Episode 7: Shower for Your Butt

In the last part of our technology series, we talk about how Japan is hyper-focused on convenience but it ends up being severely confusing for foreigners who are not used to doing things the local Japanese way. In this episode, we cover

  • missing a utility bill payment

  • traveling salesman-slash-milkman

  • possible credit card scam, and

  • the wonders of Japanese toilets and bathrooms.

Here we are swimming but we look pretty much the same when taking baths.

Here we are swimming but we look pretty much the same when taking baths.


MUSIC LIST

Venetian Blinds by Ping Pong Club
Kawaii by Bad Snacks
English Country Garden by Aaron Kenny
I Knew a Guy by Kevin MacLeod
Enigma by Kevin MacLeod
Delightful Life by JekK

SHOW NOTES

This episode is the second part of our discussion about “Galapagos” technology in Japan. Listen to part one here.

Episode 6: A Spork for the Ground

When convenience fails: The ubiquity of vending machines makes this hibernating vending machine (in the freezing cold of the north of Japan) especially devastating

When convenience fails: The ubiquity of vending machines makes this hibernating vending machine (in the freezing cold of the north of Japan) especially devastating

A spork for the ground... jammed in your eye as you scream and run through a tornado of fire.
— Dru

We cover a lot in the first part of our discussion about surprising technology in Japan. This episode focuses on convenience and the concept of “Galapagos” technology. We talk about:

  • The inability to pay for bills and health insurance online

  • SF startup named “Bodega” (recently re-named to Stockwell)

  • The ubiquity of vending machines

  • Hot corn soup and diner coffee

  • Recycling culture and trash cans (or lack thereof)

  • Communal cleaning / neighborhood responsibilities


MUSIC LIST

Venetian Blinds by Ping Pong Club
Mizuki by Bad Snacks
Shibuya by Bad Snacks
Delightful Life by JekK

SHOW NOTES

This episode is the first part of our discussion about surprising technology in Japan. Listen to part two here.

Episode 5: Raging Lunatics

We discuss what it’s like to bike in Tokyo and how bikes are viewed fundamentally differently in Japan. We’ve found that Tokyo has city infrastructure optimized for biking and that our commutes are some of the best times in our day.

Yeah we’re going to die as soon as we get back and start biking in the US... [here] bikes are just raging lunatics going around.
— Dru
Riding through Tokyo on our mamachari with our dog

Riding through Tokyo on our mamachari with our dog


MUSIC LIST

Venetian Blinds by Ping Pong Club
One Summer (Spirited Away) by Ghosting
Minyo San Kyoku by Doug Maxwell/Zac Zinger
April Showers by ProleteR
Mizuki by Bad Snacks
Delightful Life by JekK

SHOW NOTES

This episode contains real recordings of children running around the streets in our neighborhood and the sounds of our bike bell (although the bike pedaling sounds come from the Youtube Audio Library). The video referenced in the show is Why Beautiful Things Make Us Happy by Kurzgesagt.

Episode 4: Dumpster Fire

Studying japanese in the morning while cuddling with a puppy is important to our schedule

Studying japanese in the morning while cuddling with a puppy is important to our schedule

Dru and Vivian reflect on the move and what went (hilariously) wrong in their move to Japan. We also talk about our three-day weekend in Kanazawa and how the trip was how we imagined living in Japan would be like.

There were a couple areas that were miserable... mostly and almost exclusively sleeping on a rug under a pile of my own clothes like just a walking, talking dumpster fire of a human being for a week.
— Dru

MUSIC LIST

Venetian Blinds by Ping Pong Club
Music from the Kanazawa Jazz Festival
Delightful Life by JekK

SHOW NOTES

You can learn more about Kanazawa and the Kanazawa Jazz Festival.

Episode 3: 30 Years Later

It's been thirty years since Vivian's mom and dad first moved to the United States in 1988. In this episode, we interview her parents about their hopes and worries when immigrating to a new country. They look back and reflect on their journey, and give some advice to Dru and Vivian about moving to Japan.

You will never have something you can never cross over, basically. Any difficulties at one point, it’s nothing when you look back.
— Mom

MUSIC LIST

Venetian Blinds by Ping Pong Club
Phife for Life by Otis McDonald
Marxist Arrow by Twin Musicom
Delightful Life by JekK

SHOW NOTES

The inspiration for this interview came from a show we watched in San Francisco. In Vietgone, the newest play by Qui Nguyen, there is a scene where the playwright does a funny, heartfelt, emotional interview with his immigrant father.