Archive for September, 2005

Eating Habits and The Married Man.

You can find me lurking in one of the following locations during my days off.

Bamiyan
Bamiyan

Bamiyan offers a nice range of Chinese looking food and has a decent drink bar. My standard order is:

  • Fried rice or Mabodofu – Sometimes both.
  • Fried Chicken Bits.
  • The deep fried bread covered in honey, or Hachimitsu age pan (蜂蜜揚げパン), is outstanding.

Saizeriya

New Saizeriya

Cheap, filling, and generally palatable Saizeriya serves as our “Monday Date” place. Last monday, we spent a whooping 1300¥, or about USD 11.59, on two orders of Doria, one mini-cheese pizza, and one foccia. Oh, and 120¥ on the drink bar. Not a bad deal. Out of all the places I visit, Saizeriya has food I can actually eat – plenty of non-fish dishes. Without fail, I still limit myself to the:

  • Milano Fu Doria.
  • Mini-cheese pizza.
  • Spicy fried chicken.
  • Garlic toast.

Bashamichi

Bashamichi

Bashamichi = Saizeriya on steroids. Order:

  • Peperoncino.
  • Cheese pizza.
  • Fried Chicken.

Coco’s

Coco's

Coco’s revolving door menu keeps me off balance. My technique is to hit Coco’s when they are in the Curry phase. During other non-curry seasons, I just find something that looks familiar and hope it isn’t too bland.

Starbucks

Jusco SB

This particular Starbuck’s is my Sunday and Monday hangout. The first table on the left hand side knows me well. Starbucks only offers three beverages worth speaking of:

  1. Cafe Mocha
  2. Chai.
  3. Hot Chocolate

No use arguing with me. “It’s turtles, turtles, turtles all the way.”

[posted with ecto]

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Densha Otoko 1000.

The last episode of Densha Otoko (電車男) aired today. Predictable. Sappy. Geeky. Exaggerated. I enjoyed every minute. Densha Otoko = modern day Beauty and The Beast.

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Shiseikan in Yoyogi Park

While relaxing in Yoyogi last weekend, I noticed a building hidden away in the corner of the park. It looked pretty deserted with a single car parked outside and I couldn

Shopping at amazon.co.jp

It probably makes me look like someone from amazon:P But if you are living in Japan and buy things at amazon.com with expensive shipping cost and handling fee, I like to tell you how to save shipping cost&handling fee. You can buy same book, CD and maybe DVD at amazon.co.jp Don’t be afraid of ordering in Japanese! Because you can order in English!

1. go to http://amazon.com
2. See the “Product Details” and copy ASIN or ISBN
3. go to http://amazon.co.jp
4. Paste the ASIN/ISBN you copied in search box which in top of the left column
5. Get the product detailed page. Click “Display in English” in top of the right column
6. Proceed to checkout!!

That’s all. If you buy 1500 yen or more, you don’t need to pay for shipping.
If you still need a help, go to HELP page in the right side of the top. Find the “Do you need help in English? Click here.” above search box. They have English speaking rep.

Densha Otoko

ADDICTION:
Yes, I have submitted to the Densha Otoko madness. Over the past two nights, I have managed to catch up on the eight episodes I missed during July and August. Thank God, my other half was considerate enough to TiVo – for lack of a better word – each episode.

THE APPEAL:
Any show that uses the Numa Numa song, has got to be staffed by geeks. As I told Joi, a few weeks back, “The writing staff for Densha Otoko truly capture the nature of social interaction between net users.” Though the focus is on one BBS, it could easily have been a blog or a podcast.

Oh, and, Itoh Misaki is ‘my boom’ right now.

“my boom” – Google Search

Japanese Election

Yes, Japan goes to the polls tomorrow and I know because now there are those annoying loudspeaker vans everywhere in Tokyo blaring out the local politicians name at 200 decibels.

However, for once, this election is actually vaguely interesting. At last it seems like there might be a genuine two-party system here, with the DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) challenging the ruling LDP (Liberal Democratic Party).

Of course as a foreigner, I can’t vote, but if I could, who would I go for?
Prime Minister Koizumi and his famous hair cut (think Japanese Richard Gere), or Okada (DPJ), who has been through many parties since leaving the LDP in 1993 and is son of the founder of Aeon (the supermarket giant).

First, some background: Prime Minister Koizumi called this election as a referendum on his plans for reform of Japan Post, which as well as delivering the mail, is the main savings bank and life insurer and has $3 trillion in assets. The idea is to free up this money by privatising Japan Post and stop the government from using the “second budget” (as these funds are called) to finance unnecessary construction projects that have traditionally been used by the LDP to buy votes in rural areas.

Koizumi was elected as a reformer and vowed to transform the LDP and Japanese politics in general. However he has been unable to push through many of his planned reforms, has failed to establish good relations with Japan’s Asian neighbours and lost a lot of support from the electorate due to his decision to send troops to Iraq.
The DPJ on the other hand would withdraw from Iraq and they insist that as the LDP is so tied to its past, they are the only party that can undertake the reforms necessary in Japan.
I would say that instead of solely focusing on reform of Japan Post, Koizumi should be embracing the rising Asian nations as a way to boost the Japanese economy.

My initial reaction would therefore be to go for the opposition DPJ, however in the circumstances of this election, I feel that it would be a mistake.
Koizumi has been unable to push through his reforms due to the old guard in the LDP who want the status quo preserved. While the DPJ talk about reform, they are an amalgamation of various smaller parties and I feel that they do not have the unity or strength to really transform Japan.

I therefore cast my vote for Koizumi, against the “old” LDP and for reform.
Even if Koizumi loses, his bravery in risking all on this issue has finally shaken up Japanese politics and hopefully put Japan on the road to reform, whoever is its next leader.

Of course it would be a lot easier if they just decided it all with a simple game of jyan ken pon (paper, scissors, rock)

Related entries: Koizumi to dissolve House

The Ultimate Bag of Chips.

There are two chips: Don Tacos and Karamucho. Don Tacos is a tortilla type potato chip and Karamucho is your standard Frito-Lay kind of chip. Both products are covered in yummy, spicy goodness- probably some chemical concoction. If Karamucho is not available, then Don Tacos is a suitable substitute and vice versa. Sometimes the Libra in me commandeers my taste buds and demands both.

Well, Koikeya has granted my wish with DonDon KaraKara. A bag of chips containing both Don Tacos and Karamucho. The bag.

Nabi::14?.

It is predicted that Nabi (14?) will veer east after landfall, but not before it dumps close to 1000mm of water in Kyushuu – From weather forecast on tv last night. Links to variou news reports from Korea, China, and Japan:

Korea::Southern and Eastern Regions on Lookout for Typhoon Nabi

Accompanied by strong rains and wind, Nabi is expected to visit upon the Gyeongsang provinces and coastal Gangwon province 20-meter-a-second winds and more than 100mm of rain, demanding special care be taken to prevent losses to agricultural products and facilities.

China::Typhoon Nabi to affect east China

Wang Bangzhong, deputy director of CMA’s weather forecast and disaster relief department, said affected by Nabi, the coastal areas in east and northeast China will see stormy weather from Sept. 5 to 7.

Japan::Typhoon batters southern Japan

Around 3,000 residents in two Miyazaki municipalities have been told to evacuate, while about 17,000 households in Kagoshima Prefecture, mainly on Amami-Oshima, lost power.

NOTE: I found it! List of names for tropical cyclones adopted by the Typhoon Committee for the western North Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. The next time someone tries to tell you that typhoons in Japan don’t have names, point them to that list.

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