Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Paris Hilton as an ALT?

IMG 9414
Originally uploaded by sleepytako.
One of my students told me about this show on NHKe on Tuesday nights at 11:10. He said that it was for beginning English learners, but complained that he couldn't understand it at all. I don't blame him. It's taught by a 30 year old Paris Hilton with a heavy New York accent. If that wasn't bad enough and I thought my handwriting was bad on the board, but hers is like... wow. To be fair I have to say she only looks like Paris Hilton. If only her students could understand her. Her pronunciation of the students names was, well... There is an Atsushi あつし in the class, she calls him "a-sushi." I bet he loves that. Good luck TV English students!

active tastelessness

IMG 9409
Originally uploaded by sleepytako.
active diet is the 'lite' version of Aquarius, Coke's version of Pocari Sweat, Japan's biggest Gatorade. While its not that bad cold, a bit on the fake sugar side, hot is just a bad idea. I doubt I will see this in many stores. Who would drink warm Gatorade? Bleh

Monday, November 20, 2006

Extreme Ironing!

Athletes extol sensation of 'iron calm' at the limit

"If you do ironing on top of a mountain, you can
get the feeling of double satisfaction from climbing up the mountain and ironing out the wrinkles in a shirt," he said.

Via the Japan Times and Japan Probe

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Gaijin don't like natto! WHAT! 外人は納豆が好きじゃない! びくりした!

Japan Probe has a post about a TV special last night that had an old man who wants to learn English move into an English teacher's house for a month. I wish I could have seen this, it looks hilarious! Japanese TV is fulled with these reality like segments in variety shows and as their own specials like this program. Situational humor. Just check out this part as captured by Japan Probe:

I was really worried that natto wouldn’t make an appearance in this video, but after about 6 minutes it finally does! Yokoi-san offers Ryan some natto and Ryan eats a spoonfull. Of course, he finds it revolting! LOL, Gaijin don’t like natto!

Hey I like natto! There are a few other gaijin that like natto too. That doesn't stop almost every Japanese I meet doing a display of shock and confusion when I tell them that. Most Japanese, like the producers of this show love to show gaijin with a look of digust as they attempt to eat the sticky stuff.

Big freaky bugs.

IMG 9352
Originally uploaded by sleepytako.
I remember reading an opinion piece back when the Pokemon craze first hit America. The writer basically said that Pokemon was part of some Japanese master plan to corrupt the mind of America's children. Obviously he was still pissed that the Japanese economy did better than America's in the 80's and the Japanese cars are still better than American ones... but that said... in the article the writer said that the idea for Pokemon came from the Japanese childhood pastime of collecting bugs, specifically beetles. This is a huge pastime for many boys here. The popularity of it all only hit me recently when I moved up to Sanda. The Japan Discount Store (a store akin to a small K-mart back in the day) had a ton of bug catching supplies. Cages, food, little beetle houses, beetle bedding, and nets to catch the small, er, big buggers all for a discounted price I might add. Now a days on the train I often see elementary aged kids with their grandfathers holding nets and plastic aquariums with the days catch if they were lucky. This reminded me of a friend I had when I was very young. I think his name was Ethan, but I'm not too sure. We would get nets and in his backyard try to catch butterflies, I don't think we ever really saw a butterfly, but we sure had fun running around with nets.

Catching beetles doesn't seem harmful does it? It seems to me to be a normal childhood pastime. Yet somehow the writer in his criticism of Pokemon's commercialism tried to tie that to catching bugs. In hindsight I see how the author threw out a red herring in the form of anti-Japanese racism or simple cultural misunderstanding for the sake of his argument, instead of focusing on the broader problem of commercialism invading our children's lives and critiquing the capitalist economic system that fosters such commercialism.

Anyhow this is a picture of a large scary spider I saw on his web lodged between a phone booth and a light pole in central Kobe (神戸市中区)on my way to get my new visa.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Where there's dirt...

IMG 9398

First in the if there's some dirt let's grow something there series.

I'm not too sure what veggie someone are growing in this little scrap of land between the kaiten sushi parking lot and the alley way leading to my apartment, but its being protected from the cold.

Besides that, I'm guessing that whoever owns that chunk of exposed dirt turned veggie garden has no clue it's being used as such. Or maybe they do know and they are getting a cut of the veggies. Anyhow, this appeared 2 weeks ago and has just grown non-stop.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The dark side of Motomachi

IMG 9354
Originally uploaded by sleepytako.
Oh! So this is where they make them! I thought they were made in China.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

What is it?

I got this device when I moved to Sanda.
I am required to use this by city regulations. I used it for the first time today.
What do you think it is?

Want to know click here