Category Archives: pop culture

Japanese Sewer Covers: The Trading Card Edition. Seriously.

Oh, Japan, you weird, endlessly fascinating archipelago.  In one moment, you’re on top of the world, donating memorable antagonists to such movies as Gung Ho, and snapping up coal mines in such regions as Manchuria.  万歳 (ばんざい・🙌), banzai! Next, however, … Continue reading

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Sweet! Potatoes in Kawagoe, Japan

Kawagoe (川越), a roughly 30-60 minute ride from major train stations throughout Tokyo, is also known affectionately known as Koedo (小江戸/Little Edo), whereas Edo refers to Tokyo’s former name.  As Kawagoe made it through World War II only receiving minor … Continue reading

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Coins are Obnoxious

Coins are obnoxious.  It’s not their fault…no, no, it’s because governments ’round the world can’t resist weighing down our jeans or handbags – or not, as you’ll see shortly – with coinage.  Is it in deference to those of us … Continue reading

Posted in (Inhuman) Nature?, East & Southeast Asia, Money, North America (non-NYC), pop culture, South America, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, Southwest Asia/Middle East & North Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Moscow’s Quirky Vending Machines, Part Dva

I really thought Japan had the monopoly on weird vending machines, but Moscow, Russia sits comfortably in second place, tied with China. Since I’ve written about Russian vending machines once before, it’s about time we learn how to read – … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Food & Drink, pop culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Product Review: Tauranac Press New York Maps

Disclaimer: In exchange for writing a review about Tauranac Press, I received an assortment of books and maps. In celebration of the 111th anniversary of the New York subway, on October 27th, I attended a subway map discussion at The … Continue reading

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Look Down on Us: Japanese Sewer Covers (Many Photos)

If memory serves, my first unusual encounter with a Japanese person was at Yellowstone National Park in 1995.  He came up to my family, asked to take a picture with us, and then proceeded to photograph a garbage bin. Not … Continue reading

Posted in East & Southeast Asia, Human Nature, Japan, Languages, pop culture | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Potent Packaging: Hey China, Look at Me!

  I couldn’t find an adapter for my recent trip to Russia, so I went to a local discount store in Manhattan to get one. I didn’t end up buying this one – besides, if you wander around Broadway in … Continue reading

Posted in China & Hong Kong, East & Southeast Asia, New York City, pop culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments