Tuesday, November 29, 2005

current ramen favorites

I noticed that I have a dearth of ramen information here, so I thought I'd update everyone with my current favorite places. Keep in mind that I adore とんこつ (tonkotsu: pork bone) soup, so I have a distinct bias for certain types of ramen. Still, I am slowly learning to branch out, so it won't all be about tonkotsu. Just most of it.

Also, I like tender, tasty pork (who doesn't?), and soft but chewy noodles. Al dente pasta I can understand, but not ramen noodles.

肥後のれん(ひごのれん)のひごラーメン:Higo Noren apparently has several shops but I've only visited the main branch in Shinjuku. The パーコーめん is the specialty, but I tried the Higo ramen on my only visit. All-around perfect とんこつ ramen! The pork was flavorful and tender, the noodles were the perfect texture, and the soup was delicious. The only down side is that the shop is small and a bit dingy. Not a place to go for atmosphere, but great for a bowl of ramen. I can't wait to go back.

天下一品(てんかいっぴん)のこってりラーメン:Tenka Ippin is a Kyoto chain which has a couple locations in Shinjuku alone. It's been reliably good, and wow, the thick soup is very densely flavored (this is not a healthy soup!). I like that, but people new to ramen might want to try the あっさり(assari) version, which is supposed to be light. I've only been there twice and I've gotten こってり(kotteri) both times. The noodles are the perfect consistency; soft but chewy. The pork is average from what I remember, and there is only one slice if you order the regular.

I shouldn't write these reviews when I'm hungry.

nothing much

My current project is wrapping up so we're just waiting for feedback from the customer. During the lull, I'm writing up my monthly report and studying some Japanese.

Yesterday was nice. I got a little Uniqlo shopping in (like Old Navy, but better quality), studied for a couple hours, and went to sleep early. The Indian curry last night put me out like a sleeping pill. Maybe it was the lassi.

Hoping to get my haircut this week, but so far the hair salon has been closed by 8pm.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Japanese post: new vocab

書留(かきとめ): registered mail
眺める(ながめる): to view; to gaze (at a distance)
景色(けしき):scenery (the reading of the second character always throws me because it's most commonly read as いろ)

Friday, November 25, 2005

the web is my grammar checker

When I want to check the grammatical usage of a Japanese verb or phrase, I first check the dictionary on my computer (ddwin is great). If there aren't any appropriate examples, I enter my phrase into a search engine and see if there are any results. If I get a lot of examples, I assume that the usage is correct. If I don't get any results, I try other permutations to see what people actually write.

It's kind of amusing what you can use the WWW for.

My first paragraph reads like a really boring set of if-then statements. I was just trying to be clear...

Second attempt to say the same thing as the first paragraph:
To check that I am using a verb with the proper particles or articles, I search for my usage, to see if Japanese websites display the same pattern. I'm going on the assumption that the more pages there are that use the pattern, the more accurate the grammar is likely to be. Of course, there is a margin of error, since not everything on the web is accurate. But it assures me that my grammar is at least not wildly inaccurate. (Double negative!)

I give up. Maybe I can write clearly tomorrow.

Korean bbq on Sunday! 期待しています。

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

hot water

I just noticed that there is an electric hot water heater under the sink at work. That explains why I recently noticed that we had hot water in the bathroom. I hadn't noticed the water before so I wondered if it had changed recently. Apparently it did. I wonder why the office felt the need for hot water. It's nice to have though.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

fear of loose change

My father has an odd phobia of loose change. He hates carrying the heavy things, so he automatically gives it away. While staying in Japan, he inevitably needs coins at least twice a day in order to buy train tickets. The alternative is to use a bill to buy tickets, which would give him even more of these dreaded, weighty coins. In order to help him get over his phobia, which he stubbornly refuses to deal with, I've started a tough love approach. When he asks me for coins, I refuse to provide them. It's the classic illustration of consequences.

"If you give away all your coins, you won't have any left for the trains. Which will mean you will end up with more coins. So you might as well get over it and start carrying a coin purse."