Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hangar


We used to enjoy beautiful sunsets from our back yard until a new neighbour moved in. Shortly after they arrived, they built a giant shed. It is so big! I don't understand why they need such a giant and ugly shed. It looks like an airplane hangar. Anyway, it has spoiled our view and makes me want to move house.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Frantic season


I don't understand why people go crazy with shopping and panic buying when the shops close on Christmas day. It seems to be a kind of mass insanity. People behave like they are filling their fallout shelters for the apocalypse. You would think the shops will close for 2 weeks, not just a day! Baka!

De-car-ations.

We don't really celebrate Christmas in Japan, except for department store decorations and lovely light displays. I am not a fan of the very dodgey Christmas lights and rubbishy decorations, for example, inflatable santa or snowman on the front lawn. I especially dislike reindeer antlers on cars!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Back pack cat


Some time ago, I took Sakura, my cat to the vet. All the people usually carry their cats and small animals in a cage or something, but I was very surprised to see one old lady carrying her cat inside her back pack!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Still alive?



My cat, Sakura is over 20 years old. Her hearing and eyes are not so good. Also, I think she has dementia. She sleeps a lot these days. Sometimes when she is lying very still, I wonder if she has already left this planet. So far, I have been relieved to find she is still alive.


 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Colourful cat


Last time I went to Japan, I left Sakura with my friend. She has a three year old daughter who loves to play with my cat. Sakura is a big attention seeker and loves affection, so she also enjoys having a holiday there. When I went to pick her up after I returned, I saw the fur on top of her head was green!  My friend apologised and explained that her little girl had coloured her with a crayon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Woeful waiter


I went to a nice Japanese restaurant recently. The food was very nice, but the young waiter had no idea. He had a terrible manner and no clue about how to look after the customers. He banged things down on the table without speaking and did everything in a clumsy way. At least he smiled.

Bus stop bugler

 
We were driving on a busy road recently and passed a bus stop. There was a young guy there playing the trumpet. I don't know if he was being a kind of street performer entertaining the cars passing by,  or maybe he was going to a recital or something and was doing some last minute practise.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Camera concerns



At a recent convention, two strange guys approached our table. They were chatting a lot quite loudly and it seemed as though they had been drinking. One of them aimed his camera at our pictures and I asked him nicely not to take photos please.  He became very upset and protested that he wasn't taking pictures, he was just looking at some of his photos. He carried on a lot about how dare we accuse him, on and on he went. Eventually his friend calmed him down and they apologised. They even ended up buying some pictures.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Forgotten phone


My darling left early for the market but came home an hour or so later as he had forgotten his phone. Fortunately, the market was in our town so he didn't have far to travel. Without thinking I said to him 'Why didn't you ring me? I could have brought it to you.' baka.

Self service


Last time I was in Japan, I took a night bus from Osaka to Tokyo.  I selected a ladies only bus, but I didn't expect that we would have to load all our luggage by ourselves, while the driver sat and waited. Even an old lady was forced to struggle with this task. I'm sure that if this was in Australia, it would never happen.

Buffet shuttle




During my last trip to Japan, I was staying at a hotel in Hiroshima. It might have been a coincidence, but all the men were seated and being served by the ladies. I don't know if hey were wives or business subordinates, but they were being a constant shuttle to and from the buffet waiting on the men. I might be wrong, but if this was in Australia, I might be the opposite.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sparkling sensei


On my last trip to Japan, I caught up with some old mates I had known from school. We went out together with one of our old teachers for dinner. My friends and I all had trouble reading the menu and started to reach into our bags to put our glasses on, but our old sensei beat us to it and managed  to read the menu aloud to us without difficulty. We told her that we thought she had aged much better than we had. She is still a very sparkling and elegant lady.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Confusing corridor




We stayed in a hotel when we were at a convention in Adelaide earlier this year. We got to our floor and were looking for our room when we saw a sign that pointed further down the hall, but then we found our room in the other direction! Very confusing!  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Café Communication Crisis


After a successful event one weekend, we decided to celebrate and have dinner at a Korean restaurant. The waitress was a very nice young girl who was always smiling, but she couldn't speak much English. With some difficulty, we managed to order some beers, entrees and a main course to share. I emphasized for the entrée to come out first, before the main course was served. I asked again to make sure and the waitress smiled and went away. After a while our food came to the table. We wanted to say cheers with a beer first, but the main course was served, then came the entrée soon after, followed by our drinks...with a smile, of course.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Kombini Cosplay



We like to attend pop culture conventions as exhibitors. We always have a fun time there admiring all the wonderful costumes people wear. One day, I left the convention centre to buy some lunch. I stopped by a convenience store nearby (we call them kombini in Japan). In the queue for checkout,  were several 'cosplayers'. I knew why they were dressed up, but the poor checkout lady looked a bit surprised and confused by all these strange looking people.

Solo singer



Sometimes we are stallholders at St. Kilda esplanade market. There is always a very colourful mix of people there. People watching there is always interesting and enjoyable for me. One day, soon after we arrived and set up our stall, we could hear someone singing. We looked around and saw a man standing outside the Palais theatre with a book in his hand, singing to...well, nobody. We wondered why he chose such an isolated place to perform. After a while he moved on. Maybe his neighbours at home complained about his loud singing.  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Shoulder bounce-bounce



My cat, Sakura regularly cries out to me straight after I finish my dinner. Even though she is an old lady, she is a still a big attention seeker and loves to be held over my shoulder and bounced up and down.
We call it 'shoulder bounce-bounce' time.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

And dad too!


One day at a market, a man and his son approached asking about drawing lessons. My darling already has a few students that he teaches cartooning to and so said he would be happy to have him. The dad asked if he could come too. We said 'Of course. The classes are always done with the parents in attendance'. He said 'No, No. I don't just want to watch, I want to have a lesson as well!' We were both very surprised but said 'Why not?'

Insurance risk



My darling is sometimes paid by the hour to draw caricatures for various organisations. He is very popular when people see the 'Free' sign. There is always a long queue. One day, a very obese lady sat down to have her picture drawn. My husband is always very kindly to draw them much slimmer and prettier than in real life. Unfortunately, they only provided us with one of those cheap plastic garden chairs. Suddenly the chair broke under the heavy load and the lady came crashing to the ground. I was so embarrassed for her. I suppose this might be a more common occurrence these days.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Fresh eggs 2


Soon after the change room egg incident, I unexpectedly received some more eggs. My husband was at a market recently and was situated nextdoor to an egg seller. By coincidence that guy was also married to a Japanese lady and he could speak Japanese fluently. He asked if he could have a caricature in exchange for some eggs. My darling agreed, even though the caricature was double the price of the eggs. Actually, he offered more eggs but there are only two of us at home and it would have been too many. It's a good thing my darling loves tamago yaki.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fresh eggs 1




When I was at the sports club, getting changed, a lady came up to me and offered me some eggs. I had not met her before and was quite surprised at her approach. I thought she had chosen a strange venue to sell her produce. She explained that she had chooks at home and was going on holiday so she needed someone to adopt her excess eggs. They were not only free range but also free of charge. I gladly accepted the stranger's kind offer.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Table 8


 



A while ago, we went to an Indian restaurant in our town. It might have been a Monday night or bad weather, anyway, we were the only people there. After we ate our entrée, we overheard the young, Aussie waitress call out to the kitchen staff, 'Table 8 is ready for their main course' or something like that. I wondered why she had to specify the table number. No one else was there.

Air show accident






A while ago, I went to an air show. I really enjoyed all the spectacular stunts and wonderful aircraft. All of the crowd was watching a stunt pilot flying up and up in a vertical climb. A dad with a small boy on his shoulders leaned back to get a better look, more and more he leaned back looking up, until he finally lost his balance and fell down. No one was hurt. Just embarrassing for him. Funny for everyone else.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sakura's ghosts



My cat, Sakura is very old. She is 19. As well as hearing loss and maybe slight blindness, I think she has a touch of dementia. Her miaow is very loud, and she often cries out for no reason. My darling jokes that she is arguing with ghosts. He says they are calling her to the next world and she is screaming 'No! No! I'm not ready yet!'

