Dec 22, 2013

THERE IS NO MUSTARD IN JAPAN :(

Kanadajin3's top wanted list. Reward. Eternal happiness for Mira and the other people in search of this wanted thing. That thing is....mustard (in Japan)

As a Canadian, I gotta have my daily dose of mustard. When I make a sandwich, when I have a burger, a pogo etc. You just gotta have mustard.

Let me warn you something about Japan. When a Japanese person asks you in broken in English "do you want mustard". RUN!.  Naw, not really.

You don't need to run, but you should be aware it is a mistranslation. What they mean is do you want "karashi". Karashi is actually a type of mustard plant, but it is not the same breed of mustard that you can find in Canada. It is very spicy and nowhere near alike. Thus you will be very disappointed if you accidentaly are given it.

You see, mustard is a nice sweet, mustardy taste (there isn't even another English word I can use to describe it because it IS its own flavor)

< This is mustard. It is made by a company called HEINZ. Which is a wonderful Canadian company that makes a large variety of food (at least Canadians think it's a Canadian company, till someone pointed it out to me)opps. The funny thing is you can find HEINZ ketchup in Japan, but I have yet to find mustard (except for this one). Yes folks, its the real deal. 100% real imported heinz mustard.





This can be found at a Hawaiian burger joint in LALAPORT.

The moment I saw this I was in heaven. It has been 3 years since I had a bite of the beautiful yellow cream from the lords above that sounds creepy.

I over loaded my burger with it knowing I wasn't going to get to taste this for the next 3 years (or till I come back to that store)

The only other time I found "mustard" in Japan was...well the time I was let down and very angry. I found a tube of what was labeled as "mustard". It was tsubu mustard, the kind where it has the seeds still in it.  I thought it would do, since I gave up trying to find heinz mustard here. I bought it and rushed home to eat my raw ham sandwich with a truck load of mustard sprayed on top.

I took my first bite and my face and eyes turned red and began to water. KARASHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!! CRAP!.    It was not mustard but karashi. The front English label was in romaji and katakana labeled as mustard (sometimes Japanese fk with English because it is cool).  I turned the box around to find labeled on the ingredients "karashi".  Not a single drop of mustard was in there. :(

So be careful. And stock up on your mustard (or other condiments that you love and might not have in Japan).



Dec 20, 2013

Japanese CHRISTMAS lights

It's that time of year again.....time to eat kfc  seeing Christmas lights!!

In Japan, everywhere and anywhere during winter (usually end of November- start of January) everywhere you can find Christmas lights displayed.

Most people don't put it on their house, however it is safe to say every mall, tree downtown, important building will be plastered in lights that we call in Japanese, Illuminations.


There are usually events that go on in designated areas where you can go view them. It is considered almost like a festival and some of these hot spots attract hundreds of thousands of people.

Luck thing is most of them are free to go and see (I wonder who sponsors these things?)

They seem to get better and better every winter as competition grows.

There are even places you can go to see water light shows, laser shows, fireworks, ice skate shows and light "plays" on movie screens. It can be really fun.

So if you are a person who is interested in such a thing you will really love Japan in the winter time. Don't forget to bundle up though, it can get VERY cold in the winter here.
 

Oct 28, 2013

The TOO friendly gaijin and son

This is another crazy story that happened to me about 6-7 months ago.

I was on my way to donkihote (a Japanese store), I walked the whole way there cause it's not too far from my house and it was a warm day. As I was walking I saw two people ride past me on bikes.

Their clothes stood out a lot, kinda like something you would see someone wear in a stereotypical Peruvian gangster movie. Cheesy 80's shirt and gel slicked back hair. I though about them for few seconds as I continued walking to the store.

I got inside the store and was looking around (actually filming a video for you guys!) When I noticed the two people that passed by on the bikes were also in there.

They were playing with one of those toy parrots that imitates your voice if you speak to it. I didn't want to go near them because of what they were making it say.


"チュッしてくれる?" - chuu shite kureru - can you kiss me

I didn't get a look at their faces but though it was immature and tried to ignore them. Then a clerk came up to them and started talking about the item they wanted to buy. I guess before I got there they had complained that the item they looked at was cheaper the day before.

The clerk said to them that the item was always that price and that it didn't change at all.

The man got very angry and flipped out, fighting back and forth with the lady. He called her many names and made a big scene. He insisted that the item was cheaper and that the store was trying to scam them. Finally he gave up because the woman wasn't going to give him a discount and he said he will take it as the price it is. 

The angry guy then noticed me standing looking at other merchandise in the store and started talking to me.

He started saying stuff like he can't believe how stupid expensive it is trying to get me to agree with him. I was shy and didn't want to talk so I just answered saying "I see". And then tried to continue looking away shopping my own business.

I forget in detail the conversation but he kept talking to me, even when I wasn't looking at him, started talking about himself and his son. His son was born in Japan and the dad was from another country (I wont name). Then they said they saw me as they rode by on bikes.

