OMG. It’s been almost 2 years since I confessed my strange attraction to Cindy McCain. You can see that as her husband looks fuglier and fuglier, Cindy just looks younger and blonder. How come her beer millions can only buy beauty for one of them?!
Strange but sexy image
This image may be trying to make some environmental statement. Shallow me just finds it sexy and more than a little moe.
“Decent” apartment building
The English language names of Tokyo apartment buildings are funny. So few have Japanese names. Whether upmarket or downmarket, the names are often so strange. Who can forget “Cram Place“?
This is one of my most recent favorites: the upscale “Park House Decent” building. Have you seen any funny building names in Tokyo?
An infinity of teased male hair
This subway poster caught my attention. I don’t now what is more impressive: the immaculately teased hair, the strange expressions, the apparent lasciviousness, or the vision of one never-ending series of detached heads. The ad is for Lotte’s Acuo, perhaps a breath mint. Maybe my dear readers can identify the model?
Swine flu hits Japan
The husband says I look “ayashii” (あやしい), not to be confused with the boy band “Arashi” (嵐, literally Storm), a popular boy band. No, I look suspicious. Better strange looking than sorry, I think.
The towel and sunglasses mark the arrival of summer. And the mask, well, Japan has just recorded over 100 swine flu cases since Friday, making it global #4 after Mexico, the US, and Canada.
So “ayashii ojiisan” went in this get-up on the JR, and to my very first sumo match. At the entrance, we were offered liquid hand sanitizer. Here’s another image.
Our front door
One of the strangest features of nearly all Japanese middle class apartments are their doors– typically metal, short and oddly un-residential to my eyes. These doors define residential living here, along with hallways that are open to the elements, and endless rows of symmetrical fluorescent hall and stairwell lighting visible from the streets.
I was reminded of this when my American artist friend who lives in Beijing and is in Japan for a 2 month artist residency told me about her strange Yokohama apartment door. She didn’t realize how typical and pervasive this door is.
What do you think it looks like? Sometimes I feel like it’s a prison, a submarine, an industrial farm. More recently, these doors seem normal and unremarkable.
Home security guard (自宅警備員)
My “chotto hen” (sort of strange) sensei Bangin taught me a useful word for someone who stays home too much glued to the internet: Home Security Guard (自宅警備員, jitaku keibi’in). Most of my classmates at the ceramic studio hadn’t heard it before.
自宅警備員 is a replacement for NEET (not in education, employment or training) and the older phrase, 引きこもり(hikikomori), recluses who never leave their rooms. As Bangin explains, a home security guard mostly guards the computer screen, and has less responsibilities than a “home-maker.”
I guess I am a part-time 自宅警備員.