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japan, not japan

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:13 am

I will talk about things that are Japan-related and things that are not Japan related. I had dreams of more well organized posts with photos and everything, but I’ll post now with possibly expanding on some of these topics later.

My ear is feeling (ie hearing) a bit better. I’ve started listening to ear buds again in limited (very quiet) contexts. First song back: “King of Pain”.

The rest of the Japan trip was pretty good.

I mean, it was great. It’s a crazy place. One coworker said something like it’s a very odd combination of a repressed/ conservative culture and a wild/ unashamed culture. Very strange.

Some of the stranger places included the hot bath that had a mildly electrified pool, the sushi place that required you to eat at least 7 dishes (of 2 pieces a piece) of mostly sushimi in less than 20 minutes, the Diago-ji temple that had a painting that I thought was a garden; either that, or it had a garden that was completely unreal in how beautiful and archetypal it was. They were also chanting in the part of the temple that’s at the top of the hill when we got there and I could hear it from maybe half a mile off. A strange beacon.

I’m not missing Thanksgiving. I mean, I’m not attending Thanksgiving and thus am missing it but Thanksgiving is such a non-event here that the only time I even think about it is when I talk to people in America. Also, I knew from May that I wouldn’t be doing Thanksgiving this year. I love Thanksgiving, but I’m prepared.

(Did you miss the Moon Festival this year? I didn’t; I participated.)

On the other hand, the prevalence of Christmas decorations, music and colder weather in Japan made it feel like mid-December, much close to when I would be leaving for the U.S. That caused many more pangs of homesickness.

During bouts of longing for America, it seems that any culture representing that will do, possibly with even the less sophisticated being better. No, I’m not talking about fast food; I’m talking about movies. Last night, I watched Must Love Dogs without shame; tonight may be 40 Days and 40 Nights. In Germany, I remember watching (possibly multiple) Freddie Prinze Jr movies. It’s crap.

I finished Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: a Story of the Hip Hop Generation last week. I’m not sure, but I think it’s racist. The book draws some distinction in various situations between pro-black and anti-white, but I think this book was possibly anti-white. For instance, the nomenclature was: Black, Latino, Asian, Korean (etc etc) and white.

Now I’m on to Chuck Klosterman’s Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, which is a book of Klosterman’s ridiculous pronouncements about culture, on everything from internet pornography to NBA basketball to Billy Joel. It’s entertaining, but I think I prefer his travel narrative, Killing Yourself to Live.

Sufjan’s having a contest in which you can win rights to one if his songs if you write the best original christmas song (which he then gets the rights to). I am thinking of something along the lines of a response song to a classic 1963 Christmas song. We’ll see if I can churn something out–I need to figure out how to do the instrumentation on this–maybe FruityLoops or something. My guitar through a built-in mic isn’t going to cut it.

The Steelers loss today was almost funny. It’s almost expected, the way the Steelers manage to botch the “easy” games. None of their three losses is even marginally excusable and if some columnist says otherwise, question his ability to analyze their games. On the other hand, they’ve been great in pretty much the rest of their games.

There is a baby crying down the hall. I hope this doesn’t continue. I don’t like crying babies.

On strange candies and confectionaries. Good: the two different Chocolate Pocky’s and Men’s Pocky, those weird mushroom-shaped chocolates that are sort of like Pocky, some Mentos (Fuji Apple, particularly and the Berry Blast and Sour mixes), mint Kit Kats, all Kinder chocolates. Interesting, but not great: Green Tea Meltykiss, those white + green tea chocolates, that incompressible Mentos that might have been cherry and also the strawberry and green apple ones, the mini-hamburger chocolates. Bad: apple Kit Kats.

4 Responses to “japan, not japan”

  1. mummy Says:

    It seems an interesting dichotomy, old and new, tradtion and ahead of the curve. There also seems to be – correct me if I am wrong – obedience and discipline. People also say is it very safe – not a lot of crime. That counts for a lot.

  2. Tark Says:

    You didn’t believe me a few months ago when I told you the Patriots were the best team ever. Care to reconsider?

  3. adrian Says:

    Tarky, I’ll let you know on Feb 3.

  4. sarah louise Says:

    I guess if I’d read further down I’d see that you are missing Thanksgiving. Glad you didn’t miss the Moon Festival, though.

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