Tag Archives: culture clash

Dispatches From The Front: Japan, Part 2

2 May

May 2, 2012

This is the next set of selections from Allan Keyes, my brother, who is on a ten-day tour of Japan. Like last week’s installment, I’ve edited out all references to opium smuggling and multiple geisha madness.


Dispatch #4

Busy day today:

1- Took bullet train to Nagano

2- Saw the Zenkoji Temple

3- Had traditional Sukiyaki lunch (we stir fry the meat on the hot rock and dip it in broth. Yummy)

4- MONKEYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ZOMG ELEVENTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5- Chestnut Ice Cream (with a corn flake base) delicious



Dispatch #5

SUBJECT: Tastes like it sounds

-Saw Matsumoto Castle today.  AWESOME

-Ate soba noodle lunch. DELICIOUS

-Saw a museum with old drawings. MEH

-Saw a wasabi farm. NICE! Made our own pickled wasabi.  FUN BUT IT CAME OUT FAIL. Ate Wasabi Ice Cream. Suprisingly good.

-We have traditional robes in our room, we’re wearing them to dinner. Hilarity ensues, I’m sure. Later on I’m going to the Osan, which is the hot springs baby.

In the meantime, if you open the pic you understand the subject of this email.

Mets suck!


Dispatch #6

I ate sushi and went in the public hot spring bath.  It was great.

You know what I said when I walked into the hot springs? “Me big American man”

[Editor’s note: The public hot spring baths are nude only]


Dispatch #7

I’ve been eating like a pic and LOVING it 🙂  In fact, as I write this I’m watching Hanshin Tigers vs Hiroshima Carp while eating a bag of “cut chip style potato product”

As nuts as the cities are here – and they are nuts – this country is massively beautiful. Remember the film “American Beauty” where the kid is saying how there’s so much beauty in things like a plastic bag swirling in the wind? He’s a jackass who’s full of shit. If he ever saw some of these gardens he’d take one look at that plastic bag and want to smack whoever littered.


The Editor’s and Staff of Mr. Blog’s Tepid ride would to thank Mr. Allan Keyes for the generous permission to use his emails in this blog, which I am sure he will give as soon as he gets home and reads this.

Beginning tomorrow and continuing next week, a special edition series of Picture Postcard will spotlight some of his best Japan pictures, ten each week.

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

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