Cool trailer




At some of the markets we go to, there is a Japanese pancake maker (actually they are Vietnamese people and they are not anything like authentic Japanese dorayaki). Anyway, they bought a new trailer to make and sell their products. It is like an old VW combi van. I wonder where they got it from. It's really cool!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Bad example


I was in a checkout queue recently and saw that the woman in front of me was wearing a badge. I moved around to get a closer look, because my darling and I make badges to sell at markets, so I was curious about hers.
Our badges have funny cartoon characters on them, like super heroes and ninja turtles, etc. but this only had writing on it. I managed to get close enough to read it. It said 'Want to lose weight? Ask me how?' She was wearing gym wear, so I guess she was a personal trainer or something like that.  What I found interesting was that she was quite overweight herself and I didn't think she was a good advertisement for her business.    

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Seeing double





I recently saw a couple walking together. Not only were they the same body shape, but they were wearing the same clothing. Matching shirts, shorts, hats, etc. I wondered if they bought the outfits in bulk on special or they just decided one day to dress alike. I don't really understand.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fish heads








I recently bought some fish heads and was really excited and looking forward to a delicious meal. When I showed my husband, he asked 'Why are we eating the part we usually throw away?' and showed me an unhappy face.  After I told him this was a very yummy, Japanese delicacy he bravely ate it. This is another difference in our cultures.  He was very thankful that he didn't see me eat the eyes earlier.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Kaiten zushi


Recently we went to kaiten-zushi or a sushi train restaurant as they call it here, we enjoyed some delicious food but were concerned about the fashion conscious employee who had her long hair hanging down over her face. Not only was I worried about finding a hair in my food, but I also thought that young girl might slice off a finger because of her impaired vision. abunai! My husband really enjoyed the food but had one other complaint...they don't sell sake!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year


Sorry I haven't been seen for a while. We have been crazy busy every day for a long time. We hope to appear more regularly in the future.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Falling Sakura



 

My poor, old cat, Sakura is more than 18 years old now. She's becoming skinny and I think she has dementia. Often she cries out to be fed and after her meal, she forgets she ate. recently she has been losing her balance and sometimes falls over when she walks. She might not have much longer on this earth. Every time I tell this to my darling, he says 'You've been saying that for five years! She'll outlive us all.' 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Attention seeker


I was in a queue at my local supermarket when a very loud and chatty guy in the line suddenly pulled up his shirt and injected himself in full view of everyone. Some ladies behind of me were shocked. Me too. I guess he was a diabetic. I guess he was also an attention seeker. Most other people would do that in private, I'm sure.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Kujira cosplay


We have been attending some Pop culture events these days as an opportunity to sell my darling's pictures.  Many people come in fancy dress. It's very entertaining and lots of fun to see all the amazing costumes. But I just wonder about the body shape of some of the people in costume. There are some young ladies dressed as super cute anime girls (e.g. maids, etc. ) and game characters and men and women as super heroes, but some are very flabby and even obese. Many have tattoos too.  I'm sure they check in the mirror at home, but how do they really see themselves?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pilates Pain



I have been going to the sports club frequently to keep fit and stay slim, usually 3 or 4 times a week. I do Zumba (my favourite), water aerobics and other group classes. Last week I took a challenge to try Pilates.  The class was very enjoyable. We did lots of stretches using our 'core' muscles. The next day, I was in a lot of pain in my stomach. It lasted for several days after too! I guess these muscles have not been put to the test for a long time. itai!  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cosplay mum


We were stall holders recently at Oz Comic con. A kind of pop culture convention for otaku. Thousands of people went. Many people dressed in cosplay, ( fancy dress) as movie characters, super heroes, etc. It was very entertaining! I was surprised to see one mum holding hands with two young children.  She was dressed up as a super hero, but her kids were in normal clothing. I thought it should be the other way around.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Smoking in restaurants


I almost forgot that smoking is still allowed in many restaurants in Japan. Especially in izakaya, which I love. Almost everyone was smoking except for us. It almost spoiled our meal. I hope that smoking will be banned from all restaurants and cafes soon!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ginza festival


We went to see the Ginza matsuri. There were huge crowds including many foreign visitors. The university marching bands were so great! The young people were very professional and must have trained a lot. We even saw a Japanese Scottish highland pipe band! There were a lot of interesting things to see including traditional dancing, but we had to rush to see a very special performance. We made it in time to see four beautiful Tokyo geisha performing a dance.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Travelling in cognito.



