Monday, November 26, 2007


It was an old lady dressed in a red velvet dress biking slowly through the dried leaves on my way home from work. The autumn weather was perfect and the image of the cyclist seemed to fit so well with the scenery. I immediately thought, "OK, Floyd, you're gonna email people about this as soon as you get home." Upon arriving at my desk, I reconsidered. For one thing, who the hell would care about an old lady on a bicycle, and one that I did not even know or speak to, at that. I hadn't a photo to compliment the lone caption. Furthermore, as I sat in front of the Gmail "Compose" screen, a thousand other beautiful or hilarious or absurd memories bombarded my mind, almost obliterating the image of the peaceful cyclist. I had not written a mass email in months, and there was no way I could write about everything I have done since my last update, not without condensing my experiences to a size so small and vague that it would render them barely noteworthy.

I sat at my desk in a combined state of exhiliration, disappointment, and frustration as to what to begin writing about. The email was never started, nor have any successfully been since. As much as I wanted to jot down the little things that make my days enjoyable and interesting, there was no way to do so without clogging the inboxes of my friends and family with constant mini-updates. At what point does a reader's interest and enthusiasm become feigned, and then lost altogether. I needed a vehicle to publish the interesting things and experiences I want to convey home, without the hassle of incessant emailing. The blogosphere came to my rescue.

I thought of doing this before, but for some reason thought that it would be too complicated to commit to. Au contraire. So, without further adieu, let me welcome you to my diary of some of the most beautiful and weird stories and sights that I have ever been able to share.

Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu!



If there is one word that you will never use but hear ALL the time, it's this one. It is a welcoming term used by sales and service personnel. Everywhere from the restaurant to the clothing store to the hairdresser, it will be belted out as soon as you walk in. The skill lies in two areas, however:

1) How sensitive you are to saying it. I've had clerks sense my presence behind them and say it when I come within a certain number of feet. I'm sure there are sensors, but some might just have that ninja sense (what a waste to have to use it on, though).

2) Most importantly however, the true skill lies in how annoying you sound when yelling it. The key is to strike a perfect balance of noise, nasal and slur. It is debatable whether men or women have more natural abilities than the other, but I have heard some winners from both sexes.

My friend Jarrad and I have thus proposed a plan to organize a nation-wide "Annoying Irashaimase Competition". It will begin within each store's staffmembers, who would then choose a nominee to move onto the mall round. Each mall or plaza would then compete for city and prefecture semifinals, respectively. Then, the most highly-anticipated part: The Nationals. The most ear-splitting Irashaimases all in one room. All of them practicing to themselves, impossible as the notion of keeping an award-winning irashaimase to oneself is. Could you imagine crowning the most annoying irashaimase? It would be a Japanese milestone. Not sure what they would actually win, but the judges would certainly walk away with complimentary therapy and spa packages.

Yeah, right now it's just a seed... but we hope to see it bloom into fruition in time.