Voice of Bruck News Service

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Well Come to Japan

Friendly Readers: Sorry for the dearth of VOBs lately - get out the excuses log - I've been working on a rather involved entry on my favorite old town of Jackson, MI but it's not ready yet, and also another project has been consuming a lot of my spare time lately. I can't tell you what it is, according to strict instructions from a Chinese fortune cookie I got last time we visited Wu's Garden in Manassas, but let me just say this - if I'm not king of the world within 18 to 24 months, something has gone desperately awry.

For your reading pleasure, here's another vintage VOB which was originally published in June, 2001.

Well Come to Japan, Mr. [Bruck]


...reads the envelope containing the agenda for the week's meetings, provided by representatives from the host company upon our arrival in Himeji.


Your faithful editor has been off again to the land of the rising sun, enjoying the exquisite delights of a culture still reeling from centuries of isolation from the civilized world.

The vending machine at the end of the hall in our hotel is called "Joyful Time." It offers a wide selection of beer, cold coffee & tea, soft drinks, juices, and bottled water. Along the bottom, it reads, "We wish your tasty life present to refresh you."

But you were actually wondering how to use the high-tech toilet seat, weren't you?

One button "Operates the Bidet," according to the adequately translated instructions. This button is accompanied by a nonverbal of a woman sitting, with a water spray pointed at her jade garden (Japanese slang). Another button "Cleanses the Posterior." This one's nonverbal is a stylized gluteus maximus with a water spray aimed at it. I tried that one out. It doesn't really do much cleansing of the posterior. It just gets whatever you have there wet. I tried the bidet as well. I believe girls would benefit more from it. There are also some rather tortured instructions for the seat heater, including safety warnings, and an indication that none of the controls will work unless you're sitting down. And of course, the big red button "Stops the bidet and the cleansing of the posterior."

And while we're on the subject, Japanese people do not all look alike. Their names all sound alike, especially when they pronounce them for you, but their appearances are actually quite diverse. In our business meetings, I've found it helpful, in attaching faces to names, to write on their business cards rough descriptions, or people they remind me of. My collection includes, "Square Bangs," "Glen H.," "Peter Lorre," "Aunt Hazel," "Elvis hair," "Peter Lorre," "Rocky" (the flying squirrel, not Rambo), "Rimless Glasses," "Peter Lorre," etc. I had to quit using the fact that they reminded me of Peter Lorre, as it failed to serve as a distinguishing factor.

Lunch on Thursday was catered by Pizza Royal Hat, which advertises Fine Service and Good Taste. Our finely served, good tasting pizzas sported such innovative toppings as corn, tuna, asparagus, bonita fish flakes, eggplant, sausage (German, not Italian; and I have no idea where they might have gotten it), and baked potato.

Okay, here's the list of delicacies Bruck couldn't bring himself to eat

Boiled Fish Eyeball - nobody else wanted it either.
Little white whole fish with shiny eyeballs and intact antennae and whiskers.

Here are some of the delicacies that did go down the hatch (and stay down):

Fish Brains
Beef Sushi
A whole bunch of other sushis
Jelly donut that was actually filled with curry
Another innocent-looking pastry garnished with anchovy paste.

Gochiso Samadeshita, and Well Come to Japan!

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