Fukuoka 福岡

Was on a short business trip to Fukuoka, which reminded me that I love this city.

Big, but not too big. Small, but not too small. I really think Fukuoka can (and probably already) attract people from Tokyo area. Read several articles about efforts to create start-ups in Fukuoka and I do feel it has the right infrastructure and “spirit” to accommodate it.

Had only a short walk to take photos, which resulted in the following two.

福岡 屋台
Fukuoka Nakasu

Skill or lack of Skill?

10 years leaving in Japan, my Japanese is reasonable.

It is less common for me to encounter situations when people give me a blank look, not knowing how to talk with me.

Not sure how it happens, how people “know” I understand Japanese. Not sure what is different when people don’t know how to respond to me. It is a Skill of understanding/seeing I am “local”, or is it the lack of skill to adapt to a different situation.

Went to “Paul” yesterday, ordered a sandwich, some bread, and it all went natural. No hesitation from the girl who worked there, no change of tone or speed. Is it because she understood I am “local”, or is it because she can’t change the way she is working.

Will keep watching people and thinking about it, but I guess I will not find a definitive answer.

Starbucks Roastery Tokyo

Did not go inside, as Sakura season during the weekend is definitely not a good time for that.

This blog is about a mistake in the address on official Starbucks website. Megruro instead of Meguro. I wonder when they will notice the mistake and fix it .

Starbucks Roastery 中目黒
Starbucks Roastery 中目黒

Arashi break the (Japanese) Internet

嵐, Arashi, the very popular band from Johnny’s entertainment announced today that they will stop their activity at the end of 2020.

Boom! Japanese internet and news sites are all over the news.

Line News notification:

Arashi website is not accessible:

Twitter has already about 200,000 related tweets in less than an hour since the news came out.

シャキシャキ

The Japanese word シャキシャキ (ShakiShaki) can be translated as “crispy” when talking about food, but can also be used to describe people. Maybe the right translation would be Energetic, but I actually like the connotation of crispy for personality as well.

Not a word I use, but Japanese love using onomatopoeia which sometimes is unclear to me.

A few days ago I went to a wine bar for dinner, and a couple on their first date were sitting next to me at the counter. Both seemed in their late 20s or early 30s, both dressed well, would even say more fashionable than the average.
Guy drinking Sangria (?!), girl drinking wine.

Conversation was mostly about music, music I love like New Order, Talking heads and Indies which was quite surprising considering their age. I wanted to join the conversation, but obviously didn’t as not to interrupt their date (and glad I didn’t)

Girl was the quiet type, answering questions; the guy leading the conversation asking questions while she is answering in a quiet voice and sometimes vague answers.

And then, when I was about to leave the restaurant, the guy changed conversation to her previous boyfriends. Honesty, don’t know how dates are done in Japan, but seemed too aggressive to me. Girl answered as always, with a vague, unclear, uncertain voice.

And here we connect to シャキシャキ.
The guy suddenly said that her character and behavior were not what he expected from their correspondence before the date. That he thought she was シャキシャキ , but she is not. At this point, the girl went even more silent asking if that is bad. To which he answered , “no, but different from my expectation”.

How I wish I could finish the story. What happened next? Did the date end in that note or did they enjoy the rest of the night and maybe decide on a second date?

Anyways, people sometimes have different personality when writing on SNS and instant messaging, being シャキシャキ. Energetic and strong, while different when meeting face to face.

Leg bouncing/Fidgeting – 貧乏ゆすり

Was thinking about writing this for a while, but an experience I had gave me the motivation to finally do it.

While on a business trip to Singapore, I went to Black Tap at the Marina Bay Sands for Lunch. Sitting on the Sofa, the (Korean) guy in the table besides me kept bouncing his leg. Had two options: to tell him to stop, or to move to a chair. I moved to a chair and started planning what to write this blog post.

In Japan, it is considered a bad habit, one that shows “bad education”. The wiki page for 貧乏ゆすり is not linked to a page in other languages and mentions

多くの場合において品を欠く行為・悪い癖だとされる

Which means vulgarity and bad habit.  The literal translation of 貧乏ゆすり is “poverty fidgeting”.

Did not research, but not familiar with such contempt to fidgeting in other cultures. If we look at the English wiki page for fidgeting  it tries to explain the condition and reasons for it, not judging it

Fidgeting is considered a nervous habit, though it does have some underlying benefits. People who fidget regularly tend to weigh less than people who do not fidget because they burn more calories than those who remain still, which is called Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT).[13] It has been reported that fidgeting burns about 350 extra calories per day.[14]

Living in Japan, I got used to thinking the same way. I notice when people bounce their legs and show nervousness. Was surprised when at a meeting a Japanese customer was bouncing his leg and even discussed it with our partner.

Kanazawa map in Hebrew

(A late post as forgot about it)

What a surprise I had when I found out there is a map in Hebrew of Kanazawa.

As I visited the visitor center to get information, the staff asked where I am from and when they heard Israel they pulled out the map and said there are MANY visitors from Israeli in Kanazawa.

The translation to Hebrew is quite good, which is much more than I expected.

 

地球星人 By Sayaka Murata

Started reading Sayaka Murata’s  (村田沙耶香)latest novel 地球星人 . Literal translation of the name is 地球 = Earth  星人=Person from the planet.  Interesting combination.

The book was published last week, so only available in Hardcover. Not sure why it is not available in Kindle as previous one.

Looking forward to it, as I enjoyed her last books and the way she looks at our lives, social standards.