Minna-san, sorry for my late posts in English. Now I am in Japan. We arrived last week in Tokyo. On the way here, I tried to sleep, using a blow-up pillow, an eye mask, a face mask, ear plugs and a blanket wrapped around me. When my darling woke up, he couldn't recognise me and wondered if it was really me underneath all that.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cramp!


 

I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with a big pain from a cramp in my leg. I wake up my fiance to help, but there is not much he can do for me. He tries bending my toes backwards and tells me to walk around. It goes away eventually. itai!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Noisy visitor




I was very surprised to see a kookaburra in our gum tree in the back yard recently. It laughed very loudly and frightened poor sakura-chan. I really enjoyed seeing it there, but after a while I wanted it to go away.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Burmese, after all.





Since moving here, I discovered my Sakura-chan really loves to sun bake. She never did this at my old place. I  wondered if she was scared after the birds attacked her. Anyway, now I often see her stretched out, basking in the sun, even on scorching hot days. Actually a few times I wondered if she was dead, because she lay motionless for such a long time, but she just loves the hot weather. Well, I suppose she is originally from Burma, after all.

Fish caravan




Since moving here by the sea, I wondered where a good place to buy fresh fish was. A friend told me about caravan fish shop down by the beach. She recommended Boar fish, and said she made sashimi from it. When I went there early one morning, they were already sold out of Boar fish, so I bought Garfish instead. It was lovely and fresh. As recommended by the man, I enjoyed the garfish, grilled with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
I later found out that my friend had gotten there earlier than me and bought the last Boar fish!

P.S Most fish shops clean the fish for the customer, but here they don't. I managed to do it myself, sweating.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Market research 2





I was at a different market a week or two later and saw another guy drawing caricatures. I thought I should gather some more information about my darling's competitors. So I walked up near his stall and pretended to be just another interested person at the market (actually I was). Then I sneaked out my phone and secretly took a few photos. I felt a bit like a spy or something.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Market Research







I was at a city market recently and saw another caricature artist there. I thought I should investigate the competition for my fiancé, so I paid the man and asked him to do a picture of me. He was finished in about 2 minutes. Such a quick! I smiled and thanked him but I didn't really think the picture looked like me at all. I think my fiancé is much better, but maybe I am chotto biased..

Washing machine





The first time I went swimming in my new area, I went to a swimming pool. I live close to the beach, but I  don't really enjoy swimming in the sea. I was alone in the pool, enjoying the peaceful water all by myself, but soon after an obese woman came in. She jumped into the water, even though the sign says you are not allowed. She turned out to be a really good swimmer and was moving quite quickly and smoothly through the water. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Of course, whales are good swimmers.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Midnight mozzies


Recently, I have been bitten a lot on my legs in the night. I told my partner, 'I think we might have bedbugs!' He said it was highly unlikely, as we have a new bed and anyway, he had not been bitten. He said it was probably just mosquitoes. I have been scratching and scratching and he always tells me to stop because I am just making it worse, but it is so itchy! Why do they only pick on me?  My darling says they prefer my blood because his has too much alcohol in it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Friendly town


I have been living in my new place for a couple of months now. It is a more rural area, like a big country town. I am gradually settling in. One thing I love about living here, is that everyone is so friendly. People often smile and say hello, even though we are strangers. When I am out walking in the mornings, most people passing by, smile and say 'Good morning' to me. It's really nice. This rarely happened in my old dodgy, suburban area.

Injured boy?


My fiancé is an illustrator. One day he was drawing and I came in to see what he was doing. He was drawing some very cute monsters for kids Halloween badges. He showed me some of his pictures. There was a vampire, a ghost and some other creatures. I looked at his last picture of a someone covered in bandages and asked 'What is this one? An injured boy?' He laughed and laughed and told me it that obviously it was a mummy. He said that surely everyone would recognise it at once and know it was a mummy. Later I showed this picture to a girlfriend (also from Japan) and she also asked if it was an injured boy. I said to my fiancé, 'See? I am not alone.'
He couldn't believe it!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Morning Mayhem



I am quite happy to do most housekeeping jobs, but I hate making the bed. My fiancé knows this, and one day he said, whoever gets up last, has to make the bed. He is an early riser and usually gets up first. That's why he said it. So now, we play a kind of game. If he starts to get up and I am awake, I usually grab his arm to stop him and race to get out of bed first. It is just a bit of fun. Actually, he doesn't mind to make the bed at all.