The Olympics

Me: So, you’re going to host the Olympics, right?

Japan: Yep. Tokyo 2020. I can’t wait.

Me: The summer Olympics? In Tokyo?

Japan: Yeah, right. In August.

Me: Wow. That’ll be uncomfortable. Isn’t it disgustingly hot in summer in Tokyo?

Japan: Well, sure, it’s a bit sweaty.

Me: It’ll be 35 degrees and 90% humidity. How did your Olympic committee convince the IOC?

Japan: They told them that as Tokyo has “many days of mild and sunny weather, this period provides an ideal climate for athletes to perform at their best.”

Me: Well, they’re in the running for a gold medal in Long-Distance Bullshitting. Won’t this be a problem?

Japan: Well, maybe, but it’ll be good for the economy.

Me: I heard there’s been a problem with the stadium.

Japan: Several. The design, the cost, the design again and then the cost again.

Me: Didn’t you have a stadium already?

Japan: Yeah, but it was old. It was from the 1968 Olympics.

Me: So, would it have been cheaper and easier and more meaningful to just refurbish the old one?

Japan: Yeah but new is better and it’ll be good for the economy.

Me: Which month was the 1968 Olympics held in by the way?

Japan: October.

Me: Why?

Japan: Because the weather in summer is too…Look it’ll be good for the economy.

Me: How is your economy?

Japan: Erm…

Me: Couldn’t you just give everyone some cash instead of spending it on the Olympics? Or pay off some of your debt? Wouldn’t that be good, you know, economically speaking?

Japan: Well…

Me: And how’s the rebuilding of Tohoku going since the earthquake and tsunami in 2011?

Japan: Erm…

Me: And the Fukushima nuclear power plant?

Japan: Ah…

Me: Could those areas of the country use some of money that the government will spend on the Olympics?

Japan: Look. Stop being so cynical. The Olympics will be a success, it’ll make me famous and –

Me: You’re already famous. You’ve got sushi, Mount Fuji, Godzilla –

Japan: And now the Olympics. It’ll be good for the economy.

Me: How?

Japan: What?

Me: How will it be good for the economy?

Japan: I’ve got no idea. People just keep saying that it’ll be good for the economy so i just assumed that it was good for the economy. It’ll be good for the economy. Just keep repeating the word ‘economy’ and people nod their heads and understand. The economy. It’ll be good. Lots of people will visit and spend money.

Me: How long does the Olympics last?

Japan: Two weeks.

Me: And how many people will visit?

Japan: Dunno. Maybe a few hundred thousand.

Me: How many people visit you each year anyway?

Japan: About 14 million.

Me: How large is your economy?

Japan: About 4.2 trillion dollars per year.

Me: …

Japan: Wait, but…so it may not even make rational, mathematic or economic sense to continually state that the Olympics will be good for the economy.

Me: Well, it’ll contribute a little i guess.

Japan: Like pissing in a lake?

Me: Or a brand new Olympic swimming pool.

Japan: But only for two weeks.

Me: Hey, at least you’ll have some shiny new stadiums and sports facilities. I’m sure you’ve got some grand, long-term, joined-up, sensible, society-benefiting plans to use the stadiums and venues once the 14 day sports festival has ended.

Japan: …

Me: …?

Japan: Is it too late to give it to Istanbul?

December 17, 2015. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Disneyland

Japan: Have you ever been to Tokyo Disneyland?

Me: No, never.

Japan: Never? Really?

Me: Yeah, never. Where is it?

Japan: It’s in Chiba.

Me: Chiba? Chiba Prefecture?

Japan: Yeah.

Me: So, Tokyo Disneyland isn’t in Tokyo?

Japan: Well, I couldn’t call it Chiba Disneyland could i? That wouldn’t be much of a global brand would it? Anyway, why have you never been to Tokyo Disneyland?

Me: I’m not much of a Disney fan to be honest.

Japan: But, it’s so popular.

Me: What? Tokyo Disneyland or just Disney in general?

Japan: Both.

Me: Hmm. In England there is no Disneyland.

Japan: Huh? How? What? No Disneyland? That must be terrible for English people.

Me: Not really. Nobody I know really cares for it anyway. There’s one in Paris I think but nobody goes.

Japan: Why not?

Me: Because they’re in Paris. There’s so much better stuff to see and do. Things that are way more culturally interesting and stimulating. Which begs the question, why is your Disneyland so massively popular?

