Nov 21, 2006

My Reviews of Japanese Stuff, Part II

Those Creepy Noodle Babies
I saw someone link to this randomly a while back before I arrived in Japan, and didn't think much of it. "Haha," I thought, "it's a weird Japanese ad." Well, these things aren't exactly cultural icons, but they're definitely a well-recognized logo. They're on stickers, key chains, signs, everything. They freak the shit out of me.

69 by Ryu Murakami
Ryu Murakami is apparently friends with (but not related to) Haruki Murakami, and his novel 69 is a fun, lightweight, high school story that takes place in late sixties rural Japan. You won't find any deep revelations or existential yearnings here, but the narrator is an amicable high-schooler who walks a fine line between pretentious and precoutious. He talks about movies that he's never seen, books he's never read, and philosophical ideas that he doesn't really understand, all the while having no idea what he's actually talking about. I think I met this guy at every speech and debate tournament or model U. N. conference that I went to. I think I might have also been this guy a few times.
Anyway, it's a lot of fun. And it has an art film, political stuff, and an amusing little conversation where two of the characters discuss something that never has any sort of ideology. There's a yakuza, some graffiti, and at one point a character plaintively and sincerely wonders what Che would do. Admit it, you've been there, too.

My Allergies
Since moving out of Eugene, my allergies have pretty much vanished. Nifty.

Japanese Style Curry
How come no one told me this stuff existed? I was familiar with Indian style curry (fun stuff to make) and Thai curry (mmm... Thailand...) but until I got here I didn't realize that there was a Japanese variant of one of my favorite spicy things. This stuff is awesome! Seriously! It's thick, hearty, spicy, full of lots of different stuff, and you can get it pretty much everywhere. Also, people put everything in this stuff. Chicken, tofu, cheese, sausage, fish, pineapples, veggies- everything. I'm now on a mission to find the most outre curry admixture out there and devour it with great voracious relish.

Sitting in a Bar and Arguing Semantics With A Bunch of Drunk Australians
This is loads of fun. Try it sometime.

1 comment:

Sydney said...

One of my favorite websites is the Cooks Thesaurus ( It is not only great for finding a replacement for a hard to get or out of season ingredient, but it's also a great place to learn about totally insane foodstuffs that you've never heard of before. Like "Stink Fruit," or Durien (Durian?), popular in SE Asia. They sell it at the Korean Market in Maryland. It smells like rotting onions. Cooks Thesaurus has pictures, which is also helpful! But you should check it out for possible exciting new ingredients for your Ultra Outre Curry project.