Loco in Yokohama, an Interview with the Author

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Baye McNeil, the man behind the über-popular Japanese website Loco in Yokohama.  At least, I think he was sitting down, since we were talking via Skype.  Anyway, I was.  I’ve got this new couch, and boy is it comfy.

Ken Seeroi:  Thanks for joining me.  Should I call you Loco, or Mister Yokohama?

Loco in Yokohama:  Ha, either is fine!

KS:  Great, let’s just go with Mr. Loco.  So I understand that you’ve written a new book? Continue reading “Loco in Yokohama, an Interview with the Author”

Japan’s Runaway Turtles

So I’m heading to work early one morning when I happen to glance down and see this little Japanese turtle right in the middle of the road, totally random.  I mean, okay, I couldn’t really tell if he was a Japanese turtle or a gaijin turtle, but anyway he had the shell and the stubby reptile legs and all, so I felt pretty good about the turtle part.  And he was escaping from this neighborhood reservoir, full of green water and surrounded by tall chain link fence.  How a turtle got over a seven foot-high chain link fence, I’ll never know, but apparently he was some kind of Rambo super turtle or something.  You never can tell in this country.  Continue reading “Japan’s Runaway Turtles”

Two Japanese Life Skills You Must Master

If you want to be a success in Japan, there are only two things you really need to nail.  The unfortunate small problem is, they’re opposites.  But perhaps a colorful story will help to illustrate.

So I was in a “standing bar” a couple of weeks ago, which is like a normal bar, or really a restaurant because they serve food too, only without any seats.  It’s just about the worst invention the Japanese ever came up with.  Like, who wants to have drinks and food standing up?  Would it kill you to put in some barstools?  But anyway, so I’m standing there having a conversation with this rather attractive Japanese lady and I order some fish in a can on toast.   And things are going pretty well between us, you know, until suddenly her husband shows up.  So that was a little disappointing.  But whatever, he turned out to be a really nice guy and bought me a beer and I Continue reading “Two Japanese Life Skills You Must Master”

Working for an Eikaiwa – What’s not to Like?

The Land of the Rising Sun isn’t for everyone.   But like Sirens to a sailor, Japan exerts a pull on the naive to the point that any job, no matter how miserable, seems tolerable in exchange for a brief encounter.  I was among that number.

Now, you can’t put the words “Japan, “miserable,” and “job” into one sentence without mentioning “eikaiwa,” in the next.  Try it—it’s physically impossible.  Jobs at Eikaiwa (English conversation schools) are plentiful, due to the ample supply of Japanese folks willing to pay to learn English.  And, perhaps fortunately for you, the teaching qualifications are close to nonexistent.  Continue reading “Working for an Eikaiwa – What’s not to Like?”