Visited Countries

Neat tool online that will generate a map of all the countries you have visited after you fill in a simple form.

Here are my results.

19 Countries, or… 8% according to the site. I thought I was doing pretty good, but still have a ways to go!

You can create your own map here, give it a try!

http://douweosinga.com/projects/visitedcountries

Btw, this post is a little more about me than usual I guess. If you haven’t already, answer the poll on the top right and let me know what you’d like to see more of on this Blog! I’m here to serve you.
– Harvey

New Train – Hankyu

OMG! A new train on Hankyu line! Yeah!!! It’s finally happened! Great!

Okay. Honestly, I don’t know why so many people were taking pictures here. I just happened to be on my way home, and saw a big crowd snapping pics of a train. So I copied them.

In Japanese they call this, 野次馬 (やじうま), or a kind of, monkey see monkey do gawker.

I saw a lot of people running around taking pictures of the train from the front, the back, and through the windows. So I did the same. This isn’t the first time I have seen hordes of train photographers though.

Inside of the train were all kinds of devices. The sign on the train says 試運転 (しうんてん) which literally translates to “test drive”. I have never seen this sign on a train before, even though the English is translated to “out of service” just like a train would be if it were just turning in for the night.

I’m guessing here, but the computers and gadgets inside the train seem to be for measuring the performance of the test run. There was even a meter attached to the 手すり, those hand rings for passengers to keep their balance, I guess to measure the stability of the train while it was operating.

I heard some comments from ladies around saying things like “wow, look at the seats, they have dividers and you can just seat 3 people in there, looks nice!”

I dunno about the seats, but this kid sure looks excited.

I wonder when this thing will be in service? A better question, when it -is- in service, I wonder if I’ll even notice!

– Harvey

Osaka Oblong Ferris Wheel Battle

My quest in Osaka is complete.

I have ridden, the ONLY OBLONG FERRIS WHEEL IN THE WORLD.

I strolled down to Doutonbori, hunted down the ever elusive towering ferris wheel with the giant penguin, paid my 500 yen (2000 yen per car, 4 people), and and the most exhilarating 15 minute ride I will ever experience.

Look at this view! All the colors of the rainbow.

Never have I seen such beauty. New Zealand’s got nothin’ on this!

The rooftops… the grimy street below… I cried.

Ride this ferris wheel because it’s OBLONG.  Not for the view.

Be sure you don’t fit any of the “I’M SORRY, IT CANNOT RIDE” profiles before you go.

Drunk penguins rock.

– Harvey

North Korea Pictures

Off topic, but so interesting…

Pictures of North Korea from a Russian blogger, Artemiy Lebedev. The site is in Russian, but the pictures are interesting enough alone.

If anyone here speaks Russian, by all means! Please fill me in!

I recently read the book, The Aquariums of Pyongyang, an amazing story of a Korean living in Japan in the 70’s, whose family migrates back to North Korea, gets thrown in a concentration camp, yet some how the boy escapes to China to eventually meet a French Journalist who created this book.

Really, amazing stuff.

– Harvey

Engrish Tshirt: Distant Sence

The Japanese Engrish t-shirt thing is hardly new… I see weird English everyday.

In all my years though, this has got to be the most baffling I have ever seen.

“DISTANT SENCE

Now I feel better with it

It is not too much to say longing.

laugth gentry being

to play hide and seek”

Analysis:

Okay let’s break it down. laugth is obviously a simple typo. laugh. Grentry is the common “r” “l” slip up. Gently. The title, DISTANT SENCE, is probably just a misspelling of distant sense.

To put it all together. When one has a distant sense, one can feel better. This distance sense is something like Professor X has, of the Xmen. You know. Telephathy. If you don’t have this sense, it is not necessarily too much to express your deepest desires. You can laugh gently, while uh… playing hide and seek.

There you have it. This is deep.

– Harvey

Haagen-Dazs – Takoyaki?

Haagen-Dazs in Japan is getting in to the Kansai spirit with these Takoyaki-like ice cream snacks. This spread here will cost you 800 yen (about 8$), and is just like Takoyaki! Except there is no octopus, it’s not cooked, and is sweet tasting, like ice cream… instead of… Taco-y. Like… Octopus.

Haha, fooled you. The picture on top is of the plastic food models in the store window. Below is the actual food shot.

The sign says that…

大阪名物「たこ焼き」のイメージもユニークな当店だけのオリジナルメニューです。 Osaka Meibutsu “takoyaki” no ime-ji mo yuniiku na touten dake no original menu desu. Which means, This original menu item takes after the Osaka speciality “takoyaki”, and is only available in this store!

So if you want to try it… You gotta go to Osaka. (Sorry again Mr. Wake) This shop is located near Doutonbori in the Namba area, right near the Kuidaore clown doll which is so famous.

Good stuff! But far too expensive to enjoy on a regular, or even semi-regular basis.

On a funny language note, in Kansai, Haagen-Daz used to be shortened and said 「ハゲ」in Kansai-ben. ハゲ、also can mean “bald-dude”. Note… This was written in a book I’m reading, but my Kansai friends claim it’s not true.

– Harvey

Kit Kat Azuki

So many Kit Kat posts.

Another time limited Kit Kat is here! Azuki. Red beans.

Mmm… look at that, Japanese snacky… Chocolate-y… Off-Pinkish goodness.

Seriously though, it tasted really good!

Kinda like, artificial Azuki.

– Harvey

Learn Japanese with Advertisements: Pachinko

Let’s learn Japanese with stupid advertisements!

The blue text in the middle…

あなたの「したい」はここにある

パチンコ & スロット

anatono “shitai” ha kokoniaru

pachinko & slot

“what you want to do”, is right here.

I dunno… I don’t really wanna do Pachinko and Slot Machines…
Now for the warning label in the lower left. How maniac is this? We’re reading the fine print… in Japanese! Rock on!

Translation:

18歳未満の方のご入場はお断りしております。

18sai miman no kata no gonyuujyou ha o kotowari shiteorimasu.

(We will) Deny entry to people under 18 years of age.

駅構内•車内の「携帯電話のご利用マナー」にご協力ください。

eki kounai • syanai no “keitai denwa no goriyou manaa” ni gokyouryoku kudasai
Please cooperate with the “cell phone usage manners” when inside the train or car.

– Harvey

BTW, how many people reading this site are studying Japanese? I wonder if these language introductions are of any interest.

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