Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2012:July:25 Wednesday <Thursday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2012/7/25-10/17 [Politics/Foreign/Asia/Japan, Reference/History/WW2/Japan] UID:54444 Activity:nil
        Japan rules!
        \_ Fifteen years ago I worked there for seven months.  I miss Japan!
           (I'm Chinese immigrant.)  More facts:
           - Besides cold drinks, vending machines also carry hot drinks like
             hot tea and corn soup.  And they are actually hot instead of warm.
             \_ Even more surprising, the Coca Cola Corporation, dba Georgia
                Coffee, has had hot-coffee-in-a-can vending machines in Japan
                for decades now. If they'd brought their coffee over here,
                they could have beaten Starbucks to the punch. --erikred
           - Tokyo and nearby cities like Yokohama are indeed crowded and
             fast-paced, but there are also towns like Kakegawa in Shizuoka
             Prefecture that are less dense and slow-paced.  Streets are not
             that noisy.  Peolple live in big houses park their cars in front.
             that noisy.  People live in big houses park their cars in front.
             And they drive to work and park in big parking lots that are not
             nearly full.  It's like the suburbs and business parks here.
           - If you have a group meeting involving your boss and other people,
             and your boss falls asleep, it's actually a good sign.  It means
             (s)he thinks the meeting is progressing well and (s)he no longer
             needs to pay attention.  So that's a sign of approval from the
           - When some people go to convenient stores, they leave their cars
             outside the stores, doors unlocked, keys inside, and engine
             running.  I saw this every other day or so in both cities and
             small towns.  And the drivers look like normal salarymen, not
             mafia-looking people who might think nobody dare stealing their
             \_ That's not too different than say, Denmark with homogenous
                small population with a smaller variance in income.
                \_ "if you lose personal items (even phones/wallets), they
                    are almost always turned into the lost and found or nearest
                    police station"
                   \_ I have lost my wallet four times in America and had it
                      returned every time. Only once was the money even gone.
                   \_ The two things that are not safe are your umbrella and
                      your bicycle; on a rainy day, any umbrella in the bucket
                      near the door becomes fair game. As for bikes, I had one
                      stolen at a train station-- even though I'd locked it, and
                      even though it was a mama-chari (ugly old single-gear with
                      a basket on the front), and I've watched drunks ride off
                      on any bike they could manage not to fall off of. --e-red
           - There is a kind of sashimi where they take a live fish, cut out
             all the flesh off one side of the fish except the head and the
             tail, leaving the whole head, tail, skeleton, and the other side
             of the body intact.  Then they cut the flesh into sashimi, and
             put it back on the fish body.  They they serve it to the table.
             When you eat the sashimi, the fish is still not dead yet.  Its
             mouth and tail still move a little.  I tried it once at a
             restaurant in the Kawasaki area called Bikkuri Sushi.
             Interestingly, "bikkuri" means "surprise".
           - It's not uncommon to see drunk people in suits passing out on the
             streets.  I was told that that they'll just wake up the next
             morning unharmed with their briefcases intact.
             \_ and they just go back to work like that? don't they stink?
           - There are many normal-looking women walking around solo at night.
             They don't seem to worry about getting mugged or raped.
             \_ that's not what I heard from my inlaw who was stationed there
           - (I only heard this one, but don't know if it's true.)  Even mafias
             use swords and other non-firearms in gang battles, because gun
             control is very tight.
           About this: "When riding the trains ate (sic) at night I found the
           drunk salarymen to be overly friendly and talkative. They often
           wanted to take us gaijins to their homes."  I found the contrary.
           I made some very good Japanese friends during my stay, yet none
           invited me to their homes.  I also heard from Chinese expats there
           that Japanese people treat their homes very private and don't
           usually invite co-workers to their homes.
        \_ Really interesting article, and mostly matches my six years
           living there. Some other things:
           -- Baseball is HUGE in Japan, and high school baseball champion-
              ships will cause entire offices to put aside work to watch it.
           -- Many Japanese do not "get" sumo; the younger generation tends
              to think of the idea of two fat dudes wrestling to be very
              disturbing. Also, just as with samurai, ninjas, and geisha,
              you are very unlikely to run into a sumo rikishi on the
           -- Not all of the students are well-behaved or studious. Some
              are downright obnoxious, if not violent.
           -- If you get lost in a city in Japan, look for a Koban (a
              kind of mini police station), and the officers will be
              happy (mostly) to help you out.
           -- Lost in Translation is achingly funny and on-target, at
              least in terms of being jetlagged in Tokyo.
              \_ Scarlett Johansson was so hot in that movie.
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2012:July:25 Wednesday <Thursday>