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Reisverslag Some of Japan's intriguing conspicuities
15 mei 2014
Some of Japan's intriguing conspicuities
Firstly, I should mention that this list is, apart from complete in covering all oddities one might encounter in Japan, based on my personal and very subjective experiences. Some of my conclusions may be premature, incorrect or highly exaggerated but this list sort of reflects some of my main marvels so far.
- Rice. In everything. As a main ingredient, grinded to flour for baking, in sweets, distilled into alcohol, and even in animal food the ubiquitous rice powder does not lack.
- Raw fish and meat is delicious and not as fussed-about as in the western world. People don't seem to get sick or food-poisoned from it so, indeed, why worry? I'll happily keep enjoying the various kinds of sashimi and sushi, yum!
- Beans, beans, beans. Vegetable beans, protein beans but also sweet beans and a large variety of bean pasts/mashes. Quite good I must admit, although sometimes the rice dough filled with the sweet bean paste is slightly too much for me.
- Coffee here is drunk cold (iced) as often as it is warm. Hot coffee is of the weaker type, even in dedicated coffeeshops that are sometimes, well, let's call it traditional. And, strangely enough while there is mostly no added sugar in Japanese iced tea, most iced coffee is uncomfortably sweet. And yes, I do miss good espresso and cappuccino.
Road and traffic-related:
- Asphalt is everywhere. Even on the tiniest of tiny roads. Which is awesome, as its quality is generally at least acceptable.
- On the side of the asphalt there is almost always an insanely deep and well-hidden ditch. I am still waiting for the day that I really wreck my bike (and myself) by manoeuvring into one of them.
- While I earlier thought that the Fiat Multivla was the ugliest car ever, people here seem to go by "the uglier the better". More square must be more reliable, cool or better in whatever way, because I have never seen so many square 'koekblikken' as in Japan.
- Seat belts seem a relatively randomly worn accessory when driving a car. Also, operating your smartphone while driving is fine, not only when you're waiting for the traffic lights.
- While driving that car in one of the rare manual geared cars, apart from poorly sticking to the designated side of the road (what side?), shifting gears can be done at any desired speed, pretty much regardless the gears or speed. Car mechanics need a job as well, after all.
- Vending machines are everywhere. Did I mention the tiny roads? I think that wherever there is asphalt, there is also a vending machine containing cooled soft drinks.
- Books here in general start at the last page. Some may even have vertial sentences instead of horizontal ones, but there is no specific or predominant style.
- Convenience stores are ubiquitous, and often opened 24/7. Awesome.
- As there are so many Kanji that even well-educates Japanese don't know them all, there are special dictionaries to assist one reading the newspaper.
That's all for now. As I said, this list is far from being complete but I couldn't really think of any more, interesting oddities at the moment. I guess being in Japan for more than 1,5 month now has also made me get used to a lot of things. Cheerio!
Foto's bij verslag (2)
15 mei 2014 16:14 | Door: Li
15 mei 2014 16:16 | Door: Eli
15 mei 2014 19:23 | Door: Fritz
Hahah nice, rice! ;)
leuk je avonturen te lezen!
15 mei 2014 22:17 | Door: Maurice
Hahaha specially the kanji part amazes me every time.
I have a japanese friend and she explained that she often has to guess at a meaning of a kanji.
And the vending machines are awesome. Also can serve hot drinks.
Yes you are now familiar with japan.
Not just history and such but also people and some of the more weird things.
But I love it. And I really hope you love it too.
and for now...enjoy the rest of the trip.