Byebye India!

Hey everyone!

Question: In India 3 wheeled vehicles are called “Rickshaws”. In Japanese, they’re called 人力車 jinrikusya right? Is this coincidence? Is it ateji? Or was the English world built based on the Japanese pronunciation? What’s up??

Sorry for the long silence. I’m done with the India thing! Tomorrow I fly back to Japan.

Let me tell you something. I have traveled to many different countries, but nothing prepared me for India. Japan is so easy compared to life in India. So much easier.

Everything about India was mind blowing. Driving (well, riding in a car being driven by someone anyway), eating, shopping, goodness… shopping…
If you thought the ‘Irrassyaimase!’ from Japanese shop keepers was a little annoying, try shopping in New Dehli as a non-Indian. “200 Rupees is not expensive sir, come on sir, wait sir, just take a look sir, 150 Rupees, come on sir, what’s the problem sir? Special price for you sir. 130! 100! Okay, your price, just tell me how much. Come on. 30 Rupees.” No toilet paper, can’t drink the water, can’t trust anyone cause everyone is trying to rip you off all the time… Every time you take a taxi anywhere you have to haggle for the price before getting in. Pretty crazy. There was a strike in South India as well yesterday, and everyone down there swore it was a transportation strike that would affect all of India and not just the state of Kerala… when I arrived in Dehli, nothing. I noticed a lot of cases where people didn’t quite get what was going on when they should have… Japan is just a lot more put together.

Having said all that though, I really want to go back to South India again if I get the chance. Kerala was a very cool place. In fact, other than Bombay, Dehli, and Agra, I had a very good time. Dharamsala and Cochin are my recommendations.

Anyway, after I get back to Japan I will be moving to Osaka. So, I think I will start focusing on ‘Kansai’ things for the site. Alright, that’s all the rambling I have time for now.

Later~

-Harvey

Kanji in my Mind

I haven’t updated forever. Sorry guys. I’ve got a lot of craziness going on in my life. Heh. Good craziness, but, it’s crazy!

Anyway, for a quick thought that just crossed my mind… Kanji!

Everyone knows Kanji as those ridiculous picto-grams that take even Japanese people years and years to master. Most people can learn enough to get by before high school, but to -really- master them… it literally can take a life time. There are easy Kanji, like the Kanji fro “one”, 一… and there are hard kanji, like the kanji for ‘rose’ 薔薇, a classic difficult Kanji that most Japanese people cannot write off the top of their head. Of course, if you can’t write rose in Kanji, you can always write it in Hiragana, like ばら。 Hiragana only has 46ish characters and is phonetically arranged, so it’s actually quite easy if you just sit down and do it.

Now that the basics are out of the way, this is why I was thinking about Kanji. Today a coworker came up to me and said “ha-bi, kyou ha raikyaku ga aru, meeting no jikan wo 2ji kara 2:30 he hennkou shitai kedo, ii?” like “今日は来客があるので、今日のMeetingの時間を2二時から二時半に変更したいけど、いい?” Now, the cool thing about Kanji is this.

I have never heard the world “raikyaku” “来客” before. But, get this. From hearing RAI-KYAKU, in my head, I was like, whoa. What is that word. Kyaku sounds like the character ‘kyaku’ used in, 客さん kyakusan, which means customer… and RAI hrm… It sounded like he was saying a customer is coming, and the kanji for come, 来、 can be also pronounced (read) as “rai”, so maybe that’s it. So maybe it means coming, and it is, and it does mean like… a customer coming.

That whole thought process happens all up in my head like, within half a second. I don’t even really notice it anymore, until today. I guess it’s cause I just got back from a 3 month stay in the states.

Also, Kanji works the other way too. If I saw the Kanji 来客 written down, I would guess it meant a customer was coming, even if I didn’t know how to pronounce it.

Isn’t that kinda cool? This way, in Japanese, even if you have no idea what a word means, you get not only the context of the sentence to guess from, but also the possible context of the Kanji characters.

3 cheers for random explanations of random topics!

-Harvey