Posts tagged travel
1. In Japan cars usually stop at a red traffic light. In China all drivers are color blind.
- 2. Japan is famous for its clean and efficient toilets with electronic controls. In China bring your own toilet paper and hold your breath.
- 3. In Japan women spend a whole months wages in order to purchase a genuine Gucci bag. In China genuine ???
- 4. In Japan the three most popular food chains are McDonalds Starbucks and Kentucky Fried Chicken. In China the three most popular More >
In a country that has simultaneously gone though a major scale earthquake, the mother of all tidal waves and a nuclear disaster – how does one go back to normal. The crises seems to be one that will endure for months, which means that some kind of normality in everyday life has to be achieved. This is cherry blossom season and soon the Golden Week will be upon us, times usually reserved for jubilation. As a humorist, things are even more complicated. Will I be forced to perform Hari Kiri for trying to put a smile on the faces of More >
There has to be a lesson to be learnt when you meekly leave your Tokyo residence and join the Japanese families celebrating the first blossoming of the cherry trees. Even when the future is so uncertain and pregnant mothers fear for the health of their unborn children, families gathered this weekend in Ueno Park, neatly marked their picnicking space and made an attempt to declare business as usual.
Not far from the beautifully path of Cherry trees, the Ueno Zoo proudly displayed their latest acquisition, a pair of pandas. Organized lines, like you can only find More >
A foreigner’s first experience with a Japanese toilet could easily be compared with a teenagers first experience with love. You meet this gorgeous girl during the school recess but you have no idea what to do about it. No-one has given you an instructions manual. The same can be said about Japanese washlets – right you really don’t want to call it a toilet any more than you’d call a Jaguar E-Type Roaster a car – they do come with an instruction manual but it’s Japanese.
First things first, before entering the pleasure are, be sure to slip on your toilet slippers.
You More >
They say that ice-cream was invented in Florence and there is even an ice-cream parlor there that lays claim to being the first place to sell it. Statistically American’s are the greatest consumers of the multi flavored multi calorie sweet, but when it comes to the most original flavors no one comes near to the Japanese. It was a hard task choosing which to include in this post but here is my 10 best Japanese ice-cream flavors list.
Working at a Japanese company where you are the only foreigner can be pretty intimidating. Not only do you look different, act differently and sometimes to behave like an ape in a country that is ruled by etiquette, you can’t even speak the language. So for even the simplest work conversation it is necessary to call an interpreter.
Japan, has a rich history of art and theater and this doesn’t escape the field of simultaneous translation. Forget about all the interpreters you’ve seen in the movies, generally at the United Nations, like everything else in Japan, translation is an art. When More >
If you walk anywhere in Tokyo, you are bound to come upon hundreds of people wearing surgical face-masks over their mouths and noses. This is not some new fashion stupidity or a cry out against smog, it is just part of the Japanese etiquette. In Japan it is considered really bad behavior to blow your nose or cough in public. If you have the slightest symptoms of the common cold you are expected to immediately put on the mask. Because of this you will find yourself being waited on by a masked women, the girl at the counter on the More >
- The worst dressed manager at work is also the most senior – no he’s not the janitor! -
- A meeting will never ever end before the scheduled time, even if they have to go over the issues a third time to achieve this. -
- They turn out all the office lights at 12:00 P.M. sharp to save energy during the lunch hour. -
- Those employees who don’t do out for lunch sleep at their desks till the lights come on again. -
- The first slide in every presentation is numbered zero and the ground floor is the first floor. -
- The chairs in the meeting More >
1. Toilets (sorry bathrooms!) Lets face it with a toilet that warms your but and gives you a water massage while you read it’s hands down (or rather bottoms down) to the Japanese.
2. Sidewalks for the blind. O.K. so that might seem an over expensive luxury to sum, but still it does kind of make sense.
3. Magnetic trashcans at work. The stick to the side of your desk leaving you more foot room and they never spill over onto your new polished shoes that cost you a fortune on 5th Avenue.
4. Park benches for non smokers.
5. Sweet potato (yam) muffins More >
From the middle of January 2011 the Taite Gallery is moving to Tokyo, Japan for a two year stint. Look out for posts in the Englishman in Japan section.
As a preview here are some interesting Japanese signs.
© 2010 Steve Taite. All rights reserved. If you enjoyed this post please leave a comment and pass on to your friends. If not feel free to pass on to your enemies. Don't want to miss a post? What are you waiting for, subscribe now or follow me on twitter.