Japan: It’s cute.

Me: It’s the third most visited theme park on Earth. It had 14 million visitors in 2011. The reason for this cannot be “it’s cute”.

Japan: Never underestimate the power of cute and the sway it holds over my population. I’m addicted to cute. And it’s not just cute. They have rides as well. It’s all so exciting.

Me: Do you have a wait long to get on these exciting rides?

Japan: About three hours maybe.

Me: Three hours?

Japan: Yeah, it’s not too bad is it?

Me: People can fly to other countries in that time. Or run a marathon. Or watch a movie.

Japan: A Disney movie!

Me: Yes, no, what? How much is it anyway?

Japan: For one day?

Me: Yeah.

Japan: 6,200 yen.

Me: How much?

Japan: Or you could pay 80,000 yen for a year.

Me: A year?

Japan: Yeah, the yearly pass. Then you can go any time you want.

Me: But why would you do that?

Japan: It’s Disney. You can enter a magical world. A fantasy land. Unreality space. You can escape from everything.

Me: Like what?

Japan: Real life.

Me: But, I like real life.

Japan: What?

Me: Well, you know, music and movies and books and games and sports and food and drink and people and places and travel and friends and relationships. I like real life. It’s good.

Japan: Relationships?

Me: What?

Japan: You’re in a relationship and you’ve never been Disneyland together?

Me: Yeah, no, but –

Japan: You soulless, heartless, boring, practically minded, pragmatic, selfish arsehole.

Me: So, what do you want me to do? Go and spend far too much money, wait for hours to get on a cute roller coaster in a fake plasticised version of a movie I’ve never seen and then eat something in the shape of a cartoon character whilst watching children cry and teenage girls say the word “cute” on repeat mode until my ears bleed?

Japan: Yes. Or you could go to Tokyo Disney Sea.

Me: …?

Japan: …!

Me: Can I run a marathon instead?

August 14, 2014. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Pets

Me: Some of your pets are a bit strange aren’t they?

Japan: Not really. Why? What do you mean?

Me: Dogs, for example.

Japan: They’re not strange.

Me: I once saw a man on the street pick up his dog’s shit in a plastic bag and then wipe the dog’s arse.

Japan: That’s strange.

Me: And people take their dogs for walks.

Japan: That’s fine.

Me: In bags.

Japan: What?

Me: People carry their dogs in bags. Or wrap them in designer coats. Or in push them in push chairs. Or drive them around in bicycle baskets, which is probably illegal.

Japan: Bicycles have their own laws. We know that already. Anyway, what’s wrong with carrying your dog? It might be tired.

Me: It’s a dog, not a kid. What happens if it needs a dump?

Japan: You drop it pretty quickly and wipe its arse?

Me: A while ago i saw a cute girl in a local bar with a pet hedgehog. She ordered some water for it so it could have drink like everyone else.

Japan: Cute!

Me: I saw a man in central Tokyo stood outside a convenience store having a cigarette holding a lime green dog lead that had a rabbit attached to it.

Japan: Kawaii!

Me: A rabbit? You carry your dogs but walk your rabbits? And then there’re turtles.

Japan: Turtles?

Me: Yeah, massive pet turtles just sat on the pavement munching on some lettuce as people walked past on a Sunday afternoon while the owner sat on a step and watched, effectively taking his turtles for a walk.

Japan: In Tokyo?

Me: Yep.

Japan: Sounds healthy.

Me: Yeah, unlike your cats. What’s going on with them? Are they feral or something?

Japan: Sort of. Why?

Me: They always seem to be skulking around raiding peoples rubbish outside instead of playing with fluffy toys or dead birds and watching TV.

Japan: Not all of them. What about my cat cafes?

Me: Good point. Cat cafes; where people pay good money to sit around with cats and stroke bored looking animals that would probably prefer to be hunting leftovers in dustbins and annoying people. And you’ve got dog cafes as well. Same thing, different animal.

Japan: So, i’ve got turtles having lunch on the pavement as people walk past carrying their dog or walking their rabbit, dodging hungry mangy homeless cats before going to a cafe so they can sit around stroking felines and canines at their own expense or feeding hedgehogs in bars.

Me: It would seem so, yes.

Japan: Some of my cute pets are a bit strange aren’t they?

June 5, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.