He said lots of strange stuff to me.
"My son is looking for a girlfriend, can you become?". lol Wut? Really? who says such a thing?.  All I could do was laugh and smile uncomfortably and say "I'm good".

They asked where I lived, my job, my name (all I said sorry I can't give, I must go) and then suddenly said "We live around here, do you? Let's become friends, give me your mail address!" Opening his phone. I found it very strange to the max.....(who asks such a thing?)

The whole time I was hoping the clerk would notice me being annoyed by this over talkative creepy customer.... but nobody came to save me noticed.

All I could say was "sumimasen kedo kekkou desu" sorry but no thanks.

I ended up having to leave him standing there and walk away because he just wouldn't understand the fact that I didn't want to talk by my face gestures and actions. 

As I walked away they followed me a little bit talking still but I ignored and pretended I didn't know them and slickly escaped upstairs. When I got around the stairs so they couldn't see me I walked fast into an area where they couldn't see me. I kinda camped out there for a while till I was sure they were gone. I was kinda afraid that they were going to see me outside and follow me home.




Oct 15, 2013

Inkan backwards...FAIL

So, in Japan there are things called inkan or hanko that we use to give signatures on a paper. It is a stamp that we have to get specially made. It is needed to open a bank account here and do various things.

I had to pick something up from the post office today and needed my inkan. It basically looks like a small stick, with a round small stamp on the end.

You don't have to carry ink with you, because all places that expect a inkan will have ink ready for you to use.

Anyways, so I went to stamp my inkan and when I dipped it into the ink I noticed something was strange...like a strange feeling

When I put it on the paper and pressed it down to stamp my name I also noticed something strange, as if the paper was bumpy or something preventing me from pushing down straight...

Well I realised why after I picked up my inkan....

It was backwards. I had just stamped the end.

It looked like how it would look if you too a pencil unsharpened or eraser end and dipped it in paint and stamped it on a paper. A big red circle.

lol.

Opps.  

BE CAREFUL!

Sep 24, 2013

The AWESOME Japanese taxi driver

This is the store of the most awesome taxi driver in the world.


I was going somewhere last night, which was really far (30 min drive), cost me 6000円 ($60).
 
I have taken a taxi in Japan less than 10 times, I am not a talkative person so usually I ignore the driver and hope they don't talk to me. Usually they only start small talk. Maybe this one was different because we had a long way to go.
 
IT WAS EPIC!
 
I had so much fun talking to this guy.
 
First, his personality was like the cool turtle from finding nemo. He must have been well into his 60's but he was so full of energy, talked like a young hip and happening person.
 
When I got in the taxi he didn't know where I wanted to go because it was far and an area where nobody usually goes. I gave him the address and he tried to put it into the computer, but on the computer map the letters were small so he used a magnifying glass. He kept making jokes about how he couldn't see and it was pretty funny.

After we found the address he said, ok lets go. We started driving along and he started to talk about food. He said his favorite food was gyoza and recommended me a very good place to get gyoza. He went on to tell me a story that 'good gyoza is good because the skin is good, not because the inside is good'. Interesting.
 
He asked me what my fav. food was and I said Basashi (raw horse meat). He got surprised (like people usually do) and he said he loves it. Then he we talked about a place called Kumamoto ken, which in Japan is famous for Basashi.
 
I went on to tell him about the story when I first tried to make gyoza, but the store near my house ran out of pork, so I though beef would do instead (which it didn't).  We laughed together about the story because it was so funny. He said its the first time he heard of someone making such gyoza. For those who don't know, gyoza MUST be made with pork, not beef.
 
I really wanted to make a video about him, he was so funny. The way he spoke Japanese was like a young person. Never in my life have I met such a funny person. He told jokes the whole way there, making my ride less boring. I didn't even want to get out of the car at the end.

After I arrived at my destination, I couldn't bow enough to him. I was so happy I got to ride in his taxi, I hope one day I will see that driver again, it was super fun night! 
 
 
 

 
 

Sep 3, 2013

My many Canadian pets

With the recent video about my life drawn out for you guys debut, a lot of people have been asking about my life before Japan and the life that isn't on video.

I thought I would make a video about my pets, since they were very important to me.

If you don't know, I have owned MANY pets. I loved animals and I spent all my money on them.

Lets start with the most special rabbit I ever had "Nancy"

I got Nancy around 2006. I had no money and wanted to buy her, so I sold my guitar and Amp just to buy her. She was a white and brown angora rabbit. Very cute.  Best of all, surprisingly she was tame!

She would respond to her name, she didn't pee on the floor, she didn't have to live in the cage, she would just roam free around my room and bathroom. She pee and pooped in her cage which was left open. She was so awesome!!

So what happened.....well I moved to another city and couldn't take her and for some reason left her at my grandmas house for 2 months till I could get her to the next city...but then my dad...:( gave her away....:( without me knowing.

I will never forget that rabbit and how sad I am that he gave her away, still to this very day.




