Mexican

Is that a Mexican skull with Japanese clouds and light rays?

mexican_japanese_tattoo_inkrat

This friendly young guy reminded me that even in Japan, “tattoos are not a crime.” I love how his shoulder piece combines Mexican and Japanese motifs. At Ink Rat in Koenji.

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Straight or gay fashion?

More street fashion for you, dear readers.

After almost two years living in Tokyo, I am still confused by fashion markers. Here we have shocking pink running shoes, contrasting neon colors, and a single-sex group of young guys. I thought I had finally learned that all those markers were signs of heterosexuality in Japan. However, the young Japanese-American couple I was with (and later the husband) are convinced that these guys are gay. For them, the tip-off is the Mexican wrestler backpack. Go figure!

Churro leaves bad taste

Am I bad, or is this photo disturbing? This blond child drummer is selling churros at a new fast-food pan-Asian noodle restaurant in Nakano Sun Mall.

The cultural confusion– Mexican-Aryan-Asian– combined with the ecstatic expression, pre-pubescent model, and Xmas theme is more than I can take.

The husband predicts the restaurant will not last more than a few months.

Novel street festival food

Novel street festival food

After a few street festivals, you think you’ve experienced the full range of street festival foods: hot dogs, okonomiyake, yaki soba, chocolate bananas, cotton candy, plum sweets, takoyaki, and increasingly kabab (what we would call shwarma). The recent festival we attended had some novelties including Mexican tacos and churros, and even bagel dogs.

Novel street festival food

The churros had an unauthorized Disney tie-in. The bagel dogs were surprisingly spicy and delicious.

Novel street festival food

I survived swine flu

In Narita with face mask

For work, I was required to leave the safety and comfort of Japan for the unknowable dangers of the US. Media and corporate “risk managment” departments had warned of the grave dangers of traveling to Canada and the US, while many workers have been outright forbidden to visit Mexico because of the terrible risk of swine flu.

My goal was to wear my face mask for the entire 17 day trip. I started by wearing it in the Narita airport in Japan. No one was at all surprised to see a passenger with a face mask there. If anything, I feel it makes me look more Japanese. I kept it on until passing through immigration and customs in the US.

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