Zenigata2 comments

Posted in: 8 essential tips for your next flight See in context

It's easier said than done. Last time I tried to get a Diet Coke from the vending machine on the North Wing departure lobby at Kansai Airport (the one who takes only $1 bills) while waiting to board my flight to SFO, and the damn thing took my money and didn't give me my soda. I called the number on the machine, and the operator said "Don't worry sir, tomorrow one of our agent will fix it"...

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Posted in: French say 'Yes, we can!' too, to ending racism See in context

Anybody who watched the military parade on July 14th in the Champs Elysées knows that, in every group of five frenchmen in uniform, at least three of them have their skin of a darker hue. Yet the presence of non-white among French elected to public office is almost negligible, and the French Minister of Justice Rachida Dati, who was born in a family of Moroccan immigrants, is the only non-white ever appointed as a Cabinet minister. Things are changing in Europe, but don't hold your breath...

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Posted in: Sex and the city: Tokyo's taxi drivers see it all See in context

I remember a case, happened over a decade ago, in which a customer who was picked up one night in Kobe sweet-talked the driver into giving him a ride all the way to Tokyo (600 Km. for a fare of around 70,000 Yen). After arriving in Tokyo at dawn, the guy tells the driver "Wait here, I'm going home to get the money and will be right back". Needless to say, he never showed up again...

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Posted in: Cheney accuses Russia of using brute force, intimidation over Georgia See in context

Pot calling kettle black...

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Posted in: The do's and don'ts of having an affair See in context

20 years ago I made the mistake of marrying a Japanese woman that was 10 years older than me (I was young, stupid and lonely at the time). After a few years of marriage, she started showing signs of obsessive jealousy. She kept sniffing my suit jacket and checking it for "foreign" hair after I came home from work, and when we were going out together she would ask me embarrassing questions like "Why is that woman smiling at you? do you know her?", and in one occasion actually went off to ask a girl who had the misfortune of looking my way whether she did know me and warn her to "get the hell of" her husband. The situation worsened to such a point that I actually ended up having an affair that subsequently sunk our marriage, because I thought: "Heck, if I have to be accused on a daily basis of seeing someone and being called a liar if I deny it, I could as well do it anyway".

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Posted in: Akihabara rampage foretold but lost among myriad messages on Internet site See in context

A few years ago a teen-ager (14 y.o.) posted jokingly in an on-line bulletin board a sketchy plan to kill President George W. Bush. Within hours FBI agents raided his home, brought him away for questioning and seized all the computers in the house.

Maybe that was a tad extreme, but surely it wouldn't have hurt the Japanese state coffers that much if they had bought and set up the same kind of software used by law enforcement agencies of other major countries to scour the internet in order to find terms and phrases in messages that hint to crimes being planned and ferret out the authors before they put their plans into practice.

Oh, but I forgot: this is Japan, "the safest country in the world". Who would ever think that there was such a need?

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Posted in: What measures are you taking for your own personal security when you are out and about? See in context

I never take the same route twice from house to work or vice versa. I can reach the station nearest to my office using three different train lines and/or trains, and I never take the same train two days in a row. Also, I stand back from the platform's edge when the train approaches and wait until the doors open to get close to it. Better safe than sorry...

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Posted in: As fuel prices continue to rise, the fuel surcharge on airfares is also increasing. What's your view on the issue? See in context

As long as there will be people who NEED to fly somewhere else for business purposes or to join their loved ones, planes will keep getting full no matter how expensive air tickets get.

Years ago I tried to figure out whether there could be a way to be a paying passenger on one of the thousands of cargo ships that sail across the Pacific, in order to get to the US West Coast comfortably without having to pay a fortune, even if it would take three weeks instead of 14 hours, but there were so many problems that I simply gave up. I hope that somebody will smell the opportunity and offer that option again soon...

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Posted in: Are young males losing interest in commercial sex? See in context

Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but could it be because younger Japanese men have a better awareness about human rights (and STDs as well) than older generations, and don't consider patronizing sex-related businesses such a good and/or healthy thing to do?

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