 So I wanted to get another rabbit to try to fill the hole in my heart. This was a impulse buy because it was so cute and small. Small loppy ear brown and white dwarf rabbit.

"Cucumber" was only a few weeks old when I got her. SUPER CUTE. Fell asleep in my hands. But she died a week after I got her...It just wasn't meant to be... :(


In the mean time I got many other birds, rabbits and other animals but now I will jump ahead and talk about "Ratata" my pet rat.

When I went to buy her, I actually wanted a hamster but the lady convinced me rats were nicer....

It was gross because she took her out of the cage and let me play with her, and she crapped on me!

I ended up buying her because I felt strange to say no after it just crapped on me. Anyways, long story short, don't buy rats. She wouldn't stop eating! She would eat and eat and eat and eat and holly crap!!

Because I liked jungle, I also liked jungle animals and making jungle terrariums. This is "Rizzard" a Chinese water dragon. The tank she was in is a 120G super tank that I modified for it to be semi aquatic, I also built a waterfall inside and the tank looked really cool just before I moved to Japan.

All together I must have spent over 3000$ in total on this pet, plants and other stuff.


Now if you don't know, my fav pet is "Day gecko".  And this is one of two baby day geckos that I bought, which name was "Mr gecko" (as you can see I had so many pets I got tired to naming them).  They were super cute and funny.

They would lick apple sauce off my hand and stair at me all day through the glass. They always looked like they were smiling so it was so cute.

Sometimes they would escape and climb up the wall and I would panic thinking they would just crawl into a hole in a vent and then be gone forever. Lucky that didn't happen.



Here we have "pikachu", my Chinchilla. Chinchillas, if you don't know can be fun to touch and look at but are often not friendly. Pikachu was the most grumpy chinchilla ever! He hated being touched and was a bully.

From my grandmas friend, I got another chinchilla (the black one) named "raichu" which was more calm. Raichu was 3 years old and he was much more friendly. Poor raichu, Pikachu would always beat him up. You ain't supposed to keep male chinchillas together because they fight, sometimes they fought but sometimes got along.



Pikachu died suddenly one day, I don't know why but one day he was just very weak and looked like he was shaking and like something was wrong with him. I layed him down on my bed and just pet him till he fell asleep, when I woke up the next day he was gone.

I had raichu for about another year later till I left to Japan and left him with my roommate who took care of him, but after I left he died.

RIP all my pets.

The pets I have had that I didn't mention
Rabbits - 6
Birds - 2
Cat - 1
Dog - 2
Fish -23
Hamster -3
Gerbil
Crocodile gecko
Green tree frog
Northern leopard frog
Fire belly toad
Newt
Golden gecko


 

Aug 31, 2013

A fork? Because I am white right? :/

This blog is something that often other gaijin complain about when moving to Japan. Receiving a fork in a restaurant when you are not supposed to.

Its a simple thing, but its rather stupid. Its not some big discrimination that is worth suing over, you could hardly call it discrimination, but rather bad business.

Now some would say, "why is this bad business, its just a fork, just ask for chopsticks".  Yes. That is true. However.

The fact still remains, all the customers should be treated the same and it is rude to judge a customer based off their race and assume what they will eat with. It doesn't make people feel happy or feel comfortable when they are judged by what they look like.

Its just as ignorant as a racially Asian looking person walking into a Canadian restaurant, ordering a salad and out come some chopsticks. WTF?


In Japan, Chopsticks are used to eat many things, not just Japanese food. Chopsticks are not used to eat everything though. Instead of listing off the stuff they use chopsticks for I am only going to talk about some important stuff.

In Japan, when you eat a salad, you eat it with chopsticks. It is the most normal tool to eat a salad with.

There are some exceptions, certain western food restaurants ONLY have fork and spoon to eat with. However, in general, especially at a convinience store, Salad is eaten with chopsticks.

I have been buying food at convince stores for over 2 years now, never having a problem that some people think of. Many people mention being automatically given a fork for their food. I haven't experienced it till a few days ago.

Just a normal day I bought my Wakame and bean Salad at the Convince store and brought it to school. When it came time to open it I was shocked to find a plastic fork.

I was shocked because I felt at first, Did that person even see that I ordered a salad?? I thought this person didn't even notice what I bought, how can they not see it? I didn't order spaghetti....

It is so normal to get chopsticks when you get a salad, just like you would get chopsticks as you get soba or sushi, pretty much any food at the conbini except for friend rice (spoon) or spaghetti (fork). I didn't think "racism! racism!" right away because I assumed that the person didn't see that I got a salad.

Now sometimes this happens to non-Asian raced people. Which is rude and annoying. And sometimes people will get very offended.  Its not the worst type of discrimination, but not a lot of discrimination happens in Japan, so the little things bother you. If I was at home, I could have just tossed the fork aside and grabbed some chopsticks in my kitchen no problem. But I was at school so it caused a little bit of a inconvenience for me.

