Cashless in India

Bumped into this sign yesterday in Mumbai which reminded me to blog about the revolution India is going through.

Say No to Cash Transactions, Yes to Digital & Card Payments


Last night I got introduced to one of Matsuo Basho famous Haiku.

Sad and embarrassed I was not introduced to it earlier.

旅に病んで 夢は枯野を かけ廻る

Translation can be found here

Some think it is a farewell poem from journey and maybe from life. I felt the same first time I read it. Ora rather the second time, since I did not fully understand it in the first time.

Which reminded me that Haiku contests are on Japanese prime TV. Maybe one of the few places in the world that put poetry in such focus.

Love it

Fish out of water

As I live in Japan, I keep looking for Japanese when I travel. I obviously don’t contact them nor say anything, but I do look for the “comfort” of seeing and hear Japanese.

Does this make sense?

Anyway, what I noticed that most Japanese men appear to me like a “Fish out of water” in an environment that they cannot speak the Language, do not know the manners.
I believe all of us are, but I felt it stronger from Japanese Men, not Women.

Two examples:
1) Orsay museum restaurant – a Japanese guy was trying to pay at the exit when he should have paid at the table. The way he walked about, not sure what to do felt painful to me.

2) Jacque Genin – When I approached the place saw a guy hanging outside taking a photo but not entering. I did and after several minutes he entered as well mumbling something, looking for a Japanese speaker (which there was). Again, the way he entered the place and the look on his face was like a Fish out of water

Is it the language barrier? Is it something else?

Laughing at me

Was traveling in Paris last week, with my back-packer clothes, huge Camera bag, Camera on me and a hat. Took the Metro and squeezed in with my bag, when I noticed a guy in front of me is watching me trying to control his laughter. Then he laughed, got up and stood somewhere in the train but continued to watch me .

What was about me that caused him to laugh? Is it about me or about him?
Did I look strange?
Does it make sense that I spent so much time trying to find the reason he was laughing?

It has never happened to me in Japan (or Korea, or Singapore), which was a bit disturbing.

But then it made me realize how easy it is to make us (humans) be concerned about our appearance, about who we are.
It really does not matter what he thought of me or why he found it laughable.

Amsterdam Museum online ticketing

Did not plan well for my Amsterdam visit as trusted my memory and the fact that it is a friendly and English speaking city.
To my surprise I found out that almost all museums are selling tickets and reservation online. Which means you can’t be spontaneous and go to the Museum.

I visited Anne Franke house before, but wanted to see it again. To my surprise I found out that the reservation system has a long waiting list, which meant I could not visit.

Screenshot attached below.:

Thinking Big

Seen while walking from Nishi-Nippori to Nippori.

A sign, saying “Himawari Orchard” (Himawari: Sunflower), with only very few small trees. Thinking big, putting your aspirations and plans out there for everyone to see is important

2019 New Year Resolutions

Do not have a new year resolution.

If I have to wait till the new year to make decision or change course, then I am doing it wrong. We should strive to improvement and change regardless of an arbitrary date or occasion.

Health: I continue to exercise and improve my overall physical condition

Work: I continue to work hard and grow the business.
(though fiscal year is connected to the new year)

Placebo – Pure Morning Lyrics

Still wondering what is the reference to Japanese in the song “Pure Morning”.

Tried to find some guesses, interpretations, but they all seem so far fetched.

Any Idea?


A friend in need’s a friend indeed,
My Japanese is better,
And when she’s pressed she will undress,
And then she’s boxing clever,


This was written a while back, during my previous business trip:
Got angry this morning, which changed very quickly to shame.
A lesson how kindness and friendliness can diffuse anger and bad feelings.
Rushed to the Airport in the morning, as had a 8:30AM flight to Seoul.
As I reached the connecting train station I noticed I have one minute till the Express train to the Airport leaves.
Rushed to the elevator and as it was about to close,  an elderly man rushed as well, stopped the elevator which made me miss the train.
Got angry/disappointed and I guess it was apparent on my face.
To my surprise, the man that stopped the elevator approached me asking (in Japanese) if I am heading to the airport.
“If so, please follow me and I will guide you. Taking the following train and changing will be faster”.
I (of course) verified independently and followed him. When we changed trains he approached me again, showing me the way to the fast escalator and guiding me where to wait for the train for a fast connection on arrival.
Surprises and lessons learned :
Not many Japanese will approach and angry foreigner, speak in Japanese and offer their help.
Having felt the anger it turned into shame. A 5 or 10 minutes delay caused me so much stress and anger which were also apparent to my surroundings .
Arrived to the airport before 6:50. By 7:00 I was at lounge working.
Unnecessary stress, unnecessary anger and bad vibes to my surroundings.