Monday, November 17, 2008

Bon Voyage...

Im taking a few weeks vacation.Finally.Its taken a while and a mountain of paperwork,faxes and phone calls to get the time off.If I hadnt said anything at work last week and produced a fax I sent in August Im sure I would still be on the work schedule.
Ironic that the company includes the word "Communication" in its title.God knows what Alanis Morissette would make of it.
Anyways be back hopefully refreshed,Air France strikes notwithstanding,early next month..

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Flash...

A relatively cheap lunchbox for under 500yen.

Another manhole cover I spotted on one of my many trips into outer Nagoya.

Monday, November 10, 2008


According to the weather report last night on NHK the weekend marked the start of winter under the old traditional calendar.
Certainly its getting cooler at night and first thing in the morning.Theres a refreshing bite in the air.

Many of the local trees,at least those that have escaped the attention of the local council workers,are shedding their leaves or displaying their autumnal colours.
I bicycled past this old building yesterday.Its harsh dirty exterior is softened to some extent by the creeping red ivy which seems to have gained a foothold.

On the opposite side of the canal to the buildings is what appears to be an old abandoned wooden shrine complete with altar.The doors are locked with a chain and heavy rust encrusted lock.The whole building is ringed with sharp razor wire to deter attempts to climb the walls.
As there is a lot building demolition and redevelopment in the vicinity I well imagine that the structures days are numbered.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Flash...Matcha Latte and a Bento to Go

I recently saw this new Starbucks flavour available in many supermarkets and convenience stores.I found the green matcha latte quite thick and smooth.I was also surprised how sweet it was compared to other green tea products such as ice cream I have tried.

This fairly ordinary bento contains some autumn fare such as sweet potato and mushrooms.Nothing spectacular but typical of the seasonal bentos or lunchboxes that are currently on sale.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Strange Currencies...

Global financial crisis.Credit Crunch.The Japanese yen has been on a roller coaster ride over the last few weeks.Falling and surging against other major currencies including the euro,the U.S dollar,pound,and the Australian and New Zealand dollars.
Back in August the NZ dollar was trading at 80cents to 100yen.Late last week it fell briefly to 49 odd cents.Quite a difference if you are sending some money home.Quite a difference relatively speaking to your income earnings.
Its difficult to know when is the best time to send it home.Wait a bit and hope it falls further or send it back right away and hope it doesnt drop further.Hoping either way you arent left out of pocket.Laughing all the way to the bank.Unlikely.

Its the same delicate balancing act when it comes to deciding to convert yen into currencies for vacations.Late last month the euro was changing hands at 136yen while early last week it fell to 122yen.With such volatility its pretty much a matter of guessing and hoping it doesnt gain or loss too much once you have decided to sell and buy.