Gender Differences

giant-spiderImage by Not Quite A Photographr


Today in work I saw something horrible. 


A spider as big as my hand. 


The girls and I all freaked out while the boys all ran to have a look.


Dear Disney


You do not need to make your characters extra-cute for the Japanese market. 


Look at poor Donald. Where is the sarcastic, lazy, world-weary duck we know and love? You’ve turned him into a super-enthusiastic member of the school band. 


As for Mickey, you’ve robbed the poor bastard of his mouth. 


There’s just no call for this kind of thing. 


That is all.

Dear Department Store


Where do you get such creepy mannequins? 


I kind of want one. 


But not these ones. 



They give me nightmares.

Japanese Teachers Wear The Darndest Things


The Japanese woman who works as a teacher at the school wears what can only be described as Christmas jumpers (knitted sweaters). All goddamn winter I’ve been looking at fair isle prints, snowflakes, reindeer, Santas and general hideousness.


Today she had a treat for me – she wore a long-sleeved t-shirt. Light blue, silver writing. 




Is that not just a little… TMI?

Love and Hate



real book



I’ve got a love/hate relationship with Japan. I’m pretty sure all immigrants to all countries do. Unless it’s a hate-hate relationship, in which case I hope you get your extradition granted. 


Overall, the love outbalances the hate, or else we’d just go home. Even if it’s just the love of the money we make. 


HATE – Japanese drivers

Holy crap these people cannot drive. For reals. Parking in the middle of the road on a curve to go to the post office/vending machine/whatever. Driving with no lights. Doing 120kph on the expressway (limit is 80), sometimes with no lights. Giant scary trucks changing lanes without warning, careening into spaces 2 feet longer than the length of their truck. Sometimes with no lights, sometimes with thousands of multi-coloured blinking lights (and those ghetto blue lights fixed underneath the truck to light up the road). Reversing onto a road FAST, without looking. Breaking lights. 


I know this shit happens everywhere. There’s a crucial difference though. In other places, the perpetrators are assholes. In Japan, they’re just not paying attention. Which is worse. An American almost-making-it as they try to get around the car park against the one-way system is actually less annoying than an 80-year-old Japanese lady creeping around the car park at 2kph peering at every space and not noticing that you’re reversing away from them. You can sort of respect someone who tries to get away with something. Someone who’s just oblivious is so much more irritating. 


LOVE – No matter what you do, no matter how bad/assholish your driving is, Japanese people will never ever flip you off. In fact, if you cut them off and then bow a little (while still seated in your car, obviously), chances are they’ll bow back. And marvel that a gaijin can drive.


ETA – I love that the wordpress spellchecker recognises asshole as a word, but not internet. Or wordpress.


Edited again to remove extraneous “ass” from line above. Apologies.

Things That Keep Me Sane II


I’ve been here 8 months now. Out in the freakin inaka (countryside). Things get boring. I have to work to keep myself entertained. 


More things that keep my mind from turning to mud. Or at least slow the process. 



It’s just excellent. Thousands and thousands of books, dvds, everything. I’ve bought a hair dryer, a straightener and many many books so far. Part of the site is in English, but it’s really just for English language books. For other stuff I put it through google translator. Sometimes the translations are a bit Engrish, but whatever. Free delivery on purchases over 1500 yen and they do cash on delivery. 


2. Internet piracy.

You know that anti-piracy ad they have at the start of dvds? “You wouldn’t steal a handbag… You wouldn’t steal a car…”

Sorry to Paramount and the like, but if I could make an exact copy of someones car by electronic means FOR FREE then yeah, I would. And fupp off with your handbag stealing talk. Most people don’t snatch bags from women’s shoulders. But women have bought literally millions of counterfeit handbags. Which is much more similar to internet piracy than actual mugging. So get lost. 

I watch tv shows online. If the stupid networks would just allow people from abroad to watch their shows on their own websites then I wouldn’t do it. They’d even get more money from advertisers (of products sold worldwide, obviously). But when I see an ad for your show telling me I can watch it for free on your site, and then I go there and I’m told that it’s unavailable in my region then SCREW YOU. I’m straight over to surfthechannel. And I don’t even feel bad about it.

Stupid Japan


I’m sure this happens in other countries, but gah!


Who the crap makes a ketchup bottle so flimsy that just holding the bottle makes ketchup fly out and spatter all over my kitchen and feet? God dammit!


I just spent the last ten minutes cleaning up the murder scene before I realised that I should have taken a picture for the blog. Then I actually contemplated re-spilling the ketchup. Man, I’m bored. 


So instead, here’s a picture of the equally-flimsy mayo bottle. 




Looks innocuous right? Hang on, I’ll just try to pick it up…. 


The pathetic thing just collapses in on itself.


Upside – portions of the kitchen floor are now clean. Even if they do smell a bit like ketchup.