Thursday, September 27, 2007

Beetles, not the band

I came across another interesting speciality shop in my travels around Tokyo recently, this one only sells beetles. Well that is not entirely true, it also sells beetle food and beetle cages, oh and books about beetles.

This seemed slightly strange to be then I realised, its sort of just speciality pet store. The only difference between it and the ones that only sell dogs, is that if you are not careful you may end up having to scrape your recently purchased new best friend of the bottom of your shoe.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Almost time for my second summer holiday, this time, China. I'll be going to Hong Kong on Thursday and then heading round a couple of places in south China in the following two weeks. Its a trip I have wanted to take for a very long time, and I am looking forward to getting myself completely lost in an unknown city or two.

My European trip did a very good job of making me feel confused with respect to my future plans and what I should be aiming at while I am in Japan, I am hoping this trip should do the opposite. I currently have no real idea what country I will be in a year from now, what I'll be doing there, or who I'll be do it with. I don't have deadlines in my life these days, but I feel like I need a goal, or at least some idea of what I want.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Life goes on

Every now and then I hear stories about what's going on back in NZ, and occasionally they involve things even stranger that what's going on around me in Japan. I recently heard one such story from my mum.

Last week she had a car pull out in front of her in Wainuiomata, she couldn't stop in time, hit it, totalled her car, and needed to be taken off to hospital in the back of an ambulance. Good news is she is OK, no lasting damage, bloody lucky (well as lucky as someone who has been in a car accident can be).

Strange thing is, when my dad when to recover the car that night, it was gone. Someone had stolen a car that had been left smashed up on the side of the road following a car crash. It wasn't even a particularly nice car, worth only about $2000, that was naturally before the accident!

Rang the police, the next day, only to be informed the car had been spotted in Porirua or somewhere driving away following some crime. That explains where the number plates had gone, but why take the rest of the car as well?

Oh well, thats Wainuiomata for you. Currently however I live in a city of 400,000ish people an on average less than 10 car thefts a year. But the really strange thing is that here, people are scared of the high crime rate.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Social Networking Sites

Judging by the number of friends requests I've gotten lately it seems that Facebook has become pretty popular in New Zealand since I left. I still don't like the idea of using one of these nasty sites where I have to choose who my "friends" are, but I have succumbed to peer pressure and registered for an account. Saying that I still have no intention of actually using it, but feel free to add me using my luke.mccrohon(At) address.

On the other hand fed up with the lack of opportunities I've had to practice Japanese since I got back from Europe I have signed up for the Japanese equivalent, If I am going to be wasting time on the web anyway, I may as well be learning Japanese while I do it. If you have an account please add me (same email address), or if you would like to start one ask me and ill send you an invitation.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Rove and Lomance

Well as Japanese typos go this is nothing particularly shocking, but the idea of a nice glass of wine by the grass on a summers day is kind of romantic. The only problem would be the choice of wines, Rouge Wine or Brown Wine, and no, thats not what it says it Japanese.
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Mouth Expander

Occasionally you come across some pretty weird little gadgets in Japan that occasionally make you doubt your own sanity. I just simply can't believe that I am the only person in the country that finds this particular device weird for example.

What it is is a mouth expander, you stick it in your mouth for 5 minutes every day and it stretches your mouth so that you can sing Karaoke better. Costs about $15 and I've seen it on sale in two shops so far.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The grass is greener...

and the sun shines brighter, at the other end of the station.

This is a sign I spotted at a train station in Tokyo, and yes there is a perfectly good reason for it, but I prefer not to think about it. Its just good to know that if the weather is getting me down, I now know where to go.
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Hello Panda

While in Poland last month I happened to be in Gdansk while there was some massive festival going on. As part of the festival there were street markets spread throughout the town, which were all cheap and stocked full of things that I couldn't possibly imagine uses for.

One stall I found was stocked full of cheap imitation brand name goods, complete with all the usual misspellings of names. There was also this particularly nice example, a Hello Kitty wallet... well so it claims, but if that is a Kitty its probably the scariest I've ever seen.
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