Category Archives: living abroad

BBQ & A

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Barbecues are like school

… some assembly required.

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note: propane BBQs are not sold in Japan … as far as I know, except on American Armed Forces Bases.
I rarely say it … and never during hockey games, but “God Bless the U.S.A.

double note: I can count on 3 fingers how many propane BBQs are in this city of 50,000 people: 2 at my place and one over at Mr. Pettit‘s.

triple note: sometimes it’s good to know base people.

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what I’m listening to now #39: Ben FoldsRockin’ The Suburbs” … because there’s a BBQ in the video … and I like the song.

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Foreigners

 

You know when you go to a foreign food market and there are a lot of foreign people chatting happily and buying weird stuff?

That was me
; at the new Costco that opened up around here recently.

I always thought Asians, Africans, Europeans, Central/South Americans, and others were just happy shoppers when I lived in Canada.

Go figure.

 

note: I may have hugged the cheese refrigerator … I’m sure people laughed at me.

double note: some things were really cheap, some things were “must haves” and reasonably priced, and other things not such a good deal.

triple note: as Mr. Pettit  said, “It’s not as cheap as Costco in the U.S.,  … but  this pizza is awesome and super cheap here!

quadruple note: I’m eating ravioli for the first time in 6 years! … love affair renewed. … I may start listening to Neil Diamond music again. … I’m actually  listening to him now, but that’s a secret. It wasn’t the ravioli; he’s just that good.

quintuple note: it appears Mr. Pettit and I have written on the same topic. This has to be a first!

http://kellypettit.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/costco-soul-food/

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Today #279

Nothing unusual happened  today … which was unusual.

Upside-Down Wordless Sunday

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Today #226

Today I looked up the lyrics for “Mmm Bop“. I think I heard a cat die.

The Numata Matsuri 2011

 

  

The Numata Matsuri has come and gone for another year.

It arrived too slowly and departed too quickly: like the slug that turns into a race car … that I saw somewhere … or another.

When I think about the Numata Matsuri, all 5 senses are involved.
My 6th sense, about not drinking a lot of beer, isn’t involved so much at all.

Sight: seeing this many people doing cool stuff because they want to blows my mind.

Hearing: “The Tengu Drummers” hold everything in the Matsuri together. This year I’ve finally realized that “The Tengu Drummers” are the straw that stirs the drink: without them … it just doesn’t gel.

Taste: Kebabman” is my favourite food stall  player. (I don’t see too many Kebabs during the rest of the year sadly)

Touch: the feel of room temperature cork as I load it into my air rifle for the kill shot. (actually I’m banned from doing this because of me poking all the stuff over by just using the gun barrel last year)
I don’t have any pictures of me sweating and drinking cold beer … so this had to do.

Smell: the smell of another Numata Matsuri next year … and kebabs … and hot sweaty weather … and everything attached to the Numata Matsuri!

 

 note: I have P.M.S.Post Matsuri Syndrome.

 double note: 362 days of anticipation to follow
… crap! Next year is a leap year!

triple note: apologies for not visiting your blogs … I’ll be back lookey looing soon.

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Today #224

Today I’ve realized that I am a “homer” … just not from where I grew up though.

Symbolicking Good

 

In Japan, highway service area signs use the “knife and fork” symbol to let motorists know that there is a restaurant on location.

I’ve never seen the “chopstick” symbol; it must be difficult to draw or something.

 

note: there should be a “two hand” symbol on highway service area signs, if there is a McDonald’s there.

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Today #218

I was too dazed today.

Gunma Holiday

 

I live in Gunma-Prefecture.

I’ve been on a Gunma Holiday for the last 5 days: visiting places in Nagano-Prefecture, Tochigi-Prefecture, and Niigata Prefecture.

A Gunma holiday is more involved than other places … or involves more other places … for some reason.

 

note: Gunma is pretty big! … you have to drive through it on the way to where you are going quite often from here.

double note:

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.
Don Williams, Jr.
“Gunma: it’s a journey.”
planetross

triple note: apologies for not responding to comments. It was a split-second decision to actually go somewhere: I thought about it for a second, then I split.

quadruple note: the poster in the picture was created to make Gunma look more cool as a tourist destination. A person doesn’t have to live in Japan for too long before they understand that Audrey Hepburn is/was/will always be the best foreign actress ever … and “Roman Holiday” the best movie.

