Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Japan (10) - Funny Engrish and other stuff

Noriko was outside Tokyo from Monday till Yesterday visiting some of her friends. The day before yesterday I helped Noriko's mother to replace most of the ceilinglights downstairs. It took some time to find out how to remove the covers of the lights. Once I figured out it wasn't so hard. Those were all round TL-lights and I totally replaced 8 of those lights. When I was replacing the lights Noriko's mother was getting ingredients for the dinner that I was going to cook. I made a Dutch dish called Hachée (pronounced hash-sjay), a kind of beef stew. See pic below. Noriko's mother and sister liked it very much. Taito our little two and half year old nephew didn't eat it because he already ate at the daycarecentre.
A little more than a week ago I made Dutch pea-soup. They also liked it, including Taito. He ate a lot of it and kept asking for more. For more English info about Dutch food and recipes you can check here.

Yesterday I went to Ochanomizu and Shinjuku. From Ochanomizu I don't know the exact Chinese characters but I would say that the name literally would mean the water of tea or teawater. Anyway near Ochanomizu station there is a street with lots of musicshops where they sell mainly guitars (acoustic & electric), but also other instruments like violins, keyboards and wind instruments. It's nice to wander around these shops and watch all those gorgeous mouthwatering (is this proper English?) and expensive Gibson-, Martin- and Takamine-guitars. Although compared to Holland it's not that expensive, because of the good exchange rate between the Yen and the Euro. I still find about 2400 Euro for a Gibson J200 a lot of money, but It's a little more than 70% of the prices that you pay in Holland for this model. Depending on the guitarmodel, prices here in Japan are between 60 and 80 % of those in Holland.

After Ochanomizu I went to Shinjuku station to check the nearby Kinokuniya (Japanese), a 7 floor bookstore with also one quite big floor with foreign (mostly English/American) books. In the past I also bought some of my Japanese studybooks here. I always like to check here. I found and bought an interesting and nice illustrated historybook about the battles at Kawanakajima. I wrote about this battle earlier in my Nagano part 3 post.

But the actual reason for this post and where the title (Funny Engrish) is reffering to was something I spotted on the way from home to the nearby station Oizumu Gakuen. It was on an outside barbershopsign. People who saw the movie Unagi (The Eel) know what kind of sign I'm talking about.

They use a funny English word for barbershop. You can check the pics and see what I mean.

It's a quite well known phenomenon in Japan. It's considered very cool to use English in Japan, but sometimes things get a bit out of hand with often funny results. There is also a website dedicated to all these funny Japanese Engrish with loads of exemples of Japanese funny Engrish.

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