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Random Thoughts Part #2

Warning - this page is rated PG-13

To give you an idea of what we do, this is from one of our lessons that we teach the 10 - 12 year olds. Check out the third line, you'll have to open up the bigger picture to really be able to see it. (Later on, I'll also tell you the reason why it's not that bad)

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Everything has been good here this week. Our classes are trucking along, they are getting easier or maybe it takes less to prepare but Courtney mentioned something tonight that got me thinking. Court found a really good juice in a vending machine and tonight she went out to get it. She went to the vending machine on the corner by our house and it didn't have her juice. So she went to the one on the other corner and it was out. So she walked to the next block to check those two vending machines and there was nothing. So she went to the NEXT block to check the "vending machine strip" or vending machine corner (which has four machines on a corner) and she couldn't find any of her juice. The thing is there are a lot of vending machines in a 5 minute walk of our apartment, which before I came here I would have thought was odd but it is the norm here. You literally pass a vending machine every block. I suppose this way you will never go hungry or thirsty. However, it is considered quite rude in Japan to eat and drink in public. When you can explain that, let us know.

The thing is you can get whatever you want from a vending machine. You can get your typical water, juice, pop and food. But you can also get HOT drinks, like cans of tea and coffee, out of the machines (there isn't a stranger feeling than getting a can of lemon tea out of a vending machine and it being too hot too pick up). You can also get cans of soup (like Campbells Soup-at-hand, except in a pop-like can. We've only found potato and corn so far). Then you can find these machines...

vending machine.jpg

Yes. That machine sells beer and that is wine in the bottom. Right next to this machine was the one that sold hard liquor. The thing is the Japanese are so smart (or efficient) that in the top was the booze and the bottom was the mix. So no stop over's at BJ's one stop on the way home. And next to that one was the cigarette machine. They have laws here that you have to be over 18 to buy smokes (like Canada), but then they have these machines were anyone can buy cigarettes(this takes me back to the front lobby of Margolians circa 1988). I don't see how enforcing that rule works.

[disclaimer - this is the PG-13 section, so Martin make sure Saundra is in the room when you read this]

I thought the beer and cigarette machines were the best (or maybe the worst), but then one of our friends proved us wrong.

In Japan they have A LOT of Love Hotels (yes, they are exactly what they sound like, they have hourly rates). [side note: I actually had a serious discussion in one of my FTL's today with two students about Love Hotels and prostitution and if we have them in Canada. Needless to say, I taught them "hourly rates available" and "to look the other way"] You can always tell a love hotel because their names are usually just two english words thrown together and because of the curtains they have to make sure if you're walking by you can't see whose car is there. Also, Love Hotel's entrances and exits are also on opposites sides of the buildings so you don't happen to run into someone you shouldn't when you are coming or going.

So there was one spot we walked by every day on our way to the station with these curtains. We just assumed that it was a love hotel, so we didn't think any more about it. Then one Saturday night, our friend decided to take us in there. It turns out that it is a room with vending machines full of Pornos. That's it. There were about 20 machines full (actually, I think you could buy Back to the Future as well). They also had a security camera picture printed out and posted on the wall of some guy who couldn't wait to get home (think about it...). At least, that's what we think it was. It was all in Japanese. But, like they say a picture is worth a thousand words, in any language.

Because everyone enjoyed the toilet post so much I had to write a followup. I read in the newspaper (I subscribe to an English newspaper, The Daily Yomiuri http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/) last week about toilets in China. It was saying that the wealthy and elite in China are buying lots of the heated toilets seats. The problem is that these toilet seats use a lot more energy and water than a normal toilet seat. So it is putting a large strain on their infrastructure and resources.

Oh yeah, Eric and his uncle were at the Beach.

Posted by agc_cwm 05:53 Archived in Japan

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