I went to the teachers room quickly at school and asked to borrow chopsticks. Wasting over 5 mins of my eating time. Even the teachers were a little surprised that they gave me a fork and said 'you can't eat salad with a fork, strange'.

Now I know what you might be thinking, "JUST SUCK IT UP GAIJIN AND EAT WITH FORK".

Wrong.  1. You CAN'T eat this salad with a fork. I mean its more hard than with chopsticks.

What?

Yes.

As you can see in the picture above, there are beans, and if you can see there are small little black lines that probably look like worms to you, but that is called HIJIKI. This isn't something that you can pick up easily with a fork.  Forks involve stabbing your food. If you stab those beans, it breaks them in half, or they slip away. Its much easy to pick them up with chopsticks (unless someone wanted to pass me some tongs). Even a spoon would make things more easy.

As for the hijiki, it is too small to be stabbed with a fork, so the only other good way to eat is to use a spoon (which I wasn't provided). Of course picking up the Kabocha and lettuce and other large items would be easy to get with the fork, however the small things, no.

People might say to just suck it up and deal with the fork but its not something I would do and its not something other Japanes would do either. I have seen many times at an actual western style restaraunt where they do give people by default, a fork or spoon to eat with. I have seen customers ask for chopsticks. So if these people don't just "deal with it" why should I? It is what I find more easy to eat with, it is what I need to eat with.

This is the reason why Japanese people eat salad with forks, the ingredients are different often and its just easier to pick it up with chopsticks. You would think that salad is considered western food, but its not. Salad is eaten in Japan just as it is in many countries, though in Japan a lot of times the salad ingredients are much different. There are some things that Japanese people only eat with a fork (Spaghetti), but Salad is something that you eat with chopsticks, it is just more easy that way.

Even easier is using your hands though.. (Guess I should go on a trip to India ^^)

Aug 30, 2013

Japanese LOVE bread

Before I moved to Japan I never knew that Japanese people had some kind of stereotype that western people eat bread at every meal. I also didn't think that Japanese people view foods such as pasta, bread, potatoes and rice as just starch, not food.

In Japan, you NEED rice, or some other starch in order to be considered eating a meal. Otherwise a lotta people will just think you are weird.

In Canada, there is no such thing as such rule, food is just food and its not strange to go without it.

I learned how strange people thought I was when my ex husbands family would eat with me and since I couldn't eat rice (because of benpi), I always had nothing, but they were always confused when I didn't even want bread.

I cooked for them one night and they even complained they needed at least bread, because without it they would die.

Anyways.

In Japan, there are more bakeries than McDonald's. Bread stores are MAD popular in Japan, Its like its unofficially considered Japanese food.




Not just plain bread but there are many different sweet breads full of chocolate, sugar and many other things. So many different kinds and you can buy it anywhere. I have never seen such thing in Canada.

In Canada, the only time we eat bread is usually sandwich, toast or garlic bread.

In Japan, bread is snacks.

Not only that, they have crazy types of bread that I could never even imagine eating.

Such as Yakisoba bread, Butter filled heart attack bread.


Interesting.

What I really like is the stores that have bread that really takes a lot of effort into the art behind making it.



If you come to Japan, I really recommend you check out a bread store.

Aug 18, 2013

Fruit is expensive in Japan????

This is something I will also one day turn into a video, because I LOVE fruit  (thus I love to talk about this).

I don't know what the prices of fruit are like in your country, every country is different. I come from Ontario Canada and the price of fruit depends on the type of fruit (duh)

Anyways.

Speaking from a Ontario-villian perspective there are some fruit that is more expensive and more cheaper in Japan.  One thing that pisses me off is the constant complaining about how expensive fruit is and how people apparently have to pay 200$ to get a watermelon (which do exist).




One thing that is important to know about Japan
FRUIT CULTURE!

The number one reason why fruit is expensive in Japan, Fruit is given away as gifts in Japan. There are expensive fruit stores and so called brand name fruit that is sold at higher prices depending on the brand, season, appearance, where it comes from, the farm and occasion.  I could walk into a expensive fruit store, pay 50$ for some oranges, and give it to someone as a gift and WONT look like a cheep idiot. 



In Canada, if you gave fruit to someone as a gift, it would seem weird (unless that person is like me and ASKED for it for Christmas XD)

In Japan, giving fruit away as gifts is acceptable, (however, people don't give away veggies).

In Japan, Fruit is not as casually eaten as fruit in Canada.

For these reasons you CAN find expensive fruit.

But I don't think people pay too much attention to the difference of brands, where it came from when they look at the price and see that peaches are 8$ for 2, get shocked and go write about it on the net.


One thing you can't go wrong with, is TASTE. Japan ranks in the taste of fruit. In Canada, its a guessing game, Fruit aren't usually competing with brands like in Japan, rather grocery stores. In Japan people know which areas have good fruits, and certain fruit brands are well known to be really good tasting. In Canada, its not cared about so much. Sometimes you get a pack of really good peaches, sometimes you don't.



