Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Macho in Japan!

Loving the new Protein Water ad! It`s shown incessantly in the ad breaks of Tsuki no Koibito (Moon Lovers), the latest Kimutaku drama. I have completely lost track of what is going on in the drama. I`ve asked my students and they don`t know either. We all agree that it is all rather strange and illogical. The interesting issue is that the story is about a Japanese company setting up business in Shanghai. Shota Matsuda, the main guy in the Protein Water ad and son of Yusaku 'Black Rain" Matsuda, plays a bicultural business man who seems to have just taken over the company. It will be interesting to see how the final episode plays out but this drama seems to be a sign that Japan has realised it is part of Asia ... and that it`s about to be overtaken by China. Japanese business people had better drink A LOT more Protein Water ...

Below is the old Protein Water ad which demonstrates more clearly what they are actually selling. The slim guys on the left drink Protein Water to get "Hoso Macho", Slim Macho unlike the fatties on the right who are gori macho ... What`s gori macho, anyone?

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Rainy Season 2010

So it has been raining for the last two weeks. Then a couple of days ago the Japanese Meteorological Agency woke up to this fact and announced that rainy season had officially begun. At which point the rain stopped. But I`m saying nothing this year. Usually what happens about this time of year is that I notice that it is raining heavily and ask my Japanese chums if this is the rainy season. "No" they say, "This is not rainy season rain. This is different rain". And then the JMA officially announces rainy season and then they say it IS rainy season rain. I think this is an aspect of Japan`s hierarchical society. No-one wants to call it until an official body higher up officially approves it. In a hierarchical society information is controlled and rolls from the top down. As does the rain. And something else.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Cookies & Green Tea Ice-cream

I have tried every bottle of cough syrup and sucked every mentholated jube in my local chemists. But the only thing that soothes a really sore throat is Haagen Dazs Cookies and Green Tea ice-cream. Nector of the Kami (Japanese gods)!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

I am "bad condition"

Thank you so much to those of you who have sent emails asking where I have gone. Tokyo is awash with bugs and bacteria and I have had my fair share. I started with possible Whooping Cough which has become a global epidemic amongst adults, and I have now moved on to a stinking cold. Who knew that the Whooping Cough vaccine wore off? Not me. Apparently adults need to get booster shots. Six weeks on and I still can`t speak to my students without dissolving into a coughing fit but then a lot of them are coughing and spluttering right back at me. And you want to hear the noise on the subways in the mornings. Some people really sound as if they are going to collapse right there on the train.

I am doing the right thing and wearing my mask in class despite the students` amusement. One member of staff said it must be difficult for me to wear a mask because they are designed for Japanese people. I could only think she meant that Westerners have higher noses? They are very difficult to breathe through however - the masks not Western noses. Even so last week I forgot I was wearing one and tried to drink a cup of green tea through it.

I am slowly recovering, sleeping on average 10 hours a night and craving bbq beef for some reason (well, I have lost 2 kg). The only thing that is getting me through my lessons is my Lemon plus Collagen drink. 1,000mg of each plus around 1kg of added sugar judging by the energy buzz I get from every little bottle. Soon I will be back to full health and looking 10 years younger!