Friday, 2 December 2005

One of the 課長 from the 役場 just came into the office and talked at length with me and my supervisor about 国際交流
Apart from putting me in a socially awkward position by taking the mickey out of やこちゃん, he tried to convince me that the Japanese intestine is longer than the 外人 one, which is why the traditional Japanese diet is more vegetarian (and proposed it as a theory why i have become vegetarian - due to eating lots of Japanese food, which has obviously made my intestine longer). This was based on a theory (which i believe) that as human intestines are comparitively long for the animal kingdom, we are naturally more suited to a vegetarian diet.
Anyway, thanks to mutant frog for starting to clear up some of the 日本人論 issues and allowing me to leave the computer and live a bit more of my wintry existence!
(why don't we hibernate, by the way?)

Incidentally, if that guy hadn't come into the office, i might have actually got some work done...


I step out of my apartment and sniff the air. Winter has arrived. The feeling of the day is grey in that way which says “I’m not going to get warm until March!”
I walk across the carpark to a soundtrack of chirping birds. Open the door. Step into the warm office. I say “Good Morning” instead of おはようございます because last month the town mayor asked that I speak English from now on instead of Japanese. This has created interesting currents of communication in the office.
I slip my timecard into the time machine, which reads 9:16 .. I am technically one minute late. Saying good morning to 中家さん, I sit down at my desk, on which today’s edition of The Japan Times is lying as usual. The headline reads, “Slowing Atlantic Current Threatens Europe”. I immediately think I’ll have none of this scaremongering!” The article describes the movements of the Gulf Stream, but also includes phrases like “European continent could be plunged into bitter winter” and mentions "the 2004 Hollywood movie ‘The Day After Tomorrow’". Although the article says that the effects would not be as sudden as those in the movie, the mere mention of this film is surely likely to forge a link with any fear lingering in the mind of the reader. Ironically, at the very top of the page, above the words “The Japan Times” is written, “ALL THE NEWS WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOUR”. If this is the newspaper’s aim, then how can its editors justify the placement of an intentionally fear-instilling article mere centimeters below it? OK, maybe we have the right to know what scientific reports have been published, but to have a headline like that (which is likely to make people who read it, especially Europeans, feel somewhat threatened) at the top of the front page is blatant scaremongering.