In three words . . . uh, yeah, kinda. Foreign language learning is quickly moving into the realm of the unnecessary. So like it or not, we can all cross interpreter and translator off our list of career choices, along with elevator operator, taxi driver, doorman, cashier, bank teller, and Latin scholar. Continue reading “Is Foreign Language Learning Obsolete?”
Last Sunday I went for a hike, I think. I mean, you’re never entirely sure what just happened in this strange country, but after a while you get used to it. That’s Japan in a nutshell.
It all started when Ruriko called at six A.M. I fell out of my futon, which albeit is about an inch high, turned off two alarm clocks and unplugged the lamp before realizing the source of annoyance was the phone. Really gotta remember to turn off that ringer.
“Ken!” she said brightly, “feel like going for a hike?” Ruriko made it sound like it was noon.
“Do I ever,” I replied. Continue reading “A Sunday in Japan”
Recently, the subject of poverty in Japan came up, so, uh, let me tell you about my friend Emi. She’s a dancer. We’ll get around to the poverty in a minute. Don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere.
“Want to come to my flamenco performance?” she cooed. We were sitting on the riverbank drinking cans of malt liquor and watching the sunset. Emi does this thing with her eyes that makes every crazy thing coming out of her mouth sound like an excellent idea.
“Do I?” I blurted out. “In Japan? I thought they were only in Florida?” I love pink birds!”
“No, you dolt, flamenco. Like the dance?”
“Oh.” I tried to hide my disappointment by downing half a can of Kirin. Continue reading “Poverty in Japan”
1. The Japanese Ghost Apartment
Saturday night, and Ruriko and I went out for a pleasant walk. Pleasant. Such is my life in Japan, devolved from Awesome, the Shibuya clubs overflowing with strobes and beats bouncing off bottles of Corona as I tried desperately to remember the name of whichever short-skirted girl I was chatting up. I really should use mnemonics when people introduce themselves. Anyway, now it’s come to this, walking in the dark with what’s-her-name and a lukewarm can of malt liquor.
“That apartment’s for rent again.” She gazed up at the empty space in a run-down three-story story building. “Must be a ghost there.” Continue reading “3 Japanese Ghost Stories”
This is a short story about the surprises one can expect in Japan. Like the other day, it was two in the afternoon and I was heading to this bar.
The end. See, I told you it was short. Hey, it’s hard to find an izakaya open before six. But leave it to Ken Seeroi to locate a ramshackle joint with a 3-drink deal, including sashimi appetizer, for ten bucks. I’m a sucker for specials.
I decided to ride the bike there, to get in a bit of health before the booze. Continue reading “My Date with a Japanese Babe”