Yamato logic

You are seated across from your boss, trying to make sense of the situation as it has been presented to you.

do2Two months ago, you were promoted.

In the present, you are being reprimanded for not having put sufficient effort into the Excel document that charts your goals for FY09…
while being repeatedly told there is a high probability you will be laid off within the next 3-4 months.

Whatever else your weekend may hold, you’re quite certain it will revolve principally around beer and polishing your resume.

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The Japan-style blog (part 2)

再び、ちょっとした発見を
報告したいと思います

自分が前回書いた
あのダレカさんは、
「場合」という言葉を
「ばわい」と発音します

それに、何か理解して
承知したばわい、
「なるほど」ではなく
「なるほど、なるほど
あーなるほど」
を言います

それで、考えました

ひょっとして、
あのダレカさんの日本語は
ものすごく下手かも

Incidentally

I’m hung over and in a foul mood.

The pencilneck prick who thought he could cut in front of me at Yurakucho Station looked quite surprised when I instead chest-butted him the hell out of my trajectory and glared at him, daring him to do something about it.

Predictably, he didn’t.

Upon arriving at work 10 minutes late, I apologized profusely to my boss for not having turned in a document that was due yesterday, and promised to have it to him before 10:00. I then surfed the net for 20 minutes, chatted with a co-worker for another 20, then popped ’round the corner and had a beer to take the edge off this fucking hangover. And now, of course, I’m writing this blog entry.

It’s 10:07 am.

How has your day been?

The Japan-style blog

早速ですが、ちょっとした発見を
報告したいと思います

この1Fのダレカさんが
いつも電話でしゃべっている時、
「ありがとうございます」ではなく、
「あららす!あららす!」
を言います

以上

読んでいただいて、
あららす

Random news and musings

On the job and can’t think of anything too terribly exciting to blog about, but I certainly don’t feel like doing any work (of which there is none, but if there were, I wouldn’t be in the mood to do it). Therefore, I have decided to string together a few random bullet points, blast it onto the interwebs and call it a blog post.

Brilliant, I tell you!

The news
・Taro Aso, Japan’s nerd of a prime minister, has come under fire for repeatedly mangling kanji readings during his speeches. And no, the “nerd” comment isn’t a cheap shot — this is the guy whose nickname is “Mr. Manga,” and who chose geek heaven Akihabara as the location for his first stump speech. Critics have levelled that Aso’s self-professed love of comics (apparently he reads 20 a week) has been less than helpful for his kanji skillz.

My advice: Read a fuckin’ book, Aso. If I can do it, so can you.

・Yesterday, some whackjob let loose hundreds of beetle larvae on an in-transit express train. His reasoning: “I wanted to see women get scared and shake their legs.” It would also appear that this is the 19th time that the bug man has pulled this particular stunt. That, friends, is a special brand of weirdo.

The musings
・The rather large coffee pot in our office is the BM-3000 Caldo. It’s a beast of a thing, and also costs a cool 600 bucks. Unfortunately, caldo happens to mean “soup” in Spanish. While I suppose it’s not impossible that someone would deliberately name a coffee pot the BM-3000 Soup and then charge $600 for it, I have to confess to being somewhat confused as to the motive.

mine・I have to write up a lengthy Excel document today charting the goals I hope to achieve in the company during FY09. I find this rather troubling, as frankly I have no goals whatsoever other than being left alone. I also have my doubts as to whether this company will make it through FY09.

・See this building here to the right? It’s down the street from where I work. And it’s mine.

Bonus
Finally, as my friend ThePenguin seemed a bit confused by some of the word choices in my last post, which goes to show just how gleefully we of the former colonies have adapted the English language to suit our own purposes, allow me to clarify in what I hope will be more familiar language:

At the weekend, I engaged in the procurement of a set of pantaloons whilst cursing to mineself in vex’d frustration.

That’s how you guys talk across the ocean, right?

Clothes woes

I fucking hate clothes shopping.

Seriously, I can’t begin to tell you how much the whole ordeal of spending hours looking for something I like — only to try it on and find it doesn’t fit quite right, or doesn’t match my complexion, or the collar sticks up at a weird angle — makes me want to bite the head off a goddamn fruit bat. Mere words, even those as hate-driven as my own, cannot convey what a soul-crushing, beer-requiring ordeal clothes shopping is for me.

And this was in America.

Japan… Jesus H. Christ. It’s a wonder I’m able to step foot into that carnival hall of horrors that is the Japanese clothing store. Not only is the changing area a rickety dais of balsa wood and curtain that even the dressing rooms at Goodwill can look down on and snigger at, the way that clothes are sized here is, well, fucked. Shirts are easy — If it’s a Large it’s really a Medium, if it’s a Medium it’s really a Small, and if it’s a Small it’s really a dishrag. Pants, however, are a different form of humiliation.

f-ingThe fact that waist and length sizes utilize this so-called “metric system” is bad enough; as an added bonus, there tend to be infuriatingly random gaps between sizes. For example, one can often find pants sized 82 cm and 85 cm — and nothing at all for anything in between. I’m not the most mathematically inclined person, but I’m relatively certain there at least two possible size options between 82 and 85. This is of particular concern to me, because a size 85 practically falls off of me while a size 82 is too tight.

