Sunday, September 25, 2005

commitment, cat & the C word

Calling on comrades for favours can sometimes challenge us. Am I cowardly for not wanting to take care of a cat? Can I really clean up someone else's crap?

My Thai friend's charisma (and cash) convinced me to come over and take care of the little rat. Criminal. In turn, after chugging down several cervezas and chewing the fat, Kate was charmed at the chance.

Crashing out at the flat with a can of Chu-Hi and chomping on some Pringles chips, the little kitten got its chow and a new name: Rover!

Friday, September 23, 2005

worldly pics

Hiroshima, Japan | flickr & geourl world map is the coolest site for photos of any location. Though it is possibly the worst thing you could do if you already have itchy feet.

You can check out where your fellow travellers have been and the best time to visit. Alternatively, if you simply wish to boast about how loaded your passport is, try the following map generator...
planet map

Map concept stolen from Greg's site, which was adapted from some other dude's site, which probably was taken from someone else's... Welcome to internet ideas hijacking. If culture is more your game, try the flickr World Culture group.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

global morons

global moronA while back in the midst of a summer daze, I noticed some bizarre activity in the back street beside the river... Some goofball's car windows were all steamed up like he had a jacuzzi in the front passenger seat. I wanted to see if it was true. Nup. Just another office worker taking a lunch break siesta with the air-con running full blast.

Well it was 2AM and 29 degrees when I made a note of that observation and the connection... I would like to see something sorted out here and now on this earth.
It’s hot in Hiroshima now. We’ll burn a lot of fuel, nuclear or not, this summer just keeping cool. Look out Kyoto. We are heating things up to stay chill. In Hiroshima, drivers park next to Peace Park and leave their engines running and sleep or gaze at their phones.
redundancyTonight, despite the temperature and humidity still a ridiculously high combination that causes profuse sweat disasters, the apparent change of season means I should no longer be wearing sleeveless tops after hours! It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realise it, one walk past the dozens of identical vending machines all cranking out more than their fare share of heat to keep the precious products cool, you'll quickly come up with a way to do something about it. Thanks to one of my students for pointing that one out to me!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

researching geisha

Hey Jill, thanks a million. The book arrived in the post last week and I have made a start on reading - very interesting so far... Just like The Lord of The Rings, I plan to finish reading this one long before the movie hits the cinema!

Typical of Japanese cinema, for some reason international movies are often re-titled. This makes my job rather challenging whenever the movies topic comes up. House of Flying Daggers was re-titled to Lovers in the local TV guide, and is also known as Ambush From Ten Sides. One of the movies I am looking forward to seeing before the year is out, is locally titled Sayuri, our character's acquired name.
A true geisha can stop a man in his tracks with a single look.
Sounds scary! Want to see some photos of the real thing?

Friday, September 16, 2005

at last

The long wait is finally over. And good things do indeed come to the waiters. Actually, I thought good things came from waiters... Anyway, it is here at last, the all new Federation Hut, pictured beautifully by Narelle Trottman in recent snow.

In local news, I think tonight is the first time that the celcius might creep under the 20 mark since this ridiculous summer began. I'm pretty happy about, in fact I'm totally stoked! At last I can look forward to 2 winters back to back and a truck load of that dry white powdery stuff. Let's see if I can remember how to ski...

Monday, September 12, 2005


Kavita DJing one last timeAll good things come to an end. Kavita, a fellow Nova teacher, has finished up and gone back to Adelaide. With little advance notice, we drank and said our goodbyes at a farewell party in Four-tune and G's Bar.

Last Friday night, after only using my bike for a week or so since the second kidnapping, my cursed transport has finally been stolen. (The parking police don't operate after hours). I'm on the lookout for a replacement 2ndhand bike when I get around to it. Meanwhile, life without a bike sucks.

originally uploaded by vfowler.
Last night's sayonara party in The Shack was for Angela, a Nova teacher who has been working with me at the (駅前) eki-mae branch. She and Ryan will return to Canada next week. A handfull of our students will miss her dearly and soon forget how to say in English You're beautiful and other blunt pick-up lines.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha
Memoirs of a Geisha,
originally uploaded by francesbean.
With a trip to Kyoto imminent, it is high time I researched some more about these unique facets of Japanese culture.

Okay, I am a huge fan of both the girls from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon too. To see these martial arts gurus together on the big screen again will be interesting.

Who are Geisha?
"Gei" means arts or performance in Japanese. "Sha" means people. Geisha are professional hostesses who entertain guests through various performing arts. Geisha girls and women are not ordinary hostesses and are not prostitutes.
Dwindling Geisha
In all Japan, Kyoto still has the most geisha. But as more ladies retire and are not replaced, their numbers continue to fall: today there are probably around 100 geisha, and 80 maiko (apprentice geisha) left in the city.
Adam has taken off for the white stuff in Australia's back country. So Jill has kindly taken charge of posting me a copy of the book. A million thanks there. For the movie buffs unaware of the Internet Movie DataBase, check out this movie's entry at

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

my toblerone

ticket to the chocolate factoryOkay, I admit it, I love chocolate. Maybe having a Belgium ex-girlfriend contributes to that. Maybe not. I always thought Australian chocolate was pretty good. We never got into the Cadbury's factory in Tasmania though. For some strange reason the factory was closed that day...

In Japan, not all chocolates are equal. In fact many of the local products are rubbish. Many times I've battled my way past 5 layers of packaging only to reach disappointment. KitKats are the imported chocolate that I am frequently caught munching on at work.
During the Second World War Rowntree KitKat was seen as a valuable wartime food and advertising described the brand as 'What active people need'.
Considering my vast alcohol intake of recent times though, perhaps a beverage should be recommended. The Toblerone recipe is something I like to keep handy.

Monday, September 05, 2005

over-time wash out

Kim called today to inform me that my over-time shift tomorrow has been scrapped. Apparently there's a typhoon on it's way and many students have cancelled their lesson. Where's the dedication? If this is my last post because Hiroshima gets wiped out tomorrow, thanks for your readership.

surf's upOtherwise, I might go surfing tomorrow: after all, it is my usual day off. I probably should go to my Japanese class in the evening too.

The Hurricane Katrina disaster in the USA looks pretty awful. New Orleans begins its grim clean-up.