"As for the song itself, there was a good deal of confusion at the time as to just what the hell it was all about. A rumor spread here in the US that it was about masturbation, and that the 'turning Japanese' was a reference to the facial expression made at the moment of climax."
No better way to start your Monday with a hot cup of Joe, some talk about masturbation and an international post by my good friend David Shipper.
You might remember Shipper from such previous posts as "Palau Trip" or "Chinese Democracy" and even the award winning "Sharks Scare Me".
Dave's back with another globe trekking adventure. This time.... Japan! Home of giant lizard/dinosaurs, owners of much of the land in the U.S. and mangled English.
Take it away, Dave:
I spent some time in
First, a quick Japanese lesson. R for L, B for V. For example, Cola is Cora. Television is Terebi. Diving is Daibing. Easy enough. Now you are fluent.
My first stop was
where I hung out with a few Japanese friends and ate some weird shit. Horsemeat sashimi anyone? How about the spinal cartilage of some small animal that you can’t identify? Umm um. Tokyo
We went to the Tsukiji Fish Market early in the morning. It is the largest fish market in the world.
You see those little bulldozers picking up tuna? Stay the fuck out of their way ‘cause they don’t give a shit about your picture-takin’ tourist ass.
(...."they don’t give a shit about your picture-takin’ tourist ass..." When I'm slinging tuna in SF, I just happen to don't give a shit about Japanese picture-takin' asses. I'll run them over right quick. Is that irony, irony or just Alanis Morissette irony? Whichever, I do feel a bond.)
After the fish market, we went to a Sushi Bar right next door. For obvious reasons, it is renowned for the freshest sushi. There was a serious line out front, but we stuck it out and had some great grub.
But I must say, it is certainly more appealing to suck down raw sea urchin over a beer at 10 pm than to have one at 7am, before you’ve even had coffee.
Here’s what $120 gets you in
in the way of hotel rooms: Tokyo
Fortunately, it has some amenities. For example:
Save time by taking a dump while taking a shower!!!!!!!!
I wrote an earlier post about a trip to
. For all of you Redstaters, there is a difference between the two. Here are two I noticed immediately: China
, air is invisible. Japan
(accompanying picture from China post):
, shopping is voluntary. . Japan
This is a shop. If you choose, you can go inside. If not, you are not stalked mercilessly by hawkers until you want to kill.
(from China Post):
"Here’s the progression of myconversations with hawkers:
Hawker: Hallo, Hallo, you want fan? You want hat? You want map?
Me: Wo bu yao, xie xie ni. (I don’t want it, thank you)
Hawker: You want fan? Hat? Map?
Me: Wo bu yao, xie xie ni.
Hawker: You want lighter? You want tour guide?
Me: BOO YAH!
Hawker: You want silk? You want water?
Me: No speaky English."
And one similarity.
"This Starbucks is within the walls of the “Forbidden City,” named so because it was forbidden to anyone that was not part of the Emperor’s court. Today it is forbidden to Dunkin Donuts."
Come on, are you surprised?
(though to be fair, China did just kick Starbucks out of the Forbidden City. Decided to go with Pete's.)
I went on a Geisha Lecture Tour. It was given by a Canadian guy who moved to Kyoto about 15 years ago. I was skeptical at first, but this guy is the real deal. He is married to a former geisha, owns a tea house, and speaks flawless Japanese. Kyoto
Stupid 2 year old obsolete digital camera made me miss this shot of a geisha. Wait, I mean, “This photo captures the ephemeral nature of beauty.”
(Yeah, I bet it is hard to find a good camera in Japan.)
Geisha goin’ to get a Squishy:
Now for just a few pics of the place:
Even simple plants get much respect in
I went to a historic government council office in Takayama. One of the rooms used to be used for torture. Of course that was hundreds of years ago -- no civilized country would engage in these types of activities today.
(They're called 'enhanced interrogation techniques', . Why oh, why do you side with the terrorist when the country you live in is part of the Coalition of the Willing TM?)
There must have been shock in Baghdad and awe in Paris last week when the White House announced the news that Palau had joined the "coalition of the willing."
Palau, an island group of nearly 20,000 souls in the North Pacific, has much to contribute. It has some of the world's best scuba diving, delectable coconuts and tapioca. One thing Palau cannot contribute, however, is military support: It does not have a military.
(Sayonara bitch, to you too . Thanks for the Asian getaway on this American Monday Morning!)