Tightness alone I could deal with; for whatever reason, however, Japanese-made size 82 pants fit just a little strangely on my foreign-made body.

Put simply, while I’d like to think I have a decent groin, it certainly doesn’t bunch and swell like a goddamn sack of grapefruit. Nor does it project outwards with ’70s-era machismo, as if straining against ironed polyester and inviting itself to be ogled. Say a kind word for my groin, for such is how it appears in a pair of Japan’s size 82 pants.

After much cursing, a beer in the parking lot, and a renewed search of the clothing rack, I was at last able to find a pair of size 83 jeans. I purchased them, and am in fact wearing them now.

Because, you know, I’d rather not be known around the neighborhood as Projectile Crotch Man.

The generic “I live in Japan!” post

This, dear Reader, was an entry I spent a fair bit of time working on before throwing my hands in the air and setting aside to finish later. Unfortunately, “later” ended up being a little more than two months from when I’d started writing it.

Whoops.

The pro bloggers, the really good ones, would consider something like this past its prime by now and not worth using – I, however, have no such qualms! Thus, I invite you to enjoy a brief vignette of a night long past but by no means forgotten…


So. I have been roundly chastised for my recent old post, Bad wind. It would seem you all come here expecting a bit of humour, a dash of revelry, and were none too pleased with my sudden, unexpected foray into the dark side.

Very well. Your voices have been heard.

However.

While I shall comply and get things back on a lighter note, I’ve decided that I will passive-aggressively do so with a post about what I did over the weekend; in other words, the exact same shit that every other blogger in Japan writes about.

Told via my unique wit, of course.

Last weekend Quite some time ago now, Yoyogi Park was host to the annual Indian Festival. I hadn’t been to a cultural festival in a couple years, and had never been to Yoyogi Park at all, so I was quite looking forward to it. Nor was I disappointed.

The park is a sprawling forest of green frequented by every flavor of freak and geek imaginable (including, apparently, a roving gang of obnoxious tap-dancers). The place rocks, and I’ll definitely be back.

Showing me around — in fact, the person who told me about the festival in the first place — was Mr. Neil Duckett of neilduckett.com. Doing anything with Neil is like watching a movie with the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000. He has a quip for any occasion, and can condense his thoughts on a given subject into a short, pithy statement.

Neil on cultural festivals: “Nah mate, I stay for a couple hours, grab some grub, have a few beers and get the fuck out.”

Neil on Japanese girls: “I fuckin’ love ’em!”

It’s hard to argue with sentiments like that.

The festival itself was huge, with a mind-boggling number of stalls and an even more mind-boggling number of foreigners. (Seriously. I had no idea Tokyo had such a large Indian population.) Once we’d gotten our bearings, the first order of business was to procure ourselves some beers. Neil and I took a place in the nearest line… and it was there that we had our first encounter of the night, courtesy of an individual I shall refer to as Strange Black Homosexual Man.

Minding our own business as we were, it was something of a surprise when Strange Black Homosexual Man, a lanky and quite inebriated fellow, wandered up and decided he wanted to start talking to us. Predictably, it wasn’t long before we were hit with that time-honored classic (though with a slight twist), “Where are you guyth from?”

‘Straylia!” Neil practically bellowed. I couldn’t tell if he was being curt with Strange Black Homosexual Man or if that’s just how he normally says “Australia.” Next, it was my turn. I said where I was from.

To which the reply was, “Oh, I’m sorry.”

Protip: That is a good way to get your ass beat!

Luckily for Strange Black Homosexual Man, I wasn’t in the mood for fisting gay people. Hm, that doesn’t sound quite right.

In any case, beers now in hand, we left our new acquaintance and began doing a survey of the fairground in search of something to eat. Thumbing our noses at vendors that would deign to offer Japanese fare at an Indian festival, we headed for a nearby stall and got ourselves some curry, naan and another beer. At one point, Strange Black Homosexual Man came rounding the corner unsteadily, and we quickly moved to avoid being seen.

Once we’d progressed to beer number three – which, as I recall, was a good 200 yen more than the deceptively placed sign had led us to believe — we made our way to the stage to take in a few of the night’s musical acts. These acts, which began with a somewhat unremarkable band playing generic light rock, seemed to follow a cycle of becoming progressively stranger. By the time the positively bizarre troupe of gaudily dressed Japanese ladies took to the stage and began dancing in circles, flapping their arms about and making cluck-cluck sounds (!), Neil and I decided that it was, in fact, time for us to get the fuck out.

But our night was just beginning…

The chills! The drama!
What awaits Mssrs. Ducket and Turningpin as they get the fuck out and venture into the streets of Tokyo?

Who shall join this unlikely duo as the evening unfolds? And what could the 12 Apostles possibly have to do with it?!

Check back for Part 2, coming soon! Not sure when, sorry.