Dispatches From The Front: Japan

26 Apr

April 26, 2012

Mr. Blog’s brother, Allan Keyes, is in Japan on a two-week solo vacation. He’s not totally alone; he is with a tour group full of strangers. I am going to be sharing his edited dispatches from the Land of the Rising Tsunami. What am I editing out? Anything that could get him into international hot water. And if you knew him, you’d realize what a task I have ahead of me.

Here are his first posts, fresh off a 14-hour nonstop flight.


[Editor’s note: Japan is 13 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast Headquarters of Mr. Blog.]

Greetings from the future! It’s FRIDAY the 20th right now. Tomorrow (yesterday’s) Powerball numbers: 22, PI, 21, 3 and 7,453 cubed. Oh, and the Mets lose. I can see it now (but disgustingly enough I can see the Yank game in real-time. BOOOO! Also, this Yu Darvish is kind of a big deal over here.)

Woke up at 6AM, YAY jet lag lol. The free buffet was pretty good though. The sausage is pork but still pretty tasty. It’s the important things.

Anyway, day 1 – free day. Gonna grab a cab to Ginza and see what’s what. I may try to get a cab to Chiba Lotte QVC stadium to see if I can get a ticket at the walk-up window around 6.

I’m just waiting for the tour manager to contact me so I know where top go tomorrow (Sat) If I don’t hear from this guy by end of the day I’ll be annoyed.

See you later Chief – stay out of trouble.

-Big American Man 


Dispatch #2

Dick Clark died? Cancel New Year’s Eve!!!  Now I can’t goof on New Year’s Rocking Ghoul Jan 1 will be much more boring.

Ginza was great, even for a tiny purchase they make you feel like a king over here. I bought a pastry to take back to the room- they put a freaking tiny ice pack in the box to keep the pastry fresh!!! It’s a mix of ultra cool and all of a sudden you see Pikachu and Dragonball Z advertising adult underwear and you realize it’s also insane at any given moment. But safe. I could throw my wallet on the floor and people would dive over each other to return it to me. The cabbies wear kid gloves, and the doors open automatically in the cabs. Bad ass. Speaking of which, I have one of those super toilets. The lid opens automatically when I open the door, swear it looks like a croc coming to feed. But I appreciate the heated seat and massager. Not so much the bidet but whatever. I took some pics, one of which I’ll send in a minute.

Lots of surgical masks on display around town. Hand sanitizer everywhere. Black suits and ties seem to be the business uniform in these parts. House  is odd dubbed in Japanese. [Editor’s note: The TV show, not an actual house.]

Japan league teams have awful uniforms for the most part. No Bobby Valentine ads- yet

Two amusing items: everyone waits for the light to be green always. Even if there are no cars coming they stand and wait. I’ve been following suit except one time the New Yorker in me took over and I started to cross, realized nobody else was walking and got mortified so I ran back to where I started. An old lady looked at me approvingly for fixing my mistake. No scandal shirt incident this time!!

The other thing was I was in a store and didn’t realize the amount of yen for something I wanted was significantly more than I had on me. Plastic to the rescue! Nobody there had to know I was a Baka gaijin ( stupid foreigner)

Hope all is well!


Dispatch #3

Red Beans are delicious as a filling in fried or steamed dough

Went to a restaurant called Fungalo Bungaloid. Delicious Italian believe it or not

The sumo holding the baby was a contest – two sumo held babies. An announcer berated the sumo (or the kids, who can tell?) The winner was the kid who cried the most. Seriously. THEY MAKE BABIES CRY FOR SPORT!

Met the tour group today. Nice people but kind of OLD. Two flamboyant life partners in the group and all they can talk about is gay marriage. Seriously. And I’ve never heard anyone complain about bunions until today. Now I’ve heard it at least 5 times. On the plus side most of them like me since I seem to remind them of their grandkids or something. (Except for the two life partners. No kids for them)

Saw a guy who was a dead ringer for Odd Job. SWEAR. And a couple of passable Mr. Fujis.


-Later Chief


To Be Continued


7 Responses to “Dispatches From The Front: Japan”

  1. Thomas Stazyk April 26, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    I look forward to the rest of the story. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that I lived in Japan for 3 years and every day was a WTF moment like the ones in the dispatches. Wait till he checks out the vending machines!


    • bmj2k April 26, 2012 at 12:49 am #

      Oh, I’ve already seen the photos. Simply wow.


  2. Thomas Stazyk April 26, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    PS–I do miss the toilets.


  3. zathra April 26, 2012 at 1:24 am #

    Did your brother see any of those amazingly human – like robots on display ? I hear that hi – tech gadgetry like computers & robots are almost like gods to them over there ( Maybe I exaggerate just a little ).
    I have also watched some anime featuring androids, but most of that stuff is major – league WEIRD. Several millenia of civilization, & a slightly bizarre modern pop culture.


  4. zathra April 26, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    Japan’s culture is a strange combination of centuries of tradition & weird contemporary popular things, like anime & a crazy love of robots. I hear that Japan’s robot population is HUGE, even though most of their humanoid robots are just pretty electronic marionettes / puppets.


  5. Mac of BIOnighT April 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Given my interest in Japan, this series is going to be a lot of fun for me 🙂 Japan is exactly the opposite of Italy, especially in terms of respect for the others, and I can tell you I do prefer their customs in many ways, even if I don’t think I could ever live there.


    • bmj2k April 27, 2012 at 1:25 am #

      Mac, down the road I am going to do a feature just on his pictures. Some of them are breath-taking, some will leave you scratching your head. You’re going to like it.


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