size we needed B) Located in the area we wanted (i.e. train stations) C) Within our price range. There's no lack of search sites avaliable ( and are two respectable ones) and most of them allowed for quite sensitive search criteria; which was good. The bad was that not much came up... In parallel with our own efforts, the Father-in-Law had also made it his mission to help us in our hunt, travelling around to local smaller real estate agents to see if anything new that hadn't made it to the Internet yet had shown up.

For a few months, this was quite depressive since basically very few attractive places showed up and those that did oftentimes looked much better on paper than in real life or had some catch included that wasn't clearly stated (e.g. construction was delayed so wouldn't be available until later than we had planned etc.).

There was a time when we had basically all but given up and resigned to the fact that we would have to make some considerable concessions in our search criteria (the above A, B and C...) to have any chance of finding a place that would be worthy to serve as the permanent base of operations for years to come. Then through a stroke of luck, through the efforts of the FIL we managed to get our filthy hands on some information that had not yet gone up on the Internet, but that is story for the final installments in this great series!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Failing at being a manly man...

I think generally there are two things that can seriously put a dent in a man's self-esteem and really make one doubt one's own masculinity. I don't really think I need to even mention these two things since they should be obvious to everyone, but they are:

Not being able to perform in bed

Not being able to properly light a barbecue fire

As you understand, I experienced the humiliation of failing at one of the above...

Since we now have a little garden with the Salaryman family house, I decided to purchase an outdoor grill to have a little western style barbecue, just the three of us in the family (Baby Sunshine is still hogging all the boob so her interest was limited). Despite an hour of attempts, plenty of coal, obscene amounts of highly flamable gel/liquid and paper I had to concede failure... I had failed at lighting the barbecue grill...
I think that this is much much worse than not being able to perform in bed since there are always other circumstances that you can blame and eventually you are sure to make a glorious comeback, but this? Not being able to light a fire with all the necessary equipment? I'm not sure if I can reclaim my manliness after this... One way would be to buy an electric grill and pretend like that's "much better", but I would know, deep inside, that it's just a lie...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

"But if it's just there, why can't I take it and use it?"

Life in the company is oftentimes quite stupid and I don't think that this actually is anything that easily can be solved; it just seems like that when a bunch of people are grouped together and in different departments that the overall intelligence decreases below what should be the sum of the group. Unfortunately I probably can't really get on any high horses and claim that I've never been a part of some general corporate stupidity. This is probably true for most organizations of any size to talk about (keeping it within 10-20 people probably can avoid this). With this little disclaimer out of the way, just earlier in the week I participated in a meeting where the stupidity reached mind blowing proportions.

The meeting was a follow up meeting to a previous discussion I've talked about here (quick summary is that the guy compiling the material had just copy pasted stuff from random sites off the Internet without sourcing it and presenting it as his own and packaged it in our corporate format). We were quite a bunch of people participating with most departments participating (including Cpt. Awkward, who unfortunately lately has kept the awkwardness to a minimum) and discussing the development of the training material for some medical training seminars towards our customers.
I pretty quickly pointed out that we cannot just take texts and pictures off the Internet, not source it, package it as our own corporate material and then use it thinking that it's perfectly fine, and that in addition to any ethical issues with this there could also be legal repercussions on a global level with us completely ignoring copyright.

Things could have ended there, but for some reason this was not completely understood by most people in the room. Mr. Shachou started the madness by throwing out "but if this was available on the Internet, doesn't that mean that we can use it if we want to?" and I actually saw a few people nodding to this (out of insanity or brownnosing I'm not sure) and then throwing the question to our "legal advisor", who has no competency in legal matters whatsoever but just given the post after retirement so he can be kept around the company as an advisor (hey, he's a really nice guy and a bit of a living corporate relic). He looked a bit confused and then stuttered "well... yeah... maybe, if it's just out on the Internet so anyone can find it...?".

At this point the insanity and stupidity was reaching the breaking point for me and I felt the need to directly ask the question to some of the more sane people, but who are not very outspoken and especially not if the boss has said something in the other direction, and force an answer from a few people. It turned out that a few people had some rudimentary knowledge of basic copyright and corporate risk management and agreed that we had to be careful in things like this...

After a few minutes and an explanation from me on the basics of copyright (including; "no, just because someone wrote something on the Internet doesn't mean that you can copy that and do whatever you want with it, and especially not for commercial purposes") some form of understanding seemed to settle in the room. A lot of people, including Mr. Shachou and the great legal advisor, looked like they had just swallowed a turd (probably not helped along by me aggressively and accusatory asking them rhetorically "don't you people have any basic understanding of the legal system at all?!").

The topic was quickly swept under the rug with a quick "ok, we can't use it" and then without any discussion on what we actually could use, the meeting was closed after almost an hour of madness. I probably have to go back to 2007 (see here) to find an example of stupidity equalling this...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Well, that might not be very respectful you know?

Earlier in the week I got a phone call from one of the managers in Germany and he was a bit pissed off at some of the antics that some of the people in our little Japanese subsidiary had been up to and which had taken quite a bit of resources for him, only to find out that it had all been a waste.

He asked some questions about the people involved and their positions and one of the is named "Tetsuhiko" in first name and the manager angrily tried to pronounce the name and it went something like this "so this guy... this Tet ,this Tets, Teshuk,Tet-whatever it is you call him". The frustration in trying to pronounce the name and how the frustration turned to angry indifference was quite interesting.

