100 Posts! Some Funny Signs! And Other Photos!

Well, I've somehow finally reached 100 posts on this, my youngest blog. I suppose I'm not too far off course, though I haven't written as often as I'd like. It's interesting that my travel posts seem to be more popular than my other posts, mainly because I think visitors are coming to read my opinions from Google searches. By the way, if you're one of them and somehow came to this post, thanks for stopping by! Feel free to subscribe. There's lots more where these came from.

I have to say writing for Chaos and Kanji can be quite enjoyable, but it has the lowest readership of all my blogs. I'm going to keep on trucking, though, since I write for the fun of it. And who knows, I might get recruited to write for a travel magazine or have my own travel show or something! (If you're looking, I'm your guy!)

I enjoy looking at the signage here in Japan. Sometimes it has funny Engrish (English written improperly either due to poor grammar, poor spelling, or just poor fluency) and sometimes it's funny on purpose. Such as the collection of posters found below.


All of these posters are on the same wall, and they instruct riders how to behave. Japan is big on flock mentality and politeness. People who "buck" the system are heavily frowned upon. So what better way to help people learn social skills than sometimes humorous cartoons? Let's see - don't push or bump people on the elevators because you're late; don't wear red shirts if you're a lady and surrounded by faceless gray men (hmm, sounds like most weekday rush hour trains) - actually I'm not sure what the red-dress lady is doing; don't use your cell phone in the priority seats; and don't block the doors when people are exiting trains (queue in two lines so people exiting can walk between them).

Actually, I've seen lots of people break those two rules, the last one especially. I've taken to bumping into people on purpose who block the doors when I'm trying to get off the train, because they leave no other clear path for getting out. There was a blind guy getting off the train Tuesday afternoon who kind of had to push his way through. This wasn't rush hour, either - it was 12:30 in the afternoon on a well-traveled but not busy route. Anyway... Some other pictures.
Yokohama's Chinatown is the most famous one in Japan, but Nagasaki has a fairly nice one as well. You get there by entering through these gates, where you go from wide open streets to...
 a narrow alley surrounded by shops and lots of red paint. Why is it always red paint? Further in, you find food stalls as well. I had some harumaki (Japanese for spring roll) which wasn't bad. I also found champon here. Champon (or chanpon) is a regional noodle dish found mainly in Nagasaki. Unlike normal ramen, the noodles are cooked in the soup mix instead of in a separate pot. It was pretty good, though I'm sure I didn't eat a good representative of real champon flavor. If I return to Nagasaki, I'll be on the lookout for more.
 After watching the Hawks game in Fukuoka, I headed down to Tenjin, a popular part of town. This clock was built like a cuckoo clock, and you can see a couple of the characters out on the ledge. It was a fun show. I wasn't in Tenjin for shopping, though.
 I found this place, basically an izakaya (bar), with a tempting looking menu. Or something. I don't know. I was just hungry. I tried a bunch of stuff off the menu - various types of yakitori, mainly.
 Then I asked for some okonomiyaki, which I was pretty sure I saw on the menu (I was trying to translate Japanese writing). I'm not sure exactly what they were doing, but they had a long discussion about what they were going to do, and then said okay. Several minutes later, this plate came out. Let's see... there's a pancake-like crust at the bottom, some sort of miso (soy) sauce, meat, onions, mayonnaise, and what to you might look like bacon.

That's not bacon. That's fish. Tuna to be exact. You see, they do this whole big process with part of the tuna where it's dried, fermented, and smoked. Then they shave it off in very thin flakes and put it on okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and other foods. When prepared properly, it moves like it's alive, due to convection currents of the hot food it rests on. Japanese call it katsuobushi, and I've seen it a couple times now. It's also used to make soup stock.
Let's finish up with the back-end of the first bullet train I ever rode, from Fukuoka (Hakata) to (nearly) Hiroshima. The shinkansen is a really comfortable, nice way to travel, though without a JR Pass it can be quite expensive to get around on.

That's it! So after 100 posts, what's left to share? Hm. I have a trip to Taiwan to post details about. I've visited a lot of other places in Tokyo, I've explored some of Nagoya, and I'm heading to Korea in less than a month. And next year I'll be branching off to cities like Osaka, Sapporo, and Kyoto (finally). Plus, I hope to get down and dirty with some of the details of life in Japan. I'm always up for suggestions, so you can leave a comment or shoot me an email with, "Hey, Ryan, how do squat toilets really work?" or "Where are the crazy tentacle hentai videos?" or "Tell us about your electric bill." Or whatever else floats your boat.

Oh yeah, I actually forgot. It's my birthday! Yay! Happy me! Tomorrow, maybe I'll tell you how I celebrated (it's actually nearly 2 AM and my birthday hasn't really happened yet and I need to go to bed). It won't be that exciting, I promise.

No comments:

Post a Comment