Anyways. Back on topic.

Another thing you have to take into consideration in Japan, some grocery stores will REALLY rip you off. Some grocery stores have INSANE price differences compared to other grocery stores. To mention one 'Livre keisei'  is almost double or sometimes triple the normal price of what food should be. If you move to Japan, check out the prices of a few grocery stores, I like to use the prices of the frozen bento snacks and fruit to compare grocery stores. Bento snacks shouldn't be over 200 yen per pack, if you are in Tokyo and its over, you are in a expensive grocery store area and should move right away

Anyways. So grocery stores will vary ALOT. I mean a lot! 


BEAUTY OF THE FRUIT

Japanese people usually don't buy fruit that is half rotten, looks not nice, not perfect to the shape, has a scratch on it. For this reason it takes a lot of money into making the fruit perfect. Stores wont sell the fruit that is almost expired or doesn't look presentable, thus they lose lots of money in the process of selling.



To help people, I will give you my experience in Tokyo as a DEAL list of how much you should be looking at fruit, anything higher, its either a really yummy special brand, or a expensive grocery store. and you should run




BANANA - 100 yen

PEACH - 300-400 yen (for 2 or more)

STRAWBERRYs - 300 yen

MIKAN - 300 yen (for pack)






NASHI  - same as peach




WATERMELON SLICE - 200-350 yen

APPLE - 100-170 yen (per apple)

MANGO - 200-350 yen

GRAPEFRUIT - 100-200 yen





DELAWARE GRAPES - 200-250 yen  
(Some stores sell them for 900 yen WTF!)


Aug 14, 2013

Crazy people who punch doors on trains

This post is to mean no offence to people who have mental illnesses.

Crazy is a word used to describe people who are not sane, however some people agree it is used wrong. Yes. It is. However, without using this word, you wouldn't be able to simply understand what I am talking about without a big explanation.


Anyways.

Everyone has had this experience (and if you didn't please let me move to the country/city you live in)

You are on a train (usually this happens on a train/bus) and suddenly someone starts talking to themselves, or screaming at the door. Theres nothing you can do but just sit there and mind your own business. After all we are all human, and not every human is....all there in the brain.

Nothing is wrong with these people, but it can be scary for those riding on the train.

This story is inspired by events that happened today.

I was riding random popular train line here in Tokyo. A man walks on the train and stands by the door. I am sitting down. The man starts making noises which I can only describe as ...haunting ghost grudge sounds? at the door. Which I thought was kind of strange, but I thought at first he was listening to music and singing some heavy metal song quietly.

But my thoughts were wrong, his voices got louder and I realised he was not listening to music that he was just...different from other people.

No hate. No issue. A little strange, but its all good. Continuing my ride sitting down and enjoy watching the train pass stations and thinking about all kinds of things.

Then.
BAM!!
He punched the door.

This is the moment where my calm self turned into FKING SCARED! heart beating fast, palms began to sweat.  Occasionally a crazy person freaks out in public, I am sure I am not alone, I am not the only one who gets scared. I hate when this happens. It is so scary.

BAM!
He kicks the door. And then punches it again.

At this point in time I was so scared I thought he was going to kill me. I was so scared he was going to punch me. He was very tall and large he could have broke me in half.

BAM. BAM. BAM.  He beats the door and kicks it. He walks in circles and does the same thing again. People looked, but nobody moved. One person standing near him walked away. The guy who was kicking the door looked at the guy who walked away like he was going to kill him. And actually started to walk in his direction but then I guess gave up and turned back and punched the door again.

I have no idea what this persons story is. But all I know is I was scared and I hate when this happens.


The train stopped and I got up and walked all the way to the other end of the trains doors as fast as I can to get off and as soon as I got off quickly took off hoping he didn't pick me to punch instead of that door.

I wonder what the likeliness of a person who is punching the door, to actually come after a random person who is sitting down on the train?

Aug 6, 2013

I just needed to pee! (Japanese 100円 toilets!)

This is a short story that happened the other day. I actually had no idea that these existed in this world till I came across it (at the worst time to find out too)

It was Sunday morning, I had woke up early to catch the train to meet my friend. I had to pee before I left my house, but I couldn't because I would miss my train and be late for meeting my friend. So I held it.

I got on the train, went 20 min train ride to Shinjuku station, got off the train and hurried to Starbucks where I would meet my friend for a drink and talk for a bit.

I arrived. Everything was fine. Since I was holding it, I forgot I had to go and we had a short conversation for about 15 mins before I realized that I had to pee.

I asked my friend if there was a bathroom in that building  (NOTE: We are in a office building)
My friend said go into the basement, using the elevator and I will see a bathroom on that floor.

I hurried out of Starbucks, down the elevator to the floor. I saw a sign that had the little toilet icon on it and followed it.