I liked it, a sublime way of some minor cultural racism in the company but since I was tired I didn't call him on it and just quickly finished the call and asked him to talk to some other people.

Not every day can be all fun and games...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wow! That's a mighty fine... ... ... hanger you got there?

See the picture; this is an authentic picture from the Salaryman-Sunshine bathroom (as in, where the bathtub is) and a towel hanger made out of plastic attached to the wall to hold a sponge, towel or whatever it is you might want to bring with you while you're taking a shower or a bath.

Now, Mrs. Sunshine bought this thinking that it was a cute little thing to put on the wall, and convenient as well to hang stuff on the little "hook".

What she sees is a cute little guy with his hands up in the air and then a hook - how convenient indeed!
What I see, is a little guy with a good reason for that smug smile that he's wearing due to his unnaturally large and potent "hook". Now is this only me...?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Another Sumo Wrestling scandal that I couldn't care less about

Since the news broke a few weeks ago about some sumo wrestlers being involved in illegal betting on the outcome of baseball matches, the news has been constantly packed with reports and updates on this subject. Apparently it's been a bit of a "culture" and tradition within some of the sumo stables to bet money on the outcome of baseball matches (basically gambling is illegal in Japan). To make things a little worse, it seems like the Japanese Yakuza mob has been involved to some degree in facilitating this.

Now, this has spun into a larger discussion about the problems with the culture among the Japanese sumo wrestlers, the involvement of the sumo association of Japan and what punishment should be extended to the culprits in addition to legal implications. This is even more on the agenda now with the upcoming yearly Nagoya sumo tournament and considering the number of wrestlers involved in this, there was discussions on completely cancelling the tournament; something which would be basically unheard of in the world of sumo wrestling (and considering the money involved in tickets, merchandise and tv rights would be very costly). But now it seems like they will go ahead, albeit at a slightly smaller scale and a little more modest and of course without the wrestlers under scrutiny.

But yeah, considering that my interest in sumo wrestling is very marginal and I personally wouldn't really mind if they cancelled the tournament at all, I seriously do think that people completely are missing one very important point in this discussion:

If the Sumo wrestlers were betting on baseball, are the baseball players betting on Sumo, and if not, how can this injustice be straightened out?!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Preaching to the choir!

During the weekend we were visited by some of Mrs. Sunshine-Salaryman's girlfriends from way back in the day as they came to do some babywatching and general socializing (rudely interrupting me and Baby Sunshine as we were watching some live cage fighting on the Wow Wow channel).

Considering the company, I did put away my mucus towel for a bit but kept myself a bit away from the action as I still was suffering a bit from the fever, but did spend at least a little time with the group. I know them since earlier but can't really say that I'm close to any of them, so I do my best to be reasonably polite and nice. One of her friends (Japanese) currently lives in France, with a French husband, and tried really hard to keep my feelings about that country in check and neutrally asked how she found life in France. I hardly expected her to say that things were wonderful and that she loved the country, but the hate she felt for it almost rivaled that of my own.

Basically she launched into a tirade about how the country is rotten to the core, how the people are similarly rotten, rude and unpleasant to deal with and that the "hospitality" of that country is non-existent. And this is from a lady who have spent considerable time in other Latin European countries such as Italy, so she foolishly thought that she would manage fine in France. It also seemed like her French husband also shared the same feelings about his motherland. So their plan seemed to be to, as quickly as possible pack their belongings and move back to Japan at the first opportunity.

What can I say? She was preaching to the choir!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Excessive mucus secretion and how to deal with it

The latest summer cold that I am suffering from (see the post before this) has carried with it a quite large hourly loss of bodily fluids secreted through the nose. I would be curious to see how much fluid actually comes out through my currently runny nose per day, but I'm convinced that it's quite large.

Utilizing tissue paper every time I blow my nose is quite impractical since I would quickly work my way around several boxes and I instead have opted to carry around a towel around the house for nose blowing purposes (for some reason we have no lack of towels around the house...). I probably look both cool and handsome as I walk around the house with the towel nonchalantly thrown over my shoulder.

After about half a day I started having difficulties finding a dry spot on the towel to blow my nose in and the formerly white towel had started taking on some other, new and more exotic color tones in some selected areas. Being sick is nothing for the weak indeed.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The harsh summer cold

Well, now being into the fourth summer of this blog, I've probably written about it one of the earlier years, but I can't really be bothered to go back in time and look, and even if I had maybe my take on it has changed a bit.

You see, Japan has now entered fully into the summer season with the rainy season now in full affect for another few weeks until we reach the real summer heat of July, August and a large part of September. It's really hard to say which I hate the most; summer or winter in Japan. After a few weeks of this heat I'm inclined to hate on Summer the most, but ask me in January or February and Winter will probably get the number one position. Ok, it's not really comparable with the utter darkness, harsh cold and long time of the Swedish winter, but it's basically the lack of central heating and proper insulation that get to me the most with the Japanese winter.

But now we're in early summer and the inevitable has happened, something that happens to me every summer that I have spent in Japan; the early summer cold. This is before the body has properly adjusted to the heat and the sudden transitions between being super-hot and drenched in sweat from entering a department store, supermarket or so, with the aircon setting somewhere between freezer and fridge...

So far I've managed to stay clear of any serious fever but I'm probably losing liters of body fluid from my runny nose and baby Sunshine vocally express her annoyance with my coffing and sneezing when she's trying to get some sleep on my chest. I really should try to set up an office in the northern region of Hokkaido during the summer months considering that they're away from the tropical climate...
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