I wanted to share with you three lists; one is the top things I love about Japan. The second contains the things I hate, and the last one is a list of things I just don’t understand about Japan!
5 Things I Love About Japan
– Low crime makes you feel secure whenever and whereever you are
– The food is simply marvellous. And the variety you can get is top notch.
– You are never bored in a city like Tokyo. Always something to do!
– Japanese people are extremely service-minded and courteous.
– Public transportation is abundant, on time, and clean!
5 Things I Hate About Japan
– Earthquakes – sooner or later there’s gonna be a big one.
– It’s expensive to live here, and apartments are generally rather small.
– Japanese people’s lack of flexibility can be frustrating.
– Honne and Tatemae
– Japanese working hours tend to be ridiculously long.
5 Things I Simply Don’t Understand About Japan
– Fried fish and rice for breakfast
– Why most houses & apartments only have frosted windows.
– The fascination of Pachinko.
– Japanese people’s patience to wait countless hours for anything.
I yet again have to apologize for my inactivity lately – but it has been a hellish two weeks at work, and I have not been able to set off even a few minutes during the day (or even my lunch hour) to write anything. I have a few posts in the pipeline (i.e. in my aching head) which are due out within a few days, but in the meantime I’d like to share some links to great stuff I’ve read about recently and I can say I am ridiculously excited about!
‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkely, i.e. the Cee-lo/Danger Mouse cooperation which recently reached No.1 in the UK, the first ever Internet-only single to do so. I fell in love with the song instantly. It’s a smooth, catchy pop/dance number and Cee-Lo’s smooth voice adds just enough R&B flavor to it to make it friggin close to perfect. Best song of the year, so far! (via: Waxy.org)
- Apple’s Bootcamp which is a dual-boot utility for the new Intel-based Macs. In short it enables you to install Windows on your (Intel-) Mac. This piece of news really surprised me, but it’s so great! Now finally, after many many years, I actually feel that buying a Mac is a viable option again. I like Mac OS X, but I do have software & games that requires Windows, so buying a Mac has never before entered my mind. When there are stationary Intel macs released (later this year?) I shall take them into serious consideration.
Well it’s already 2006 (barely) and tons of people have created “best of the internet” lists so you might be tired of them already. But I wanted to share some of the best things I found on the Internet in 2005.
2005 was definately the year of Firefox! With the release of version 1.0, and later the more stable 1.5 it really shook the browser market. I for one had been sceptical to use 0.x beta versions but when it reached 1.0 I took the leap, and haven’t looked back since!
I started this blog back in 2004 using a pretty bad software called Grey Matter. But during this year I sort of woke up to the whole blog world and saw that I was barely scratching the surface of possibility with that software. I almost went with Blogger (!) but stumbled upon wordpress, and I have never regretted it!
- A number of totally awesome blogs that I follow daily
Before 2005, the word “blog” in my mind equalled a livejournal diary. I didn’t understand the fascination with it, and I definately had no intention of writing one myself, nor reading any on a regular basis. However, so many good and interesting blogs emerged (or at least reached my attention) during this year! It’s now a part of my daily routine to check a number of these blogs, and I really can’t imagine how browsing would be like without them.
- The Shining Redux
The winning entry to the 2005 “Trailer Park” competion at AICE New York reverberated throughout the Internet after it’s initial very internal release on the creator’s friend’s blog. Someone found it and gave it to someone else, who gave it to someone else, and after it hit Waxy and BoingBoing it was all over – it was an Internet phenomenon, and rightly so.
- How to eat sushi (or not…) (Link UPDATED! Thanks to Satomi
I originally found this video over at Mari’s blog, but the link there (which went to the original unsubtitled version) is apparently dead. Anyway, this mock-educational video of how to behave in a Japanese sushi restaurant is simply hiliarious; especially so if you know about how to actually act in those situations. It mixes half-truths with half-lifes (and some blatant lies) which makes for some of the most un-Japanese humor I’ve ever seen in Japan!
- Theater Hopper
I also stumbled upon the world of webcomics this year, and the one that stands out the most is definately Theater Hopper, a semi-biographical comic about a total movie freak and his friends and girlfriends. The funny thing is that I think that as outrageous some of the lengths the guy in the comic goes to show his affection for movies, I don’t think it’s all that far from the truth…
When I head “video blog” for the first time, I thought to myself “who would want to do that” and “who would even watch it”… But that was before I found Drive Time, a talk show taped once a week by a guy in his car on his way to work. The topics they discuss and the guests they bring on (in?) are fascinating. Further, it really shows a glimpse of where the future of broadcasting is going I think.
- Tycoon Online
This free multiplayer online strategy game has been available since before 2005, I know that, but I did not discover this extraordinarily addictive game until Spring 2005, and I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s not the world’s most advanced game or anything, but it just makes you want to come back and play again and again and again. For anyone who is interested in playing, note that the current round ends this week, and next round will start again in the beginning of February.