Japan: I’m hungry.

Me: Again?

Japan: Well, i’m always a bit hungry.

Me: That’s true. You seem fixated with food. And it’s all over your TV. There’s always a TV show about food. Always.

Japan: Every country has food on TV.

Me: Sure, but other country’s TV food programmes are really just moving recipe books. Your TV shows don’t educate the viewer on how to cook stuff. You prefer to just show people eating.

Japan: I do love eating.

Me: By the way, the same thing always happens on these food TV programmes as well. A few presenters or comedians go into a restaurant. There are some close up shots of the food. They eat it. They all vigorously agree that the food is “delicious”. The end.

Japan: Sound like great TV to me.

Me: And your people don’t seem to use any other word to describe food. All food is “delicious”. That’s it.

Japan: It’s food. Of course it’s delicious. Anyway, my food is famous. Everybody’s heard of sushi.

Me: Sushi is delicious.

Japan: What i don’t understand is why i was the first to think, “You know what, that looks so good, i’m just going eat it now. Fuck cooking stuff. I’m hungry.”

Me: Yeah, but you also eat raw horse meat.

Japan: Delicious!

Me: And raw egg.

Japan: Delicious!

Me: And raw whale.

Japan: Delicious!

Me: And raw ostrich.

Japan: Delicious!

Me: And poisonous puffer fish, fugu, that actually kills a few people every year. That’s how much you like food. You’re willing to risk death for it.

Japan: Delicious!

Me: I’m surprised you haven’t combined potentially poisonous blow fish with a completely different random food.

Japan: I do enjoy random food combinations.

Me: Strawberry sandwiches.

Japan: Canned bread.

Me: Pumpkin flavoured chocolate.

Japan: Chocolate flavoured beer.

Me: Beer flavoured jelly.

Japan: Octopus flavoured jelly.

Me: Octopus flavoured snacks.

Japan: Octopus flavoured ice cream.

Me: Green tea ice cream.

Japan: Green tea flavoured noodles.

Me: Noodles. Wow, do you love noodles. People queue up for an hour outside noodle restaurants just for a bowl of ramen.

Japan: Ramen! Ramen! Delicious ramen!

Me: And drinks. Hot and cold everything, depending on the season. It’s amazing. I’m a little worried that you’ll soon discover a way of having hot coca-cola. With ice.

Japan: That’s a great idea. Let’s do it. It’ll taste great.

Me: That’s your motto when it comes to food, isn’t it. “Let’s do it. It’ll taste great.” And even if it isn’t, we’ll just tell everybody it’s delicious anyway.

Japan: Exactly. It’s food. How can’t you like it? It’s in the DNA. It’s what we do. It’s one the three pillars of life.

Me: Eat. Shit. Fuck.

Japan: Er, yeah, not very eloquent of you but thanks for being so succinct.

Me: Why?

Japan: I told you. I’m hungry. And you’ve concluded the conversation nice and quickly so now i can go back to eating. I think i might have some fermented soybeans.

Me: …?

Japan: Delicious!


February 26, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Cash machines/ATMs

Japan: How’s things?

Me: Not bad. I need some money though.

Japan: Money?

Me: Yeah. Actually, i always need money.

Japan: Really? Are you short of cash? Are you some sort of poor hobo man?

Me: No, no, i work two jobs. I’ve got money. I just can’t access it very easily.

Japan: Why not?

Me: Because of your cash machines.

Japan: Wait. You can’t get to your money because of my cash machines?

Me: Right.

Japan: But they give you your money.

Me: Yeah but only when the bank is open.

Japan: Well, of course. Why would the ATM be working when the bank is closed?

Me: Because that’s exactly why ATMs were invented in the first place.

Japan: …?

Me: So people could access their money whenever they wanted to. You know, 24 hour banking?

Japan: But you can’t bank 24 hours a day.

Me: Why not?

Japan: The banks aren’t open all the time.

Me: No…But…You’re ATMs are only open when the bank’s open hence the constant need for money. Or the carrying around of tens of thousands of yen. And i can’t pay for anything with my bank card.

Japan: Pay for stuff with your bank card? How?

Me: Chip and pin.

Japan: Who are they?

Me: No, i mean you can just use your bank card and your PIN number to pay for stuff. Or you can use your signature.

Japan: What? Where can you do this?

Me: Almost everywhere but you.

Japan: So it’s like a credit card?

Me: Yes. Well, no. It’s –

Japan: Because you can’t use those that often. I don’t always accept those universally accepted cards.

Me: I know.

Japan: And it might be difficult for you to get a credit card too.

Me: Uh-huh.

Japan: Because you’re a foreigner here.

Me: Yeah.

Japan: And banks pretty much everywhere in the world aren’t keen on foreigners.

Me: OK, right, so what do banks like?

Japan: Well, mine quite enjoy making people queue up at cash machines in their lunch breaks or making people pay extra to use one 24 hours a day in a convenience store because the bank ATMs have the same opening hours as my hospitals, rendering them and their queues more like modern art installations; a constant reminder of our fetishism of all things cash related and currency driven and our near constant superficial desire to get our hands on what we generally can’t ever have.

Me: …

Japan: …

Me: But only between the hours of 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday?

Japan: Right.

Me: Hmm…so…erm…can I borrow 5000 yen?

Japan: Yeah, sure no prob…Oh, hang on. What time is it? What bank are you with? Is there a convenience store near here?

February 7, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.