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Today #185

Today is the last day of holidays before going back to work for a day … then it’s the weekend! woo hoo!

Nozomi Ohashi … Again?

 

Nozomi Ohashi is back again!

If I was a Japanese child, I don’t think I would like her very much: she only seems to show up to notify kids about tests these days.

I bet if you saw Mickey Mouse on your decatheter or Hello Kitty on your speeding tickets, they wouldn’t look so cute anymore.

I have visions of Nozomi trying to hold back the tears in some Tokyo park while shouting, “No! There isn’t a test! … I just want to play tag with you!” … as all the other kids run away from her.

 

note: do you know what’s better than …

        ?

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       hee hee!

 

double note: the other Nozomi Ohashi entries are here and here.

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Today #183

Today is the last day of work for a week: I’m on holidays. I’m going to be like a bad idea for the next week. … I’m not going anywhere.

Trying Something New

 

I’ve had success cutting my grass and pulling weeds.

I’ve had success with 75% of the flowers I’ve planted.

Let’s see if I can grow vegetables.

I went to the place that sells that stuff, but I couldn’t find the salad plants, raisin plants, or pickle plants.

… so I’ve settled for tomatoes, cucumbers, Japanese green peppers, and red peppers … or at least the ones that turn red if they are green too long at home.

 

note: this is an experiment, but I won’t count it as one.

double note: I should have planted a bumper plant … because I could use a bumper crop … mine’s kind of rusty.

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Today #179

Today  I drove to the next city and bought a few books: Roald Dahl‘s “The BFG“, Roddy Doyle‘s “The Dead Republic“, and Haruki Murakami‘s ” Kafka on the Shore“.  There wasn’t a big selection.

Japanese Stone Lanterns

 

When I see these old stone lanterns, I always stop and stare at them for a while.

Some people probably think I’m interested in old stone lanterns or art.
Some people might think I’m reflecting on some deep universal riddle.
Some people may think I’m pondering about what life was like for the artists who created these things.

None of that’s true though.

I’m just thinking if my head would fit in the hole … and whether I could push the whole thing over if I wanted to.

Some people think some pretty weird stuff.

 

note:  Coleman® stoves don’t use coal for some reason.

double note: this lantern had a guard cat … guarding it.

triple note: is the whole alphabet copyrighted and trademarked? … or just ® and ©? … I want the “P” in a circle … so I can I get some money back from parking lots.

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Today #171

Today I remembered the old “pretend to crack an egg on a kid’s head” trick. Tap a kid on the head with a knuckle and then run fingers down the side of the kid’s head lightly, like it’s an egg running down their head. It still has the same effect as when it was done to me as a kid: amazement, screams, and then a “do it again” expression on the kid’s face.

Jarred Memories … Or Memories In Jars

 

A friend in High School had a set of felt pens: you could only see the ink using a blacklight.

Over a few years he covered every inch of his bedroom with writing, doodles, and other stuff: the walls, ceiling, floor, furniture, stereo speakers, and even the inside of drawers. Nothing remained untouched.

It was pretty cool at the time.

I don’t think his parents ever knew about it.

I saw him a few years ago and asked him about his old bedroom.

It’s all still there, but I don’t know what most of it means anymore.

That’s how I feel about my hometown.

 

note: sure you can never go home, but people seem to write about the experience a lot of the time anyway.

double note: I like when people sum things up for me unintentionally.

triple note: it took me a long time to realize that something good came out of my hometown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowichan_knitting

… other than me of course. hee hee!

quadruple note: I haven’t forgotten anything about growing up, … I’ve just misplaced a lot of things for long periods of time.

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Today #160

Today an 8 year old student puked in my classroom. I don’t usually have that affect on people … or a stained smelly carpet.
(I always ask people what they ate as I clean up their vomit: it’s an anti-gag reflex reflex for some reason)