Archive for the ‘anecdote’ Category

Cars and Japan

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

So my friend Chris did his presentation about cars.

It was cool.

Japan is an interesting place to find car culture. There is no need for cars here. The public transportation system is awesome and allows you to get anywhere you want to go within a reasonable amount of time.
So, why do people want cars?
According to Chris, people want cars, not because they are useful for something, or they need to commute or whatever. It is because they want to be a car owning person.
There are many people in Japan who, having bought a car, proceed to leave it in what passes for a driveway. Most people who own cars probably don’t use them much. Which makes sense with the public transit an all. Interesting.

Cars are expensive in Japan

First, you need a driver’s license. these cost ~$3000, because, like I said, cars are not needed–they are a luxury item. Makes sense doesn’t it?

Then, before you can buy a car, you need a place to park it. Garages at home, unless they were there before are not such a great choice. Why? Because the taxes for building a garage are the same as for building a house, garages are expensive.

Like I said, interesting.


ハリー・ポッターが難しい or Reading is Hard

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

This weekend I read a 1/4 of harry potter in Japanese. Last semester, I had bought Eragon in Japanese, but that turned out to be a foolish endeavor. It was too hard, too many kanji, too little furigana(the small characters above kanji that tell the unenlightened how to read it). Harry is much much easier.

On the other hand, I still don’t understand about, oh, a third of the words the first time I see them. But, I can read the japanese because most of the kanji have furigana. And I have learned a few new words like mono-oki(物置) which means closet, more or less. (more…)

Molly Ivins, 62, Deceased.

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

The first column I read by Molly Ivins was in highschool. Over the last few years, as I became more interested in politics, I found myself reading her columns more often. I liked her style. She got down to bid’ness and didn’t use flowery prose or tortous logic to get her point across.

During the summer, her columns started to come less frequently, I read she had relapsed into cancer. She was going through chemo and lost her hair. But she kept writing in the same fiery tone.

Suddenly, the columns stopped altogether. For two months, I checked common dreams everyday and read my op-ed columns, but none from her. I guess I had thought that she would get better, that the stubborn, take no quarter spirit would prevail over the cancer.

Then, last week, after not checking common dreams for a while, I read Maya Angelou’s essay.

I will miss that fiery spirit. I will miss that stubborn will that always spoke truth to power. I will miss the hope and the anger her writing made me feel. But, the mistakes and abuses she wrote about continue and it would not do justice to her memory to merely grieve.


Sick in Tokyo

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

You know what sucks, being in Tokyo and being too tired to see anything. On the other hand, Japanese television provides endless diversion. Ever see the O.C.? How about in Japanese?