Worst dream ever

you'll get the noose!I had the worst dream ever yesterday night. To put it back in context, the rainy season just started here and it’s becoming unbearably hot and humid, 蒸し暑い as they say it here, but I hadn’t turn on my aircon in hope of pushing back the inevitable surge in my electricity spendings.

So the dream started with me killing a colleague of mine around 6 months ago and repressing the memory. But as people around me start asking questions: “Where did he go? No-one heard of him for months?”. Memories begin to rush back. That’s when I woke up tossing and turning in my sweaty sheets.

But the problem when you wake up in the middle of the night because it’s too hot is that you’re still half-asleep. So I couldn’t shake off the dream and as much as I tried telling myself none of it was true, I kept asking myself what if it was real? The police would come sniffing around. Did I hide the body well enough? I should go back to check the grave. But no! The police might already be following me! I’m gonna end up in jail and get the noose!!! (they hang killers in Japan)

I barely slept 2 hours that night. Now I don’t care about the bills, I’m turning on my aircon tonight…

Yasukuni Black Suits

Last week was Golden Week, a bundle of national holidays all packed in the same week: Constitution day, Green day, Children’s day and the new Showa day. This last one is in honor of the previous emperor’s birthday and is a big hit among Japan’s extremist population, which I like to call the Black Suits.

Last year I witnessed a huge delegation of black vans shouting propaganda in Shibuya. So this year I thought it’d be cool to go see what happens in Yasukuni Shrine on that day.

entrance of Yasukuni Shrine

I was a bit disappointed, the shrine itself is a lot smaller than I thought and there were no black vans to be seen, nor threatening crowds. However, while waiting for a friend to arrive in front of the entrance, I finally spotted a group of a dozen black suits with their token buddhist bracelets. Two of the elder ones split up and came straight at me and my friend:

Old black suit: Do you speak english? Do you speak english? (with a more or less threatening tone)
Me: Yes I speak english, 日本語でも
Old black suit: 本当?? (with a smile on his face)

They got much friendlier when I replied to them in japanese. They asked us why we came to 靖国神社 and I replied that it was very famous, hearing about it all the time on the news, so we wanted to see for ourselves. I didn’t bring up the fact that we came just to see people like him though… They said “Have fun!” and left.

Japanese Jesus pamphlet

Yesterday, my japanese teacher was handed a pamphlet in the train station. Normally she would have thrown it away, but knowing me and how I love such kind of stupid things, she kept it for me.

don't drink and fornicate

Click on the extract for the full thing. It’s a Love Jesus Christ pamphlet, first time I see one in Japan. I get bothered a lot by Jehova’s Witnesses whenever I stay home on the weekends (there’s a chapter in my town), but this one is not from any cult I know of.

Chinese sex medicine

So when I got to my hotel room finally (after a ghastly 10 hours of travel), I checked out the bathroom and found the following room extras.

chinese sex medicine

Very Arduous, Very Long Haul Sexy liquid medicine for lovers
This product is the pure Chinese medicinal preparation, refined many times and exquisite productive. It could enhance sexuality and energy of male/female. It can prevent infectious diseases, having no side-effect, no any stimulus, no dependent.
Directions: Use product ahead of 10-15 minutes. Use this product on and around the pudenda massaging tender for 2-3 minutes. Do not wash away by refined oil when using. It can get a better effect if you use YIRENBAO lotion after these products.

Only for man/woman
This product is specially designed for washing men/women’s genitals . As the pure Chinese medicinal preparation, it can quickly kill any kinds of latent germs and pathogens. It’s suitable for using at home, on trip, or in swimming, especially before or after sexual intercourse. It can prevent any infectious diseases.
Directions: Use this product on and around the pudenda by massaging for 2-3 minutes, then rinse with clean water and wpe with a pasteurized wet towel. It can get better effect to be used in bath.

