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The smallest city in the world...
Rating: ( 5.0 ) ( 10 votes )

Tsu, Japan
May 28, 2004

Pros: If you don't know where you're going you'll probably end up someplace else.
Cons: none

Well the smallest city name anyway...and by that I mean pronunciation.. (try making a t sound then coughing and your close)

If you dint know or didn't really care I am informing the general population that I am living in Tsu in the Mie Prefecture in Japan. (Tsu-shi, Mie-Ken for those Japanese amongst us)

Yes about a month ago I took up a decision to leave my beloved Perth and head north to the fair shores of Nihon/Nippon!

The rest is history.....

well not quite

I am living for the next year in a city with approx 160,000 ppl but most cities in Japan just roll into the next town or city so you get an ever spreading monolith of communities with the only distinction being council/government lines drawn up eons ago and ever changing.

Too my delight i am squashed in between the semi-burbs like urban hysteria and quaint old rice paddy fields. An interesting blend but quite at home in the land of contrast.

Too keep this short I will summarize my observations in piecemeal form and mainly commenting on some cliches.

* Prices: yes thing are expensive here but only if you want to eat junk food, go to the movies and buy cds and dvds etc. You can buy decent sized Udon noodle dishes for about 350 Yen or $4-5 or a Big Mac meal for 650Y ($9) or heaven forbid pizza 1000Y++++++. So you be the judge of what one should be eating. Seriously if you eating too much non-japanese food there is something wrong.

* Japanese food: what can I say but its sugoi!(great)..bloody awesome in fact and most Japanese i ask recognize this. From a massive survey I have performed 2 out of 3 Japanese people think the food is the best thing about their country. (ppl surveyed=3)
Half the time I just point at stuff and then take pot luck it will be edible and most times it is and bloody yummy at that.

* Polite: Yes they are. No arrogant assholes here. I will never lose the pleasure in being bowed too every day for just window shopping. Most Japanese I have met will go out of there way too make you feel welcome and actually seem like they are genuinely enjoying it.

* Bored Police: Yes I have had the pleasure of discovering this firsthand after misplacing my wallet at the local train station. After deciphering from one of the ticket operators that i should try the Koban (local corner police station) I was delighted to find them rifling through the contents of my little baby. What followed was something out of a bizarre cultural presentation set up for tourists benefit...numerous bowing on both parts, many arigatos (thank you's) and even a visit next door to the local mcdonalds to officially thank a staff member for handing it in. They even took one of my business cards...are they expected further business from me?? Anyway I left having known that I had given them at least one highlight to their seemingly tedious day of helping old ladies cross the street.

* skool girls: ok you wanted it and here it is. Somebody told me last week that you know you have been in Japan too long when you start to get turned on more by school uniforms then lingerie. hmmm as a little sick as this sounds it is quite natural in Japan as some of you may or may not know. Contributing to this is a high school age which goes to 19 and uniforms of tartan skirts (usually worn barely below panty line), knee high socks and girls who spend any vacant moment fixing their hair or make-up (20 secs waiting in line at maccas why not use my mobile's in built mirror to adjust that extension...). You realize that somehow this has gone too far when you hear real stories of business men buying used schoolgirl panties from vending machines in Tokyo and boyfriends pimping their girlfriends out.....enough said really.

* Vending machines: yes everywhere....except strangely none selling chips or chocolates/candy..i mean how much cold coffee in a can you drink. Oh yes beer is nice and you can drink it on the train, on your bike , anywhere ...now this is what we need for Australia day, haha go public drinking

* Gaijin avoiding: yes I don't go out of my way too talk to Caucasian foreigners which is apparently a real strange phenomena. I have no idea why when i wouldn't normally talk to someone in my own country just because they looked like me???why start now

* English teaching jobs are crap: yeh so what did you expect? You're getting paid a shitload to teach with no formal training in a foreign country where you don't speak the language....be thankful for the experience (ps. the kids classes are cool though coz they are so cute:))

So anyway thats all for now.I will be writing a short update on my hiking expedition and one on my trip to the old capitol of Nara soon.