| Feb 11, 2012

A sure way to get rid of a cold

Have you ever thought about where colds come from? Where they start? I was talking to my neighbor the other day and mid-sentence, started coughing. “It’ll take a month to get over that cough,” she told me. That’s when I knew who had given ...

| Jan 28, 2012

Watching Nishikori Down Under

All Japan was watching as Kei Nishikori, the first Japanese tennis player to make it to the quarterfinals in a Grand Slam since Shuzo Matsuoka at Wimbledon in 1995, took on the No. 4 seeded Brit, Andy Murray, at the Australian Open Wednesday night. ...

| Jan 21, 2012

Hold the plastic grass — I want the real stuff

Holding the kama (scythe) at the hilt, I tore into the grass. This is the way we cut grass on the island. Not many people actually have grass, and I cherish my small 2 sq. meter patch. My neighbor Kazu-chan, who was watching me ...

| Jan 14, 2012

Reflections on being an expat

The hairstylist exclaims, “Wow, you live in Japa’an!” — pronouncing the word as if it was a diphthong. I am home for a friend’s wedding, and getting my hair cut. “How exciting!” the hairstylist says, which really means she thinks I must be a ...

Confessions of a beer lover on the New Year

| Jan 7, 2012

Confessions of a beer lover on the New Year

So, how’s your New Year’s resolution coming along? “The what?” you say? Given up already, have you? Well, I haven’t given up mine. And so enthusiastic am I that I’ve already completed three weeks of my resolution even though we’re only one week into ...

| Dec 24, 2011

Politeness beyond words

We all know the Japanese are “very polite.” But being polite goes beyond just saying excuse me or thank you or holding the door open for someone. Let’s start with the word “teinei,” or “polite,” in Japanese. Teinei goes beyond the English word “polite” ...

| Dec 17, 2011

Herbivorous men, where's the beef?

My single Japanese girlfriends complain that there are no interesting guys out there. Could they be right? It seems that these days the average Japanese guy is, well, you know, kinda boring. Kinda quiet. Nothing wrong with being quiet of course, especially if you ...