“On behalf of Intra Air airlines, I would like to welcome all of you aboard our flight from New York to Madrid. For those of you traveling coach please be advised that two of the lavatories at the back of the plane are in service. The rest of the toilet facilities are reserved for our business class passengers. We hope you enjoy your flight and thank you for flying Intra Air.” “Passengers, this is your captain speaking. We seem to be having some trouble with one of our four engines, but not to worry, this super sophisticated Boeing aircraft can More >
Vigeland Sculpture Park is one of those wonders that you come upon and then can’t resist the necessary Wow!. Because of its location in Frogner Park, Oslo, Norway, it is not as well known as it should be and is thus even more mind blowing. Imagine a great sculptor who’s complete work is collected in one single place and you may begin to realise what I’m getting at. 3 km northwest of the city centre you’ll find 212 bronze and granite sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland depicting the cycle of life.
© 2010 Steve Taite. All rights reserved. If you enjoyed this post please leave More >
A Lithuanian company Olialia (pronounced ooh-la-la) is setting up a holiday resort on an island of the Maldives – the resort would be managed only by blondes. The target date is in 2015. Critics say it is a method of selling sex but the company thinks otherwise. Giedre Pukiene, the managing director of Olialia wants to break the myth that blondes are not as intelligent as brunettes – they have degrees and are smart. The blondes would fly the airplanes and they will be everywhere.Though the concept has been criticized the world over for being sexist and undemocratic, it is More >
My friend Pete was flying home from a long conference. The weather was hysterical, heavy storms and an oncoming tornado threat. Even so, it came as quite a surprise when the flight captain suddenly announced that due to severe weather conditions the plane would have to make a non scheduled landing at Witchwotwhere Airport, 5 miles North of Pitts City. After landing, Pete was informed that there would be no planes out of there that night and that he should try and find a room at a local hotel.
Pitts City has only one hotel and when Pete reached the front More >
2. Read the airport magazine from cover to cover and discover yet another exotic getaway for less than $5,000 a night.
3. Splurge on one overpriced tuna and lettuce sandwich that is only slightly less expensive than that gourmet meal you wanted to take your wife to at the Hilton. Don’t attempt to try the coffee however, it is common knowledge that it’s fatal.
4. If you are in good shape, participate in the duty free marathon.
5. Attempt to snooze while your five year old twins use your limp body as a climbing frame.
6. Call your spouse More >
I have just returned from Paris, definitely the most romantic and stunning city in the world. There are millions of sites that will tell you how you have to see the Eiffel Tower and climb Notre Dame, but here are a few really useful tips for the more experienced traveller to Paris.
1. A large cup of coffee (cafe allongé) at a coffee shop on the street costs anything from 4.50 to 8.00 euro. Coffee at a self service cafe can cost as little as 1.40 euro. Good cheap coffee can also be had at McCafe or Starbucks. They serve great More >
On our honeymoon, my wife and I spent several nights in a small Parisian hotel on the Left Bank. The room was small, the bed springs dated back to Napoleon and the view of the sewage was really romantic. What was really interesting, however, was the breakfast. At the time, the French drank coffee out of cereal bowls. If you weren’t fully awake ater two cups then it was straight off to the morgue with you. On the first morning we were served an entire baguette with fresh butter cheese and jam and couldn’t believe our luck. That was the first More >
Taxi drivers come in many shapes and sizes, though it would be fair to say that the majority of them could easily fit the part of Tweedledee or Tweedledum. I have talked previously about several breeds of taxi drivers. It is now time to put the record straight regarding the over sixty variety. In a society where many law abiding (and several non law abiding) citizens find themselves unemployed long before they are expected to kick the bucket, it is only fair for our democracies to find them work. Unfortunately this never happens. Yesterday they were lawyers, computer programmers, politicians and More >
Many an British or American tourist has succeeded in making a fool of himself as a result of misunderstanding the minute differences between the different kinds of spas. Here, in an attempt to further international relations and help forward world peace, is our ultimate guide to luxury spas around the world.
The American Spa – a place where bored, overweight, married women meet, cover their eyes with cucumbers and gossip while their husbands are having it off with their secretaries at the Share A Ton Motel.
The French Spa – a place where bored housewives and mistresses sip Champagne and compare stories while their More >
In a different era, my mother, must to the embarrassment of us kids, used to return from every vacation with a souvenir ashtray from the hotel she had visited. At a certain time during her life she worked as a tourist group courier, which meant she listened to all their complaints and persuaded them it was not necessary to shoot the pianist in the bar just because he refused to play Speedy Gonzales. One evening, just before a group coach pulled away from the hotel, the manager called my mother and asked that they open one of More >