akujunkan: (pluto)
...some personal observation corrections to a recent NYT article on Japan and swine flu. )

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
Yes, I haven't posted a TPic in about two weeks--I've been that heinously busy. I'll probably be posting a good deal of them this week, if not even today. Why? Well, the answer is tied to today's picture: Flu Day! )

That will be all.
akujunkan: (pluto)
...bringing the failboat. )

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
...have an おばちゃん level up. )

That seemed to solve things for a month.

Until last night, when Japan proved yet again that its logic is not Earth Logic. )

That will be all.
akujunkan: (ajk)
Read more... )

That will be all.
akujunkan: (kisama)
I did it. I pulled the plug. I just couldn't lie to myself anymore: my refrigerator is dead and never coming back...and one week after its warranty period ran out, I might add. Oh, the lights work. The fans work. Unfortunately, the keeping things cold part does not work.

My fabled inability to coexist with electronics apparently now extends to household appliances as well. Here's hoping my work authorisation comes through, as life is likely to get pretty pricey from here on out...

That will be all.


Apr. 4th, 2005 04:19 am
akujunkan: (Default)
This is my new favorite thing in the world. It's a yogurt drink, flavored to taste like the old-fashioned fountain colas. It rocks. I love Japan. I especially love reading the Japanese bloggers on this - "Cola flavored yogurt drinks? I'm intrigued but it's going to take someone with more courage than to me to try it!" "My husband always remarks on these every time we go to the convenience store together. I imagine it won't be long before he takes the plunge!" "If anyone, anywhere reading this blog has tried one of these, please tell me what it's like. I'm really intrigued, but too scared to try it myself!" "Cola and yogurt? There's a combination that looks like it requires real guts to buy!" "It said 'Cola' in huge letters, but then it also said 'dairy beverage' and 'uncarbonated.' I felt an intense embarassment as I picked on up and took it to the cash register." And following the link backs through this random journal, I discover that all the blogger's friends are writing up entries on this as well.

I have thus resolved to buy one or two of the things every time I'm in the combini, because I like it and don't want it to disappear from the shelves.

I recently recced a bunch of Japanese language novels to someone on ye olde flist, which made me want to go back and reread them. I've started with Ishida Ira's Angel, which I like despite the fact that I'm not a great fan of the mystery novel genre. It's well written overall, but there's little jarring bits that just make me laugh. Case in point: the ghost of the protagonist is off spying on couples in love hotels (I imagine pretty much any man - dead or otherwise - wouldn't hesitate a second to do this, given the opportunity, so no suspension of disbelief needed there.). He's watching a high school couple. The guy comes, and the ghost suddenly sees the beautiful glowing spirit of a new pregnancy alight in the woman's stomach. Which is just a total moment of bwah? for me, because I imagine that more than a nanosecond or two passes between ejaculation and conception.

But then again, I'm from Indiana, where our only sex education is Abstinence Education (I'm worth it! Pet your dog, not your date!), so what do I know, really? My tax dollars went into educating me about how no woman in the history of the world has ever enjoyed sex and that all men are liars who are really out to get me with their penises.

That will be all.


Feb. 28th, 2005 01:29 am
akujunkan: (Default)
Thanks to everyone who commented on the God damn post the other day. As it turns out, I ended up spending 26 of the last 48 hours asleep, and it seems to have helped. I've done loads of wash today, and even after two runs through my (admittedly not western-quality but high quality by Japanese standards) washer, the outline of my body still remains in my fuzzy comforter like some weird Shroud of Turin imitation.

Yesterday afternoon, having not really eaten anything in three days (a function of being nauseated by the texture of food which I couldn't smell or taste), I decided that desperate measures were in order and squirted half a tube of wasabi paste down my throat. Surely, I thought, This will clear my sinuses up.

For all I could tell, I could have been eating damp sawdust.

So I popped down to a nearby Chinese pharmacy.

"I need something for a cold," I said with rotten I-have-a-cold pronunciation.

Oh, check that out, my mind said, Aren't those boxes of Vicks on the counter?

"Oh, thank goodness you speak Japanese!" the woman behind the counter exclaimed.

"Oh, I've studied for awhile now," I told her.

Huh. Didn't think they sold Vicks in Japan, went the mind.

"Well what are you looking for?"

I knew Nyquil was out of the question, but aren't they basically the same thing?

"I can't seem to smell or taste anything, and although I feel much better than I did a few days ago--" Or has the law been changed? Maybe Vicks doesn't have the same active ingredients? "--it's making it hard for me to eat."

