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.
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.
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.