Voyager of the Flattening World

Scribbles about my days in Chennai, India. This blog was a record of my voyage around the flattening world.

  • ‘Steve Jobs’ by Walter Isaacson
    January 24, 2012

    I guess I’ve missed the hype, but finally I finished this world-wide bestseller ‘Steve Jobs‘ by Walter Isaacson. Actually I had already added this book to the shopping list of my Amazon account, when the sad news spread all over the world on October 5, 2011. My slow reading took almost three months to finish ...

  • TOTO to Come to India – A Toilet-Bike Maker with Noritake Quality
    January 19, 2012

    A week ago, TOTO announced to build a plant in Gujarat for sanitary ware by 2014. TOTO, the top sanitary ware manufacturer in Japan, has an ambitious mid-term plan (like Kokuyo does) to expand its overseas sales threefold by 2017, when the company will celebrate its 100 year anniversary (again, like Kokuyo.) India is one of their ...

  • How Much is 50,000?
    January 12, 2012

    As recently wrote in the article “Japanese Gov’t to Export a ‘City’ to Chennai,” Japanese government, partnered with its private sector, is building an industrial complex with a capability to accommodate 50,000 residents. This sounds a huge opportunity to Chennai, but how big is a township of 50,000 people really? Here are two cities and one country with a ...

  • The Economic Times on Sunday – January 8-14, 2012
    January 10, 2012

    On my flight from Delhi to Chennai, I picked up a local news paper called “Economic Times” which I never read before. Maybe because it was a Sunday issue, the paper contained less serious news on business and economics and more light articles about the work life, which you would normally find in a weekly magazine targeting for ...

  • Japanese Gov’t to Export a ‘City’ to Chennai
    January 6, 2012

    Yesterday (January 6th, 2012,) the Japanese government announced their plan to export a city to Chennai suburb. They plan to initiate a public-private urban development project that includes an industrial complex, a residential area for 50,000, a shopping center, a golf course, a hospital and so on – at the Japanese quality standard. As you may ...

  • Celebrating New Year – on Motorcycle
    January 5, 2012

    “A Happy New Year!” shouted a young man riding on the third seat of a motorcycle at us driving behind them on the highway from the Chennai airport. The year of 2012 started with fireworks on the drizzly and humid night sky. We stopped at a gas station at 0:05 am, where the staff were ...

  • India at Your Own Risk
    December 22, 2011

    Indians take too much risk – answered my US-lived Indian friend when I was asking his opinion about a train accident, which killed a dozen people travelling on top of the roof of the train at high speed. Risks are everywhere in India. An entire family riding on one motorcycle without a helmet on a busy highway. A ...

  • Hohoho, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town – Which Town?
    December 16, 2011

    Two days ago in Chennai, on my way back home from the office, I saw Santa Claus. He was riding on the back seat of the motorcycle, facing backwards with a bunch of balloon and waving to people on the street. I was shocked as I never expected to see Santa in Chennai, where seems to ...

  • Siesta at Work in Japan? Yes!
    December 13, 2011

    You are in the meeting with a group of Japanese business professionals. As it is an important meeting, they brought their bosses and even their big bosses. While you are passionately presenting your proposal, one of the senior members starts to cross their arms, close their eyes, and face down (or up) a little bit. He seems ...

  • Beep, Beep – Sound Horn
    November 29, 2011

    The noise on the street in Chennai is deafening. Everybody honks. Cars have a high-pitched beeping sound. Buses have a loud, deep bass. Trucks are melodious two- or three-tone sound. Auto rickshaws are like a party melody balloon. Even if you are not driving by yourself, never-ending beeps would annoy you, frustrate you and tire you ...

  • Who Moved My Happiness?
    November 25, 2011

    The latest issue of Outlook Magazine, one of the widely published Indian weekly magazine, conducted a country wide survey on Happiness. It says 85.5% of urban people in India think they are either very happy or happy. Yes, 85. This is a striking contrast to what I saw recently in the major cities of developed countries, ...

  • Online Social Networking in Japan – Mixi, Facebook, and LinkedIn
    November 21, 2011

    Some of my friends posted an interesting flowchart to tell you which social networking service you should use in which occasion. What do you think? If you think it’s pretty good, you have a problem in Japan. The landscape of social networking in Japan is quite different from the other part of the world. Mixi = ...