The woman asked a few more questions about my symptoms, which I answered, strangely bemused the whole while by the colorful boxes of Vicks on the counter.

"Can you drink powder?" she asked me.

"You mean like powdered medicine? Oh yeah, that's no problem," I told her.

Wow, there's several kinds of Vicks for sale, no less.

The woman headed to a shelf and got out several tinfoil packets of powder which she carefully placed inside a paper bag labeled with the incomprehensible Chinese name of the medicine, then handed to me. I paid.

"Think it'll actually work?" asked the friend who'd come along for the ride.

"I think so," I told him. "I can't imagine that pre-western Chinese medicine was all snake oil. And hey - I just realised I could have asked for Vicks."

He boggled at me for a moment. "You didn't notice it? It's right there on the counter in front of you!"

"Yeah, I noticed it. I just didn't quite...make the connection."

"They have Contact too," he informed me, holding up the box. Oi.

I then proceeded to show up to teach my Japanese lesson an hour early (the guy was still at work at the time), and so spent a nice fifty minutes chilling with his roommates. OTOH, he was extraordinarily hung over for eight at night, and it's entirely possible that the mixup was not my fault at all, so there.

But in good news, the powder medicine worked wonders. A few minutes after my first cup, my senses of smell and taste returned. I celebrated by eating a bunch of fruit and a large bowl of ramen. Life is good.

That will be all.


Jan. 26th, 2004 12:32 am
akujunkan: (Default)
Here I am, ensconced in a Toyama hotel that I booked all on my lonesome. My Overall Life Proficiency ranking was pretty high today - negotiated my way out of all sorts of room charges, got myself dinner, hooked up my phone and computer and managed to get net access for both, beta read, and figured out the intricacies of the exercise room.

And then I went to the sauna/sentou. Instead of key or coin lockers, the lockers at this sentou are combination locks. You put your possessions in, enter a four-digit code, and lock the thing. Easy, non? )

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
...WTF Moment, courtesty of Japan. )

It makes one wonder what the heck they're learning in class. That will be all.

A new week

Jan. 19th, 2004 06:13 pm
akujunkan: (Default)
....means new students for cleaning detail. This means that I can no longer watch mostly-naked teenage boys running around the new students aren't embarassing the school in front of the city 中央。 Damn. Thank heavens.

Today is the 19th, which means that if I am lucky, there will be a new Ichi Raci, with a new Silver Diamond chapter for me to read/translate. However, I will quite likely be most unlucky, and have to wait until the 22nd or 23rd for the new monthly shipments to make their way over to me. So you should all keep your fingers crossed for me.

In other less-than-exciting news, my candy cane omiyage were a big hit. My city is so boondocks that my coworkers had never seen candy canes before - they thought they were supposed to be umbrella handles. Half of them were very concerned about the correct way to eat them - hooked end, or straight end - that they waited until they could ask me. The other half tried to eat them with the wrappers on, and wondered why the things a) didn't get any smaller and b) tasted like plastic. I had to give a brief lecture on correct candy cane consumption in to the entire staff room.

Other points of interest were the many colors and flavors (as in, most people didn't initially realise their candy canes were different from their neighbors), and the versatility of the candy (you can hang it on a Christmas tree, put in in mulled wine, put it in hot chocolate, shelack it and make picture frames... I feel like Martha Stewart now so I'll stop).

My favorite moment had to have been the principal at Komadori running around like a little kid, turning her tongue and mouth blue with the blueberry candy canes and loving every minute of it.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
...is that no day is ever without its WTF moments.

Students clean the school after class every day. What this means in practice is that the female students do the cleaning while the male students fuck around and gossip.

Except now that winter has arrived, the male students have discovered a way to occupy themselves during cleaning period. It involves a massive jan-ken-pon battle. The loser of said battle is required to strip down to his underwear, climb out the window onto the roof, and run around in the two feet of snow which has accumulated there until his classmates open the window and readmit him.

So my girls and I clean the school while my boys run around in their underwear in front of one of the busiest intersections in the city. Not that I watch, or anything

This Slice-of-Life!Japan has been brought to you by [livejournal.com profile] akujunkan.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
Only in Japanese can I have friends whose names, transliterated, have meanings such as:
"Spring Onion"
"Fat Donkey"
"Are you serious?" and
"Loser Dog"

My name, for all interested parties, transliterates into "Forest Village," which is not as interesting as any of the above, but definitely safer.

That will be all.


akujunkan: (Default)

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