Wednesday, May 31, 2006

stuff to read

Talking to other people made me realize that I haven't been broadening my mind lately. Or I've been focusing too much on Japanese and technical studies (although it never feels like enough).

So Dain's post on suggested reading was very interesting.

I have read Baghdad Burning before, but not lately. It's a well-written first hand account of life in Baghdad: "Girl Blog from Iraq... let's talk war, politics and occupation."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

french pâtisserie

I love living in Japan.

There's a new French pastry shop down the street from my apt, Le Pommier Salon de Thé. The pastries can also be found at Isetan department store apparently (possible only until the middle of June). After noticing the new shop half a year ago, I finally dropped by one day with a friend. We both got a pastry and I enjoyed a delicious cup of semi-sweet hot chocolate while my friend went for coffee.

The shop is bright and pretty, and the pastries! Divine. I'm a sucker for rice pudding so I tried the yuzu version, which was tasty but not as transcendant as the yoyo aux fraises, one of the chef's specialities. I am going back this weekend and getting a yoyo! The pastries are really reasonable considering how yummy they are. There's an expensive Italian cafe in Shimokitazawa which charges the same amount for pastries half as scrumptious and half as big as Le Pommier's desserts.

It's funny how inelegant I can be, writing about such an elegant place. Perhaps it's an inverse relationship? The more elegant the subject, the less refined my writing becomes?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Studying for the JETRO business exam

Less than 3 weeks left! Lots of vocabulary to memorize.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

5 day weekend!

It's Golden Week! The trains and roads are pretty empty because most people in Tokyo have raced off to other destinations near and wide. It's kind of nice to be able to sit in the trains for a change.

I'll be wrapping up some lingering tasks tomorrow, including brushing up on Apache Struts and cleaning off my desk. The day after will be devoted to some cooking practice. And after that, exercise.

I caught the end of a very interesting documentary by NHK last night. Fascinating in fact. They simultaneously filmed 3 locations around the world. New York, China, and a small island country called Tuvalu (a series of 9 islands). One translation of the documentary title is "Smoke and gold and the sinking island." Rising water levels threaten Tuvalu and its population's existence. NY brokers turn air into gold, by bartering emissions rights between countries. And China furiously churns out greenhouse gases. That's the surface, at least.

Frankly, I don't think the New Yorkers come out looking very good, but that's my opinion.