2018 / 01


Older << >> Newer


This journal is written by Kuma (Felis catus) and Kuma's owner Y (homo sapiens). We have moved from Japan to Australia in 2011.


  • rss 1.0
  • rss 2.0
  • atom 0.3

Log in

2017-11-17 21:58   Santa Claus is coming and Amazon is coming to town too

Y (Kuma's owner)

The same as other shopping centres in the world, here in Australia, there are lots of giant shopping areas. It's fun to visit there but I noticed almost every shopping centre has the same shops; McDonalds, Hungry Jack's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Sumo Salad, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and so on. Some of them, like McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken are world-wide companies and we can see them everywhere in the world. It makes us feel comfortable that we can taste food that we got used to. On the other hand, there is no special feature because every shopping center has the same retail shops. I heard that the retail rent price is increasing year by year and it's difficult to afford money for small retail shops. Franchise shops can afford the rent and even if one of them cannot make enough money, other shops will cover for it. Therefore, all shopping centres look the same. There is no variety.

However, there is an exception in Australia, it's Starbucks.

When I came to Australia, there were Starbucks in every big city and now they have gone. I heard that there is a cafe culture in Australia. Every city and town has a local cafe and people love them. That led Starbucks to withdraw from Australia. According to The New York Times article, the American giant bookshop "Borders" was rejected from the locals and withdrew, and people are paying attention what will happen to the next, Amazon.

Australians seems to purely like local businesses. In addition, approximately 60% of books selling at bookshops are domestic writers. Is Amazon going to sell Australian writer's books a lot like other local bookshops do?

Honestly, I like Amazon and I have been using Amazon often because their service is very good. I bought lots of books, miscellaneous goods, I also use Kindle. One of the reasons I use Amazon a lot is the arrangement is quick and I can get what I want very soon. Wait, there is one very important thing that Amazon cannot do, it's a delivery.

Australia is a huge country, as huge as the U.S.A. and less people. As I wrote before, the distribution system network has its problems. I cannot tell if Amazon will do well or not.
I will see what happens.

| | Category Misc.

2017-11-08 21:05   The Minister of Finance in the family

Y (Kuma's owner)

There is plenty of information about Japan on the internet, books and TV. I look at it from a Japanese point of view and some of them are incorrect. Today, I'm going to introduce about common Japanese family's customs that most foreigners don't know. It's the Finance Minister at home.

Sometimes, foreigners say that Japanese women are in a weak position. Maybe it can be said depending on a situation but when they say about money, the circumstances are different.

In Japan, the wife is in charge of the family budget. It might be changing with the times but still lots of wives have the right to make decisions about using money. Long ago, at the time when people got their salary by cash, the employer put cash into an envelope and gave it to his employees. The envelope was of course sealed. So, people said that a husband who brought an envelope that was sealed was a paragon of a husband. That meant a husband who did not sneak money from the envelope was a nice husband. I think you already can guess who has the right to open the envelope, it's the wife.

Maybe you are wondering how husbands get their pocket money. Usually, the wife decides how much money her husband can use. It's the same as children. The Japanese husband gets pocket money from his wife. Therefore, people ironically call wives the Minister of Finance. When I was a kid, every family had a Minister of Finance. The numbers of households in which both partners work have been increasing lately, so the circumstances might be changed to some extent but I think this custom still remains strong.

I remember my childhood when my family went out and had a meal at the restaurant, my mother paid for the meal every time. I thought it was a natural thing to do. However, one day when I was watching an American movie on TV, I saw a man pay money and I felt a bit strange.

I know now most (or all countries except Japan?) countries have the opposite custom of Japanese. If you are not Japanese, maybe you are surprised reading my blog. On the internet, I found an article that male foreigners who live in Japan and know about Japanese customs well say Japanese women are nice but they believe that they can control the money, so it's not a good idea to get married with them. Foreigners seem that they don't want to receive pocket money from their wives. If you are considering marrying a Japanese woman, don't change your mind by reading my blog.

Me? Of course, I'm the Minister of Finance.

| | Category Misc.

2017-10-23 22:21   The requirements to be an Australian citizen

Y (Kuma's owner)

I had been paying attention to the citizenship test and English ability test which were considered to be mandatory to people who wanted to be an Australian citizen.
I heard that the Australian government is planning to demand university-level English to applicants. I didn't know exactly how much score would be needed, for instance on IELTS, and looked for news and found that the government were considering to achieve a minimum level of "competent".
"Competent" was still a blurry image to me and I looked for the information again and found that it's level 6 or 6.5 score of IELTS because many Australian universities require a minimum overall IELTS score of 6 or 6.5. It's a bit high for people who come from non-English speaking countries.

Now I'm writing this blog in English and wondering how much score of writing category of IELTS I am able to get?

Australian Citizenship Test

However, I heard the news that this proposal was rejected recently. I think I'm going to take the citizenship test in the future. The Japanese government doesn't allow to have dual citizenship, so if I got Australian citizenship, that means I will lose Japanese citizenship. Most Japanese who live in Australia keep Japanese citizenship for the reason that they cannot keep dual citizenship. If I could, I would like to keep both citizenship but if it's not allowed even in the future, I would choose Australian citizenship because my base of life is here, Australia.

I heard the news that Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel prize for literature. He was born in Japan and grew up in the United Kingdom. He said that he had to abandon Japanese citizenship by the reason I wrote above. People who abandoned Japanese citizenship are increasing for several reasons.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to my friends' home party. There, one of my friends gave me several Australia quizzes. It was a good opportunity to learn about Australia but on the other hand I realised that ironically Australian friends couldn't answer some of the questions.

I like quizzes and was curious about the citizenship test, therefore I bought the book literally titled "Australian Citizenship Test Practice Questions." Unfortunately, there are lots of political questions which I'm not good with. It seems not easy to get a high score without studying but I can understand it because it's the citizenship test, if it's too easy I would be surprised.

After ten years later, I wonder what kind of society we will have. So many people are moving beyond the borderline recently and the world seems to be greatly changing. I hope that everyone will have a peaceful life regardless of nationality.

I hope the Japanese government will change the regulation and will allow dual citizenship in the future.

| | Category Misc.