6.20.2009

Cut and Blow



Seems I am always learning a new word. Today's word: GAYANGO, which apparently means "Hair and a lot of fun." Actually, the pronunciation of the katakana would be "gajango," but the romanized GAYANGO definitely rings more accurate for a beauty salon. Of course, it would work better as a title for a gay western or maybe the sequel to "Brokeback Mountain."

6.19.2009

Frappucino Petito



Does Starbucks in the U.S. have these cute samples that look like a miniaturized version of a Frappucino? Or is it only here in Japan? I am pretty sure the contents of my sample (coffee jelly and frozen coffee) is only on the menu in Japan. The Japanese sure do love coffee-flavored jelly! I had never eaten it until I worked at a Japanese public school. JELL-O Brand apparently tried to market coffee-flavored gelatin in North America, but it was discontinued.

6.18.2009

6.17.2009

Akihabara Anniversary



I should have posted this last week. I went for lunch on June 8 in Akihabara, not far from my office, and passed the street corner where a year ago to the day some nut went on a stabbing spree, killing seven people. News reporters were gathered around the spot where people had placed flowers as a memorial. Akihabara is always crowded, pretty much like the rest of Tokyo's business and shopping areas, and it's hard to imagine what I would have done if I had been one of the people who just happened to be strolling along the street that Sunday. I had passed this street corner dozens of times before the murders and dozens of times since. Random violence like the Akihabara murders is the scariest kind of violence because it could happen anywhere at anytime. Yet, just like with earthquakes, we generally don't let the fear of these kinds of incidents stop us from going about our daily lives.

May Disease


For some reason, I totally lost any desire to blog about anything over the past month and a half. It is quite possible that I was suffering from what the Japanese call "gogatsu-byou," literally May Disease. In Japan, the new business and school year starts in April, so new recruits and students work really hard for the first few weeks. Then, BOOM, we get this great week of national holidays, and it seems to wreak havoc on people's mental ability to function. This leads to a kind of depression. (At least, this is my understanding of "gogatsu-byou." I ain't no doctor.)
But since I didn't just start my job in April, I really have no excuse. And since it's halfway through June already, I must just be lazy.