It was kind of far from the elevator, maybe a 3 min walk through the stores and office areas in the basement. When I got to the toilet I approached and this is what I saw.

 
 
This toilet costs 100 yen to use ($1). You either need to put in a 100 yen coin, or a coin I guess that you get from the building in order for the door to open. Otherwise you are locked out and forced to pee your pants.
 
 
I didn't bring my purse with me to the toilet because I thought I would just run in and out. Nope. So I had to run all the way back down the halls, to the elevator and back to my friend saying. OMG you have to pay, grab my purse and now I am on my way back to the elevator.
 
At this point in time, I really gotta go!
 
I get to the toilet, rip open my wallet and what do I see? No 100 yen coins. CRAP! Actually, I really said MAJI DE!?  out loud in Japanese, which means 'REALY?!?!' or 'Are you fkin serious!?'
 
 
I ran to the convince store where I asked if they had a toilet, and the lady said sorry only pay toilets.
I bought a 10 yen chocolate and grabbed change and hurried back to the toilet.
 
When I got inside, this is what it looked like. It was very clean, smelt very nice and was pretty fancy. The toilet doors automatically opened and closed with a sensor. It was the toilet from heaven ^^.

I wonder how much money they make per day off people using this? I also wonder how much the staff get paid to clean this toilet, they sure did a good job.
When I walked into the actual toilet stall the toilet lit up inside! and looked like this as it sprayed some kind of water on the seat. and cleaned it for me.

It looked like a normal toilet, but it was actually super powered. It had a spray washing function, like most Japanese toilets do. Except this function also had a dry button, which I have never seen so far. The dry button was, well as you could guess, your %"#% being blown on with a fan.

When the toilet flushed it flushed with mad extra sucking power! I almost got sucked in too!
 
Anyways, today I learned that these toilets exist, so a word of advice to all you readers, always bring your purse. Just in case.
 


Jul 31, 2013

NO, hot water is not used for laundry in Japan

I am deeply sorry to the person who made this comment, but I get comments like this all the time.

Someone will claim they seen something in Japan, and everyone does it, even though it is completely not true, doesn't go with Japanese culture or what exists here AT ALL.


If this information in this comment happens TO be true, then it is absolutely freakish case, most strangest thing in the history of Japan to ever happen.


If you don't already know, in Japan lot of people hang clothes outside to dry. In the winter too. Why? Why pay for electricity and use a dryer when you can use the sun?
The sun is free and its part of their culture. Just because they have the technology to dry it in a dryer, doesn't mean most people are interested in wasting power when its free outside. It has always been that way, even after the invention of electric driers you will still see all year round clothes hung outside.

Saving power isn't the only reason I have heard Japanese people say they dry it outside. Many Japanese people ask me when I tell them that we use machines in Canada.

'Doesn't it become wrinkled?'

'How do you prevent wrinkles'

'Doesn't it shrink?'

'Doesn't it get bigger?'

If you walk down the streets around Japan, any sunny day you will see laundry hung outside. You will also see futon hung outside. Japanese people hang their beds outside to get rid of the bugs and stink that happens to form on your bed while you sleep.

On rainy days, the laundry is hung inside their house.

You might ask, why would Japanese hang clothes outside in the winter? Well in most parts of Japan, winter doesn't get a lot of snow, or even any snow at all. In Tokyo clothes are still hung outside during the day in the winter, and inside during the time where the sun is not gone. This couldn't happen in Canada in the winter, because the clothes would not dry but instead turn to ice. lol.

In northern parts of Japan, it snows a lot in the winter, so a lot more people just hang them inside to dry.

Inside Japanese bathrooms there is a pole, similar to a shower curtain pole in the west. However in Japan its not actually supposed to be used for shower curtain, but for hanging laundry. They also have a powerful dry fan above the bath that will dry your clothes on a rainy day or a winter day.

This is the only normal alternative method to hanging the clothes outside in Japan.



Now, This doesn't mean that some people don't have dryers. Some people do, especially people who live in the northern parts of Japan. Its just VERY uncommon. It may even be suprising for those coming from a country where people don't dry clothes outside. 

Real western dryers in Japan exist, and are mostly only used by companies. Most normal washers don't have a drying function, and some only have a partial dry function that just leaves the clothes moist. I can't tell you guys much about how dryers work in Japan, because I haven't found anyone who owns one yet.


Second. Hot water in Japan is not used for washers. In fact, there is only one tube attached to the back of the washer that pumps in cold water only. This is because hot water costs more money to make, thus saving energy. Japanese love saving energy and its certianly more shamed in Japan to waste than it is in Canada.  This is just something they don't have an option for, and don't even complain about.

In order to use hot water, you must pump the water from your OFURO (Japanese bath). Japanese people don't like to waste water so some times you will see people use the old ofuro water, and put it in the washing machine and use it to wash a load of clothes. Some machines have a pump attached that you can put in the ofuro and actually pump it directly into the machine. Others have to manually go back and forth with a bucket (pain in the ass).


