| Sep 27, 2013

When worlds collide

by Thomas Dillon

My Japanese language skills mostly stink. And always have. Yet it’s an odor to which I’ve grown accustomed. My excuse is that I came here to work, had little time for study and when I found I could get by, that’s just what I ...

| Sep 13, 2013

My day at the races

by Thomas Dillon

The surface of the coffee in my Starbucks cup begins its gentle dance, the signal to lift my head. No, this is not “Jurassic Park” and the vibration is not due to an approaching T-Rex. It’s Takadanobaba and the train station quivers with the ...

| Aug 16, 2013

Some words of self-introduction

by Thomas Dillon

Ask what’s good about life in Japan and answers always vary. One foreign resident’s passion is often another’s poison and you can count on similar divergence with what makes Japan difficult. Language, commuter trains, high costs, big bugs — everyone has their own particular ...

| Jul 5, 2013

Stressing on stress

by Thomas Dillon

The Internet is ablaze with lists suggesting ways to fight back against the deadliest foe of modern man — stress. Yes, stress. It will boil your blood pressure, electrify your nerves, scramble your stomach, ruin your happiness and lead you straight to the grave. ...

| May 25, 2013

The junkie and his fix

by Thomas Dillon

“Weird,” he says. “Give me something weird.” The menu boasts both fish sperm and odorigui — small fish you chew while they’re alive. But such food is not on his wish list. At least not anymore. My dinner friend has lived here for years. ...

| Apr 27, 2013

Carping on carp

by Thomas Dillon

Whenever you find someone tossing bits of bread into a pond, you have to assume this: Something’s fishy. “Fish?” the guys snorts. “These aren’t fish. They’re carp. Meaning they’re a lot closer to cows. Fat, stupid cows.” The water below him froths with the ...