Friday Favorites #1

Is it just me or do we spend a lot of time on the internet, browsing through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, news sites, and really, just every social media App/site one can think of? I find myself easily distracted by the sheer amount of information around me at any given time.

Nonetheless there are those articles, photos and videos, that stand out, bring a smile to my face or start me thinking. Since I usually bookmark those anyway I thought it might be a nice idea to start sharing them with you.
Maybe they will brighten your day a little or start a conversation in the comments.
Maybe you have some awesome links to share, too?

Since I finally got around to creating a blog schedule, I hope that a fixed weekly section will help me strengthen it further and keep me blogging regularly. Even though the Friday Favorite will usually have a connection to Japan, I don’t want to limit me to certain topics. After all, the main purpose is to entertain. Just a fair warning: I sometimes tend to “discover” things that are known for ages and am then proceeding to show all my friends the “new thing” I found … I hope you will forgive me if that happens here.

And now, I present this weeks Friday Favorites:

Articles/Blog Posts

  • Love capybara? Now you can take a hot bath while watching them bathe! – Aren’t capybara absolutely adorable? They always look so relaxed and overall just like a big guinea pig to cuddle with. In Tochigi an Onsen will be opened this month, where you can take a bath inside, will watching capybara doing the same on the other side of the window.
  • Welcome to Japan — Where homes are thrown away after one generation – An interesting article about houses in Japan, that might explain why so many buildings look somewhat run-down, especially on the outside. Maybe it’s even an explanation for the missing insulation in Japanese homes? Since living here I really have come to appreciate the central heating we had in Germany.
  • Death by overwork on rise among Japan’s vulnerable workers – It is sad, that this topic is still does not get all the attention it needs from the Japanese government. Each year people die due to unbelievable amounts of overtime and stress at the workplace. It’s actually not that uncommon, that companies expect you to do unpaid overtime, up to 80 hours per month!
  • New cafe in Japan serves up salads in the form of gorgeous colourful cakes – I love cake and should be eating salads, so this restaurants seems to be the perfect spot for me. Hopefully the restaurant, which opened this week in Nagoya, will be so popular, that they branch out to Tokyo as well.

Photos

Miniature Pancake and Coffee

Instagram @my_tiny_

  • my_tiny_ – Another Instagram account I just started following and her pictures are really adorable. Miniature food is pretty popular here and there are many accounts dedicated to it, so you will probably find several others. But her cheerful and positive attitude and thoughtful comments to others stood out for me.

Videos

  • Things bilingual people do – Not a new video, but new to me (you see what I meant before, right…?) and especially the last point – Speaking an expressive language – is so true. In the beginning of our relationship I was always tense and anxious when my husband talked with his parents, because I always thought they were arguing.
  • 阿福Thomas – Is a point in case and the last weeks his videos have become hugely popular in China. Thomas is originally from Germany (actually not far from my hometown) and lives now with his Chinese wife in Shanghai. He recently started his own video channel (on Weibo I think, not YouTube) and in his videos he speaks Chinese and Shanghainese. My husband and my parents in law think they are very funny and were absolutely impressed with his language skills. I’m impressed, too, but even more jealous, since my Chinese skills are still … well … non-existent is probably the fitting word. Here the link to his video “So you want to marry a Chinese woman?

What was your favorite story/photo/video this week?

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17 thoughts on “Friday Favorites #1

      • Yes, many! A lot of us get asked the same questions, such as if we can eat with chopsticks. The question is a little offensive because many Americans can. Chinese food is very popular in the U.S. But we have to figure out how to answer graciously. I’ve also had to field comments about how wide my hips are from elementary school children. Explaining genetics is very challenging when I only have a basic knowledge of Japanese and most Japanese look alike. And there is certainly English students say where I wonder, “How did you know that?” but which pleases me.

        This woman works solely in elementary schools, and I was primarily in junior highs, but there are still many similarities.

        From being in Japan, even if you don’t work in a school, do you see any similarities?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I don’t have any teaching experience, so this part is interesting to read but has not the “Me too” effect. But everything related to living in Japan? Definitely.
        You wouldn’t believe how often I’ve been told “Ich liebe dich” (I love you), which had me startled at first, but was only because that was the one phrase they knew in German (^_^)

        Like

      • Okay, I just continued reading the comic and it’s a 100% yes for the Gashapon thingy. I LOVE Gashapon (*_*)
        (Though I try not to buy any because as a responsible adult I should know better than to clutter my desk with tiny figures)

        Like

      • Something I really relate to in the manga is the explanation of how cuteness is everywhere. It’s something I know you relish, but I’m not really someone who thrives on cuteness. So a lot of my time in Japan was spent looking at cute things and preparing myself to react politely to something I didn’t understand, or which I occasionally thought was creepy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I do love cute things and I think it’s great that you can like those things here even as an adult. But even for me is a line where it goes from Kawaii to Kowai…
        But I have the feeling that it is equally okay to express not liking cute things. Of course being polite is never wrong, but did you feel pressure to like everything cute?

        Like

      • Yes, I feel that pressure. Usually when people say, “Look how cute this is!” or gush over something and I feel like I’m supposed to join in, but I don’t want to. To be fair, I feel that same pressure in my home country. When people talk about how cute puppies or kittens are, or try and share photos, I don’t usually have a response.

        I think I file it under the category of “things I am expected to like, but don’t actually like.” This category expands to include certain Japanese foods, certain American foods, romantic movies, etc.

        A few years ago I read an article which suggests that (at least in U.S. culture) women become friends by having similar opinions while men become friends by engaging in competition. This resonated with me because I sometimes sense that the woman is asking me a question about my opinion, but the deeper nuance is an offer of friendship, and if I concede that I don’t enjoy the item she has brought up, it can be difficult to convey a, “Just because I don’t enjoy that item doesn’t mean I don’t want to be friends” vibe to the conversation.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I never thought about it this way, but I think you are right. I might have inadvertently declined this kind of offer more than once f(^_^;)
        Though I do like cutesy stuff, I absolutely understand what you mean. When I was younger, all the kids in school liked this musician or that band and always asked me whom I was a fan of. I never had an answer, because I always liked all the music in the charts because it was … you know … music. But I never found an artist or band I liked so much I considered myself a fan. So after being told for the thousands time that one just has to have a favourite band, I went to the kiosk and bought a teeny magazine, deciding that whoever was on the title would be my new favourite band. …A terrible choice in hindsight, but even though many didn’t like the band, they accepted, that I was fan of it, more so than they had accepted me being a fan of all the music that was played. People are strange sometimes.
        I have become a lot more outspoken about things I like and don’t like, but since I am living in Japan and have always liked Japan it is indeed sometimes difficult to talk with Japan fans in Germany, who have never been there. Some tend to glorify everything Japanese and it’s hard to tell them I don’t like this or that about Japan.
        Thank you for always making me think and see a different side of a subject (^_^)/

        Liked by 1 person

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