Showing posts from November 29, 2009

I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so ...

Am I nuts?

A friend is coming over to the USA and I am getting him to bring me this: a Maneki Neko cat.

If you follow that link, you will learn that this beckoning/waving/money/good luck cat is a popular fixture in businesses in Asia. A raised left paw is meant to bring customers; a raised right paw brings money and wealth. This little guy has both paws raised, albeit with eyes firmly closed as if to say "Bring it on!"

I didn't have this background when I spotted it in a store near Gotokuji station where I stayed in Tokyo. I thought it was cute, but not worth spending $10 on to clutter up my no-room-for-clutter life. But then, I land in the USA, and I'm pining for this little cat. Ever done that? Wish you'd bought something and then gone to the trouble and expense of getting it later?

It has a double significance for me, as Wikipedia speaks of its legendary origins where I stayed in Setagaya-Ku, one of Tokyo's west wards:

The Temple Cat: This story goes that…

What I bought with my very first paycheck

After 30 years of keeping me fashionably late, my Golana watch has finally resigned.

As if pining for a time when there were more hours in the day, it tells me it's brunchtime when people are heading back to their desks; it's ready to wine and dine when I should be hitting the hay.

This tiny little watch - about the diameter of an Australian 5 cent piece - was the object of my desire for months, until I finally broke down and bought it with my very first paycheck: $A247.

$247 was a lot to blow in one go, let alone on a watch. It felt like $1500 feels like now.

I remember gazing at it through a plate glass window in Canberra, Australia, when I was 17 years old. The store, called Gold and Silver (I think),  jutted out from a very desirable little enclave of shops called Centerpoint, overlooking a pedestrian plaza. It was an exclusive little mall, selling fancy clothes by Aussie fashion icons like Nadjee menswear, Cue, and probably the best frozen yoghurt fruit salad I will eve…