The Most Bizarre and Uncomfortable Dinner Party I’ve Ever Attended

I was invited for dinner not long ago with two women 25 years my senior. They are different nationalities to me and to each other, but one of them speaks English. I didn’t know them well, but I accepted the invitation because I thought what is life if it’s not about experiencing new things? IfContinue reading “The Most Bizarre and Uncomfortable Dinner Party I’ve Ever Attended”

My Take On Why Japan Is Skinny. And It’s Not To Do With Raw Fish and Seaweed.

It’s no secret that Japan has one of the lowest obesity rates in the world. Western stereotypes would have us believe that this is due to a scant diet of raw fish and seaweed. But having lived in Japan for nearly two years, I’ve noticed that there is a lot going on here besides diet. Sure,Continue reading “My Take On Why Japan Is Skinny. And It’s Not To Do With Raw Fish and Seaweed.”

Cafés in Japan: The Scandinavian Show Home or Your Dead Grandma’s Kitchen

These are the two categories. There’s no in between. (I’m leaving out the maid/robot/animal themed cafes of Tokyo. That’s a whole other thing.) So you’ve got to do your research. But that doesn’t mean taking Google maps’ descriptions as gospel. ‘Café’ does not necessarily mean an establishment that remotely resembles Starbucks in any way. ButContinue reading “Cafés in Japan: The Scandinavian Show Home or Your Dead Grandma’s Kitchen”

Things You Shouldn’t Do in Japan: Say ‘You’

I don’t know if people are aware of this but sometimes things are different in different cultures. WHAT? I don’t – Yep. For example in Japan, using the word ‘you’ in conversation can be rude. Seriously?! What do you MEAN? In the event that you need to direct a question at someone UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCESContinue reading “Things You Shouldn’t Do in Japan: Say ‘You’”

‘Japan never really had corona virus, right?’ – friends not living in Japan.

I thought I’d address the above popular belief and give a 100% FACTUALLY ACCURATE explanation of what’s been going on east-side. (Spoiler alert: we absolutely did/do have corona virus but hats off to the Japanese media for fooling the West like that.) So, it’s January 2020 and Japan gets its first confirmed case of theContinue reading “‘Japan never really had corona virus, right?’ – friends not living in Japan.”

Oysters: A Cautionary Tale

One of my favourite things about Japan is the food, obviously. For me, all foreign supermarkets are treasure troves of enchanting delights, but Japan’s are really a cut above the rest. Not least because oysters are a fraction of the cost here (and are sold in supermarkets). I spy them one day glinting and callingContinue reading “Oysters: A Cautionary Tale”

Me + My Cool New Japanese Friends

It’s taken all of 3 months but today I finally plucked up the courage to venture into a local establishment alone. Up until now a pervasive sense of awkwardness, fear and shame (‘I’m a Western idiot that’s gonna make you speak to me in MY language, because I don’t speak your language’) makes the prospectContinue reading “Me + My Cool New Japanese Friends”

UK to Japan: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

When I was 12 and I played a Pokémon game where cute, pink monsters swiped sushi off a conveyor belt with massive, limacine tongues. And from that point on I’ve wanted to live in Japan. Now I do live here and I can (and do) swipe sushi off a conveyor belt myself on a bi-weeklyContinue reading “UK to Japan: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

8 Really Important Things I Observed About Australia

Bacon / Ham Bacon looks like cooked ham in Australia, which is confusing and dangerous because it means that you’re that much closer to food poisoning, and death. Even more galling is the fact that bacon is placed next to ready-to-eat hams in the deli section of supermarkets like some kind of sick joke. AustraliansContinue reading “8 Really Important Things I Observed About Australia”