Getting ready for x-mas

And now the full on Christmas season begins. The Japanese do not celebrate Thanksgiving, but they do make the most out of Christmas despite less than 1% of the population being Christian. I can only explain it as such:

  • Adopting Western culture/customs makes the Japanese feel modern
  • They adore anything cute (Santa and elves are cute)
  • They are the world’s greatest consumers
  • Gifting is very important
  • There is a sense of celebrating the seasons (with x-mas marking the beginning of winter)

The photo of the day was taken in Tokyu Hands, a large home goods/craft store. There is Santa (not fat) and Mrs. Claus (also not fat). Mrs. Claus wears a midriff bearing micro mini skirt.

xmas_02

Learning Japanese

It is just after 5:00pm and the musical chimes have just finished ringing. Everywhere, everyday in Japan at exactly 5:00pm a little jingle is played to mark the end of the day. Whether or not people stop working then is another story.

On a positive note, I scored 100% on my Japanese test today. I am also including a photo below. I bet you all (meaning anyone who has not been to Japan) think that Japan looks like this. I promise you, although this picture was taken here, nowhere in Japan looks like this.
oldhouse

First Hello from Tokyo

#10. Any immoral or unruly behavior will not be tolerated.
– from “rules to be observed when using the pool and surrounding area” posted at my apartment building.
Another great one at the subway: “any behavior that might inconvenience another person is not allowed.”
Might inconvenience someone? That kind of covers a lot.
In fact, the Japanese are in general polite and courteous, passive, helpful. Considering Tokyo is nearly triple the population of NYC, I guess people have to be nice to each other.
I am quickly getting settled here. The subways are efficient; the air is dirty. Glass faade skyscrapers boarder shacks. The food is delicious. A melon costs $35 (but they wrap it really nicely!) Someone described Tokyo as a third world city tied up in a first world bow. I see what they mean.
My visa has come through making me legal. I’ve started work at WestLB, a German Bank, which I love. Im doing corporate communications (since I am the only one in the group I guess it makes me head, right?). I handle developing a new corporate identity, the website, events, and PR. I currently sit in the bosss massive office while he is on vacation. His secretary organizes my meetings.