Makes you want to [laugh / cry / gasp]
I was on a bus the other day that was trying to get around a corner but was being blocked by cars waiting for a train crossing barrier to go back up. The driver honked at a motorist and the motorist moved up, giving the bus enough space to get around the corner... well, until the car behind it decided to ignore the bus and move INTO the space. Idiot.
After being without my bike for almost two weeks because I didn't think I had the time or money to get it sorted out, today I went to the bike man. It took him 5 minutes to sort out both tyres - at no cost. Typical!
Following on from my toilet post below, there's a short item in this weeks' Metropolis magazine that says: "The manufacturer Yokohama Rubber unveiled a new aircraft toilet concept emphasizing "relaxation and comfort" and designed to enable women to apply makeup more easily."
WHY???? I don't want to wait with crossed legs whilst some bimbo relaxes in the sodding toilet applying 25 coats of mascara.
Only in Japan: another short item in this week's Metropolis says: "A private members' bar in Ikebukuro called Train Cafe claimed to be keeping gropers off the railways by providing them with a place where they can fondle women (the staff) without risk of prosecution." [I'm unable to supply a comment about this.]
Here's a recent article you might enjoy: it's all about dogs in Japan and how they are treated. The article includes information about how one Cocker Spaniel had a haircut and special massage for 12,000 yen. That's about £60. For an extra 3,000 yen (£15) it could have had a clay pack and a minus ion steam bath [what's that then?]
It also tells how dogs now outnumber kids under the age of 12, and how some are now to be seen [the dogs not the kids] wearing 10,000 yen (£50) collars with their names spelled out in crystals.
There are also 20,000 yen (£100) a night hotel rooms available for dogs in a luxery hotel near Narita Airport where they are served organic doggy pizza and special ice cream. It's also possible to buy 3,000 yen (£15) birthday cakes for them. [Shit, I wouldn't buy a friend a £15 birthday cake!]
Japanese pooches are, according to the article, increasingly being given names like Paul, Phil, Cliff, Alice and Tina.
It's the line in the article that says: "Galleria Artesta specializes in natural highlights, color and extensions for dogs" that really gets me though [may I cry now?] - oh and in this salon/shop you can buy 30,000 yen (£150) leather jackets for your dog. WHY, WHY, WHY?
They think some of their clients spend more than 500,000 yen (£2,500) a year on pampering their pooches.
After going on a bit about doggie bakeries, babysitting services, etc a magazine editor (of 'Dog Fan' magazine, if you want to know) says: "It's really about thinking of dogs as people and thinking about their needs." (regarding the 'extravagant services').
Another article that caught my attention was in yesterday's 'Japan Times' newspaper. Entitled 'Last rites for the memories as beloved dolls pass away.' - This almost defies comment. Certainly it defies any sensible or sensitive comment or anything that doesn't imply this society is full of er, 'interesting' people. I read this on the train yesterday and made a variety of noises from laughs to sighs as I read through it. In a nutshell, it's about how Japanese people cannot bear to discard their old dolls or soft toys and choose, instead, to have special cremation services for them at temples and shrines (you can choose a Buddhist or a Shinto end for your inanimate objects here).
Quote: "I couldn't just throw them away, because that would bring divine punishment."
38,000 people felt this way last year, it seems.
Last, but not least: on September 18th last year, after talking about it for a bit, Liisa, Beastie and I, after some dithering about it, and a fair amount of posting comments on each others blogs, decided to meet up and continued doing so.
Last night was the final meet up in Tokyo as Liisa and her family are heading back to Finland. No more karaoke or drunken nights with us. I have fond memories of Liisa's cooking, singing, dancing on the seats in karaoke, model poses, being the centre of attention by a crowd of men - in a gay club, and more.
It was all totally civilized anyway (tragic, really!) but we were all pretty tired. We did write a load of lovely haiku's for Liisa though to take away / burn / laugh at. (Haiku: Japanese 3 lined poem - 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables - lines 1 and 2 are meant to vaguely connected and it's meant to be related to a season in some way.)
Happy packing days, safe flight for you and the kid on Wednesday and let's Skype soon!