I have always been a supporter of leaving key services up to the central government to run. Services like the police, prison, schools, universities and up until now I thought the post office of Japan was no exception. In my mind the postal system here in Japan has always provided efficient service, despite being blatantly over-staffed. That was until last week.
I could delve into the standard arguments for privatization. How the post office here has three branches: postage, banking and insurance and how the insurance is over-priced for minimal cover and how the savings accounts of nice little hunched over Japanese ladies earn a meager 0.1% and are used as a private slush fund for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party – but that is old news and fairly standard knowledge here. Continue reading Why I Support Privatization of the Post Office
A friend of mine living here in Japan wrote this to me yesterday. Read it right to the end. It will chill you to the bone. You won’t be disappointed, and may even rethink a few things in your own life, or maybe make a different New Year’s resolution than the one you had in mind.
Well it’s coming up on another year here in Japan; hard to believe seven or eight years have gone by already. 2006 was a great year as was 1999-2005 here in Tokyo. I’ve got a great life here. Great friends, great job, great fiancée (oh yeah I got engaged to Kyoko last month in Italy) and low-stress which is key to having a great life! Tokyo continues to be a fabulous city. Continue reading Getting HIV in Japan – A True Story
Just this past long weekend, I had the misfortune of having to call an ambulance in Japan for my girlfriend, who began writhing in pain and clutching her abdomen – all the while letting rip some of the most blood-curdling screams I had ever heard. After 2 minutes of this I made the decision to phone an ambulance for the first time since coming to Japan – Anyway, I got the number wrong…
After ringing 110, the policewoman answering kindly told me to hang up and dial the number for the ambulance and fire service. Slightly panicked, I hung up without Continue reading Calling an Ambulance in Japan
Japan is a country that is obsessive about packaging. From wrapping goods in simple furoshiki cloth to the thirteenth layer of plastic on your box of evening gumboots, anyone who has had anything to do with Japan knows how they love to package things here. So it makes sense that they should have a solution for wrapping certain body parts. Enter the fundoshi (above).
Simplicity in design is paramount and the “wrap around effect” is really something to be experienced. On a sweaty summers day in Japan boxers and briefs cannot protect you from a nasty rash or “overcooking the goods”. A fundoshi on the other hand is lauded for its ability to “pocket” the frank and beans, keeping those future All Blacks intact and air-conditioned. Continue reading The Fundoshi – All What They’re Cracked Up to be?