Diversity vs. Divercity

It’s not a typo. At the waterfront of Tokyo, there is a newly developed commercial complex called DiverCity Tokyo Plaza. The tag line, according to the developer, is ‘Tokyo Trend Revue, where entertainment, shopping, playing and dinning all come together’ or some like that. They have Old Navy, H&M, Coach, Zara, UNIQLO, etc. Well, in short, it’s just another shopping mall. Nothing diverse in its concept.

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Sandwich, Bagel, and American Freedom Fighter

When I first came to the US, I hated Subway restaurant. Not because of their food or service (I loved them) but because of the number of the choices that I have to make at the counter.

What kind of bread do you want? Which cheese do you like? Vegetables? Pickles? Dressing? With chips? Soda? – I just want the same Subway Club on the menu board!

The Subway in Tokyo is not like that. What sandwich would you like? Subway Club, please. Sure, here you go. You’ll make only one choice – all the other choices are already made for you.

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Bridging The Past – 50 Years Old Legacy

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an entry ‘Bridging The Future – Chennai Metro Rail Project,’ trying to illustrate how large-scale construction projects build the foundation of the countries on the growth stage. Isn’t it great to have modern infrastructure made of steel and concrete, which also provides more work to the local economy?

Then, a few days ago, I found an article on the Japanese news site saying that Tokyo Metro Expressway needs $12B to repair its old bridges. Oops.

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Creative Authenticity – Japanese-ish Cuisine and Ninja Conspiracy

There are a couple of good Japanese restaurants in Chennai. My favorite is Momoyama, which serves great food at a reasonable price. One of their signature dish is called ‘Tori no Subuta’ translating to ‘sweet and sour pork of chicken.’ Yes, sweet and sour pork made with chicken. The intended meaning is ‘sweet and sour chicken’ or ‘sweet-and-sour-pork styled chicken.’ I guess, since sweet and sour pork is a quite popular dish in Japan, they translated it in this way. The translation sounds funny for the natives. So what? It tasted fantastic and I would order it again next time.

When I’m outside Japan, I always was asked which Japanese restaurant is a ‘true’ Japanese one. Some self-claimed ‘authentic’ Japanese restaurants serve food which is too creative for the Japanese. I enjoy and appreciate the creativity of these Japanese-ish restaurants.

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Chennai Oil Shock

Tuesday morning at 7am in Chennai, there was a long queue of cars, tracks, auto rickshaws, and motorcycles at a gas station along the highway. Almost one hundred vehicles were forming the long line, causing a traffic jam on the highway’s main lanes. Considering the slow pace of refueling at the pump, it could take a couple of hours to get the tank filled, if the fuel supply miraculously lasts until our turn. Aware that our car would also run out of gas on our return from the office, we hopelessly passed this station and went to the next. But next five stations were temporary closed with a make-shift signboard saying ‘sorry no petrol.’ I started to think that I may need to take a train and a bus to go back home.

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