how’s your Japanese?

Watching Taiwanese and Japanese (OK, fine, Korean) dramas made me pick up a few phrases here and there. They can be useful in breaking the ice but nothing more than that. I wish I could really focus on learning Nihongo or Putonghua but you need constant practice in learning a language. I have been a…

only in Japan: take a break, have a strange KitKat

I bought these packs of KitKat during a recent trip to Manila in orange and mint flavors. I know they’re not even close to the strange flavors that Japan comes up with. According to this Wikipedia entry, there are 101 flavors available in Japan, with a few of them available in other countries, like boring…

life is like a bowl of durian

I was transcribing my interview with KVS, the director of the World Film Bangkok, earlier for my next popasia column and I had a laugh when he wanted to change the lyrics of his favorite song: “life is like a bowl of cherries, don’t take it serious…” to “life is like a bowl of durian,…

Taiwan’s Beethoven trucks

The first scene of In Time With You’s episode 6 where Cheng You Qing throws the garbage out reminds me of my colleague LL. During the trip to Harbin, TV Boss found a piano in a Russian salon and he proceeded to play Beethoven’s Für Elise to an impressed group of journalists. After the impromptu…

quirky AsiaL Only in Japan… Best Jeanist

I still crack up whenever I hear “best jeanist” that they give out annually in Japan. This award has been ongoing since 1994 and get this, they even have a committee to select people who they think have taste when it comes to jeans and can actually wear them. OK, I paraphrased that part because…

quirky asia: who wants soy sauce cotton candy?

OK, strange thing I heard today: soy-sauce flavored cotton candy to be launched by Korean condiment maker Sempio. It shouldn’t be a surprise since in Japan, they have soy sauce-flavored ice cream (!!!) and candies. Ommo. KitKat’s only-in-Japan flavors were already too weird for me–think miso, soy bean paste, apple vinegar (ugh), and yes, they…

quirky Asia: Maru the cat

I have been spending most of this Saturday watching videos of Maru, dubbed as the “funniest cat on the planet”. Maru is a Scottish Fold cat who lives in Japan and loves boxes and paperbags. Watch his video here: I love dogs (yes Jay Chou, gou, gou, gou, gou). The only reason why I don’t…

of sun and mooncakes

Tomorrow is mid-autumn festival. And I am craving for mooncakes. When I was in Harbin just a few days ago, LZ took me to the city’s most famous mooncake shop, Lao Dingfeng. The shop, one of many branches, was right in the Chinese baroque block which we were visiting. The shop was full of people…