NOW.
Time for the ran and crazy comment I got today.

'''No hot water and no dryer? You know that's not true. With Money anything is possible. Even for Japan developed standards! Your generalizing too much!'''


My reply:  '''You don't even live in Japan, and you never been here. Just because technology exists doesn't mean we use it. The ONLY pipe that comes into a washer in a house is cold water, no hot. Dryers exist, but people don't use them. People dry their clothes outside, that is considered normal.'''


'''No.....I have been to Japan and I seen people use hot water and have a dryer to do the laundry. Of course, my friends did remodel their plumbing, but they do have hot water and a dryer. we have to clarify this because you said that the Japanese don't use dryers and hot water. For a 1st world nation and 2nd in GDP to America, you do have some people in the country of 126M+ that use hot water and dryers.I assume you meant "The Majority" not "all".    '''


I am sorry. I don't mean to hurt you. But wtf.


I will start with the first world country crap. Just because Japanese people hang clothing outside, doesn't mean they do it because of lack of technology. I find it really insulting to those cultures that do things differently that is seen as 'third world'. It is not third world to be using the suns energy for a good purpose.

I understand their thinking way now, why use a dryer? The sun is right there. Its free. Why waste energy?  I have got used to drying my clothes outside where I feel like its much better to do than in a machine. Its free, I don't know how you can have a deal that beats free. It takes me only 5 mins extra to hang up.

Anyways, the part where this post this commenter upsets me is,

WHY in HELL. Would any Japanese person go through the stress of modifying their house to have hot water attached to their washer?  That is as insane as a person in Canada, going through the modification to have a special washer built that has boiling water, instead of warm or hot water. But a extra one for mad boiling water (which isn't even used in Canada).  Its something people don't use for their normal day, so why would the Japanese invent some thing like a hot water pipe for the washer??.

In all Japanese houses, there is no option, its just always cold. To add a extra pipe, of course is possible, but who would think of doing this?? This is western thinking because we are used to options. In Japan, they just DON'T USE IT!. To do a reno ALL for that?? I don't understand what kind of family would go thought the touble to modify their house so that two pipes stick out. Which is why I feel like this person is just making up information as they go along.

Even if they wern't making this up, it still doesn't mean every Japanese person is renovating their houses so that all the houses can have a hot water and a cold water pipe. Doesn't change the fact that most Japanese people hang their clothes outside to dry, and wash in cold water.

Renovations are expensive. To rip up a house, install a pump that pumps also hot water would be out of this world, at least, in the world of Japan.

Jul 26, 2013

The nut job student

Heres a short story of the days where I used to teach English as a private tutor.


One time I was meeting a student for the first time. Before he emailed me asking where to meet and I specifically said, Starbucks.

He said 'sorry I don't like it, too shy to speak English there'.

I said, too bad I only teach at cafe, Its too dangerous to go anywhere else. At first I thought he was one of those sick freaks who was going to sugest we go to a hotel (sometimes you get asked). I told him I will only go to starbucks and he finnaly agreed on it.

When he gets to starbucks, I say
'ok lets go inside'. But suddenly he says again 'sorry I don't like Starbucks its too shy'.

'fine, where do you want to go??'


We went to some VERY expensive tea place across the street. The most expensive tea I had in my life  Ready for the price?  20$ for a cup.

It was mad fancy place for rich people. The inside of the place was so fancy, there was a live piano player. Wow.

Anyways.

I noticed right away that I didn't like this student. He had a attitude to him that was unfriendly and kind of idiotic. His personality was something I can't even explain, there was so many rude things he did but here is a few.

We had two menus on the table that the waiter gave me and him to look at, and he TOOK MINE, out of my hand while I was trying to read it, and put it near him and said 'you can't read Japanese'.

And thats when I knew I had a idiot customer.

Oh it gets worse.

He would imitate everything I said with a cocky way and it really got on my nerves.

He asked if I could speak Japanese and I said yes. And he said Really?   Then he asked me to say something. I asked him in Japanese 'what do you want me to say?' and he laughed.

Then I asked in Japanese, what is funny?

And he said 'you are speaking Japanese.....and you are  a foringer'

I just looked at him with a plain face, nothing is funny, this guy is just a idiot.

I couldn't wait for the lesson to be over, I almost wanted to get up and leave. I wanted to freak out and defend myself telling him his behavior was unacceptable and I wont continue this anymore, but I stood my grounds.

Everytime I tryed to ask a question, he would cut my off making stupid noises or repeating English words and laughing, like he was doing it to piss me off.

Anyways, the most crazy shit of the day was when we started talking about my pets. I told him I used to have over 20 pets in my life. He was so surprised and heres how the conversation went.


'wow?!?!?! Where are they all now?'

'well, they are all dead now'

'WHAT!!!?   Why? hahahha! Why teacher? '

' well these pets don't live forever, so they are all dead now, this was over a long time'

'did you kill them?? hahaha'

'............'