Huge rice scooper

Here is my girlfriend in front of the biggest しゃもじ in the world:

bigass rice spoon on flickr

If you ever go to 宮島, you’ll see those wooden rice paddles everywhere. They are used to scoop the rice out of the rice cooker, at least before the wooden type was replaced by newer plastic, non-sticky ones.

Souvenir shops sell big lacquered and engraved versions as a goodluck charm since anything can be turned in a lucky charm here in Japan. I guess one of the store owner wanted to be very lucky so he made that giant one and displayed it in the street.

Sparkling Café

Sparkling Café

¥50 at my company’s コンビニ. Tastes like diet coke with a strong and foul coffee aftertaste… I can’t believe Nescafé makes this crap, and the best part is the slogan:

You can enjoy authentic coffee taste and refreshment.

The guy at the shop told me some guy on the 現場 bought a whole 24-can box of it when it was in promotion. I’d want to see the man who actually likes the taste of this abomination…

Racist magazine – 外人犯罪

After seeing a blog post about this magazine: 外人犯罪, I knew I had to buy it before it goes out of print. So yesterday after work, I went straight to the Familymart 30 meters away from my home and purchased a copy to keep as a collector’s item.

Gaijin Crime File

It’s a special edition magazine about foreigners in Japan and the crimes they commit, perpetrating the idea that the gaijin community (and especially the Chinese and Koreans) are the source off all the problems in an otherwise perfect Japanese society. This theme has been very popular on TV lately…

Gaijin Crime File - interracial couples

Especially keen to me is that page about interracial couples, with very interesting comments accompanying the photos (see the flickr page for translations of some of them).

I might be really naïve and know I should be offended and outraged, but I find such material fascinating as it reminds me that this is an inherent part of the Japanese society in which I’ve been living for over a year and wish to stay much longer. I had a good laugh at it and so did all my gaijin friends at work to whom I showed the magazine.

The guys at Japanprobe.com are staging a boycott of Familymart and want to take action against the magazine’s publisher.

Best Effort

Working in the IS/IT management team of my company, I’m copied on any IT related announcement made by the local infrastructure, and there is always something interesting/funny in there. For example here’s one mail I received this morning: (I cut out the japanese part)

(Important) PC Network stop to the Yoyogi headquarters office on 04th Nov(Sat)
We planned Yoyogi bandwidth upgrade from “best effort 10Mbps” to “fixed 10Mbps“. Although a cost does not change, a little improvement in the speed is expected.

Best effort bandwidth, that’s a really nice concept, I can just see the network infrastructure manager giving a speech to the switches in the server room to encourage them in giving their best for the comapny…

Train Otaku festival

This weekend we had perfect weather in Tokyo, thanks to the typhoon that just passed. It’s impressive how it can pour with crazy wind friday night and be 8°C more with a perfect blue sky on saturday morning. So we thought it’d be nice to go for a big walk around Hibiya/Yurakucho/Ginza in the afternoon and here is what we stumbled upon in 日比谷公園:

13th railway festival

It was the biggest concentration of otakus I ever witnessed, largely trumping a sunday afternoon in Akihabara. They were all coming to see the latest Shinkansen locomotive, buy a Yamanote station’s chief costume or original parts from Chuo-line wagons…

On the way, I saw the perfect look-alike of Densha-Otoko‘s friend. I imagine most of these guys come back home and transform into this:

screenshot from Densha Otoko


Hier soir je devais recevoir les batteries de remplacement pour mon Powerbook suite au rappel de batteries d’Apple. Comme d’habitude, j’avais demandé au livreur de passer à 20h et il est passé à 19h30 alors que j’étais toujours dans le bus rentrant du boulot.

Donc j’arrive chez moi et voila l’avis de passage que je trouve dans ma boîte aux lettres.

avis de passage

L’appli de remplacement de batterie recupere mon nom depuis mon Apple ID et j’avais mis la cédille et l’accent à l’inscription. Les japonais doivent se dire qu’ils ont vraiment des noms bizarres ces gaijins…