Sunday, January 8, 2017

Throwback Sunday: That Time I Went on an Apartment Hunt and Caught an Earthquake

So by now, most of you know that I used to live in Japan. One of the pains-slash-joys of the moving process is of course house hunting. Back in the summer of 2008, I was having fun, touring this decked-out new construction apartment, when a (non) disaster struck. See it for yourself (Warning - explicit language):

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Chinese Phood Trilogy

Yes, after all this time, I finally wrote something new. And the new stuff I wrote... is about a year old. Last year, I headed to Beijing, for no reason in particular, aside from having a good time. And that usually means having some good food. Just like China itself, Chinese food is always changing. And here, I document some of my culinary adventure, a mix of old and new. Read it in three parts, starting with Part 1 of my food channel.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day, Green Hats, and a Weird TIL

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This morning, I noticed some people walking around with green hats. Which I think is perfectly fine, but the Chinese in me always thinks of our good-natured taboo of wearing green hats.

A lot of green hats. I sure hope that it's got nothing to do with marital strains. Credit
You see, the phrase "wearing a green hat" is a euphemism for "cuckold", or the deceived husband in an extramarital affair. So when we say in Chinese that Mr. Wang is wearing a green hat, what we really mean is that Mrs. Wang's been a bit naughty. As you might imagine, the association has made it increasingly difficult for modern Chinese to literally wear green hats. Hence, the presence of any green hats is made all the more noticeable in daily life.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Is This How LV Cornered the Chinese Market?

I found myself on the homepage of eBay when this item caught my eye.

Yup. That's a Louis Vuitton Thermos. Now, before you wonder, I own absolutely no Vuitton items of any sort. Unless you count a very obviously imitation wallet that I purchased in China many years back. It was a piece of crap and didn't last very long.

If this isn't how the luxury goods giant conquered the hearts (and wallets) of Chinese consumers, then this is surely how they'll do it going forward.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Bit About Me and Japan

You might have noticed quite a bit of stuff on my blog relating to Japan. I wanted to give an explanation of why.
Me in Tokyo for the first time 1997. Yes, I was a fat kid.
For those of you who don't know me personally, I'm Chinese but also speak Japanese. I started taking classes during freshman year of college, and continued to study it for all four years. After spending part of every college summer in Japan, I also lived and worked in Tokyo for my first job out of school (eerily, I worked in one of the buildings you see in the background of the photo above). Thanks to the country's outrageously generous subsidy for foreigners via the national rail pass, I have now have visited more places in Japan than most Japanese people.

This is a short story of how I got started, and what it means to me today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Killing Them (Not So) Softly: BART and Your Eardrums

For anyone who has taken the BART in San Francisco, and for anyone who takes it every day, you know that these trains are loud. Like, really loud. In fact, if I didn't have my in-ear headphones, I would have to cover my ears through some sections.
For my own sake, I needed to know whether taking the BART would affect my hearing over the long term.
(Image: Wikicommons)

But just how loud is it?

First Week in Review

This little blog project just made the one week mark, and what a week it has been!

In the first seven days of writing, AJ got 1,400 visits and over 3,000 page views. Sorry there isn't more content (yet), but I've got to start somewhere.

On the Finance channel, I wrote about how I got started with personal finance so long ago, and why you're better off investing in your own financial education instead of line an advisor's pockets.

On Food, I started the channel off with an introduction to what Chinese eat to celebrate the first full moon of the year. I then did a two-part investigative series on fake Japanese food — and I don't mean those plastic models you find behind the glass in front of Japanese restaurants.

On Tech, I explained my reasons for starting a tech channel, and how I hope to dig deep into the tech topics and the startup world. I then did the complete opposite and go into full-on Apple Watch mania, trying to put the wtf-ness of the gold watch pricing model into perspective.

Finally, on Travel, I started putting up a photo a day. Each photo carries an endearing memory of the place that I visited, and I just love being able to share that. Here's the first, from Miyazaki, Japan:
Happy Feet.

Thanks again for reading, and follow this blog on Facebook me on Google+ (for the latter, that'll be a grand total of none of you).