'what happens if you have a baby??'

'................!'

'will you kill your baby too?'


After that I didn't respond to him, I can't even remember how the rest of the lesson went.

I never contacted that student again.

Jul 18, 2013

6 am in KABUKICHO Yakuza?

In Tokyo there is a area called KABUKICHO

It is located in Shinjuku, and at once point in time it was the most dangerous part of Japan (maybe still is?) Now Japan is not a very dangerous country to begin with so compared to the scary things that happened in Canada, this is nothing.

However, being in Japan for 2 years you get used to being safe. When you run into the slightest bit of danger, it feels like you are really going to die.

So I was at the club with D-chan, clubs in Japan run all night BTW. I mean, till morning!
In Canada they stop at 2am. Japanese people usually laugh at Canada for being that way. Anyways.

So after the club usually we go and eat or find somewhere to hang out. For some reason we ended up in Kabukicho, unknowingly. Two guys took us there, we were looking for some food but couldn't find any.

Anyways, in the morning in Tokyo, any club district you can always find the drunks and the crazies, so seeing this is nothing new.

Out of nowhere, a very scary looking drunk guy came out of a store on his cell phone. He had long hair, many tattoos (which are considered scary in Japan) and he looked very strong. He was talking on cell phone but he was drunk and couldn't walk.

He stumbled and fell onto the ground and rolled around.

D-chan , at that moment without thinking at all, said out loud in Japanese

写真とりたい shashin toritai  -  I want to take a picture

Of course him being Japanese, he heard, got up and got mad angry.

He went right up to her and screamed at her

写真とるな!shashin toru na! - Don't fkin take my picture!

He was right up in her face like he was gonna kill her. I kept saying sorry to him in Japanese pleading to just leave us alone and that she couldn't speak Japanese. I couldn't stop bowing and begging for forgiveness.

He then grabbed the Japanese guys we were with around the neck and tried to make them punch him so a fight would happen, but the guys we were with didn't want to fight so they slowly walked out of it.


And just like that, we escaped slowly by walking away.
Thankfully!!!
I thought I was going to die!
I though he was going to pull out a gun and kill us all (opps there goes my Canadian panic thinking).


Anyways, moral of the story here is, THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK!
And DON'T PISS OFF DRUNK PEOPLE

Jul 14, 2013

The ASAKUSA old CHIKAN

Sorry its been a long time I wrote a blog. I have been lazy busy with videos.

From now on I will write about all strange, interesting, funny etc experiences that happen to me.


Starting with this one, it happened actually 4 months ago.

I went to ASAKUSA alone (because I am a loner)

I went to film videos for you guys :)

I usually don't go places alone because I feel its strange to be alone. With nobody to talk to I feel like someone who doesn't have any friends. I always want to laugh or talk to people I am around, so if no one is there, theres nothing I can do except think to myself, about how lonely I am.


Anyways, I grabbed some food (yummy food). I grabbed a chocolate banana. In Japan at festivals they have these bananas on a stick covered in chocolate! AWESOME!

I sat down in front of the place that was selling the food, sat on a little rock and watched the people walk by as I ate it. Watching all the people who had friends they came with lol.

Suddenly out of nowhere a old man, very short, wearing a grey suit approached me. He racially didn't look Japanese (but I am not sure). He slowly creeped up beside me, I knew he was going to talk.

Brace yourself, the next part of this sounds SOOO MADE UP! but it is 100% true story.


OLD MAN : Are you alone?

ME:  ???  *pretends not to speak English*

OLD MAN : 1人ですか? hitori desu ka? - are you alone?

ME: 私友達を待っている tomodachi o matteiru - I'm waiting for my friends

OLD MAN: 時間ある?jikan aru? - do you have time?

ME: 何?nani?  - What?


The whole time he was talking he was whispering very quietly so that nobody else heard him.

OLD MAN: 僕カメラ持っているね、近くのホテルがあって、よかったら動画をとりに
一緒に行きたい boku kamera motteiru ne, chikaku no hoteru ga atte, yokattara douga o tori ni issho ni ikitai - I have a camera, and I am staying at a nearby hotel. I am looking for someone to make a movie with


WHAT THE FUCKKKKKKKKKK!!??!?!?!?!?!?
As if right? As if this happens to me in the bright of day, in asakusa, a tourist spot where people are supposed to enjoy a lovely day in the park watching the temple and eating some chocolate bananas!!
Why must creeps come in such a way?!

ME: いや、大丈夫です -iya daijoubu desu -  umm! no, I am ok!  *gets up and starts walking away from the man*

I went to get someone who was in charge of one of the stores to tell them a creepy man was there. As I was walking away he whispered,

OLD MAN: 可愛いなーデートしたいなーと思った kawaii naa deeto shitai naa to omotta  - You are cute! I want to go on a date with you!

I quickly went to the people at the store, and turned around and he was running away because he knew I went to get someone in charge.

I should have took his picture, what a creep eh!