2017 / 05


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


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2017-05-27 05:39   Knowing each other

Y (Kuma's owner)

Long ago when I was young, I got a working holiday visa and visited Australia. At the time, Japan recognition was not high. Most people knew that Nissan and Toyota are Japanese companies but they seemed not to know about Japan. For example, when I was asked where I came from, I answered I came from Tokyo, then an Aussie lady said to me that she has a Thai friend too. She believed that Tokyo was located in Thailand.

At the time, common people didn't know about Japan, therefore Japanese food wasn't popular at all. There were several Japanese restaurants in Sydney and most customers were Japanese businessmen who worked for Japanese companies in Australia. Now, Sushi restaurants are everywhere, the differences between at the time and nowadays are remarkable. Common Australians are getting used to the taste of soy sauce and I can buy Japanese soy sauce at the local supermarket even though I live in a remote area. Once people got used to the taste of soy sauce, it seems that the other Japanese dishes are easily acceptable. There are several Japanese restaurants and I heard that most customers are locals, not Japanese businessmen.

Japanese food in Australia

As the recognition of Japan is getting high, the number of Australian tourists in Japan is also increasing. It depends on the foreign exchange rate but the visitors to the famous ski resort at Niseko are mostly Australian. I heard that the rate of Australian tourists at Niseko is higher than Japanese. The prices in Australia are high, and also the prices in the Niseko area went high. Australians get used to the high prices and they think the restaurants' prices at Niseko are reasonable but Japanese don't think so. This is one of the reasons that Japanese don't visit Niseko a lot.

Even though most Australians' purpose is skiing, people visit other cities in Japan as well and have a chance to communicate with local Japanese, and I think that is good to know each other. What is more, lots of Australian students learn Japanese at school and some Australians who I met speak Japanese fluently. I think the distance between Australia and Japan is getting closer.

In the economic aspect, Australia and China are very close. I think there are many Australians who can speak Chinese well like former prime mister Kevin Rudd. Most Japanese cannot speak English well, what's the difference?

Now, I'm not misunderstood that I eat raw fish (not sliced fish) from the head, people know what Sushi is like now. On the other hand, sometimes I hear that Japanese say there are many flies in Australia. I think the Cork Hat influenced the image of flies in Australia. Actually, there aren't many flies in towns. There are still some that misunderstand each other.

It will take time but both nations are getting to know each other little by little. The day that Australians eat Sukiyaki for dinner and Japanese spread Vegemite on a slice of toast in the morning are not far away.

| | Category Misc.

2017-05-25 03:12   The hurdles of handicrafts

Y (Kuma's owner)

I love miniatures. Whatever they are, I love miniatures; houses, cars, food, furniture and plants. I hadn't tried making miniatures before and now I really think that I should have made miniatures when I was in Japan because there are lots of materials and tools in Japan. Not only miniatures, there are not many choices of materials and tools for crafts here in Australia, especially in remote areas. I think it is because the population of Australia is not large. It cannot be helped that the supply decreases if there is little demand.

miniature furniture

However, there is another reason. One day I heard that the younger generation people don't make things using their hands compared with older generations. A few years ago, I attended a gathering of handicrafts at RSL. There were more than ten people and most of them were over sixty. The people who are the older generation got used to making things. I guess that it wasn't easy to buy cheap things when they were young, like nowadays. Now, there are so many shops which sell cheap products that were made overseas. People don't make things if they can buy cheap things easily. I can find amazing cheap products that if I made them in Australia, the cost of materials will be more expensive than the cost of product in the cheap shops.

The prices in Australia are high, therefore it will be expensive if I make something. I can buy cheap products everywhere but cannot buy cheap materials and tools for handicrafts. This is my problem making miniatures. I sometimes see the websites of Japanese shops and I can find so many options with cheap prices. In Japan, people say that the younger generation don't use their hands for making things but I think there are still lots of people who love to create things. The many kinds of materials, tools and books for handicrafts in shops are maybe proof that there are still lots of people who love making things. In fact, I had several friends who loved handicrafts in Japan but I don't have even one here now.

miniature bread

If Australians who love handcrafts go to Japan, I'm sure they would be happy to go shopping. I sometimes buy materials and tools from Japan, even I pay extra postage, it depends but mostly it would be cheaper than buying them in Australia. I'm disappointed to hear the news that the Australian government is going to impose a tax on products which were bought overseas.

I'm now struggling with buying the materials and tools for miniatures. I want to have Aussie friends who love miniatures and also who love to make miniatures. I know it's not easy to find them here because I live in a remote area. I found information about The Sydney Miniatures and Doll House Fair on the internet. There seems to be lots of Aussies who love miniatures. I wish to attend the event someday and also I wish that more Australians were interested in handicrafts. If the population who love handicrafts increases, the chance of finding materials and tools will also be increased, I think.

For the time being, I'm going to pay attention to make miniature furniture and food, and I would like to join some events of miniatures at some future time.

If anyone who read this blog loves miniature, please feel free to talk to me.

My Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/Kuma_the_Cat

miniature furniture

| | Category Misc.

2017-05-12 09:53   Using Mobile Phone

Y (Kuma's owner)

Nowadays, almost everyone has a mobile phone. I have an iPhone, which is very convenient for when I want to know the weather, when I want to contact a friend or when I'm bored and want to kill time. It contains lots of applications and it is easy to carry.

I realise that I use it quite often, so I'm a bit worried that I will become addicted to the mobile phone. However, I like computers with a big display, so the only reason I use a mobile phone is because of its portability. If the technology were more advanced and it were possible to make a computer display that could be folded up small enough to put it in a pocket, I wouldn't use a mobile phone. I wish that someone could invent a foldable display someday.

Yesterday, I received an email from a friend of mine who is a beginner user of iPhone. She wrote about an interesting episode that could happen to anyone. She has a favorite seafood shop and she registered her mobile phone number with the shop. When the shop stocks up with recommendable fish, they let her know by sending a text message. When she was looking at her messages on her mobile phone, she accidentally touched the screen of the mobile phone and sent a text message with a kiss mark to the seafood shop. She said the employees of the seafood shop understood what had happened and they seemed to enjoy it. The mistake she made unexpectedly turned out to have a happy ending, but it might not always end happily.

One day, I was reading Twitter on my mobile phone and I think somehow I touched an icon without realising it. I had unfollowed my friend. I wasn't going to unfollow her but I did it by accident! If I may make excuses, I would say that it's because the touch screen of a mobile phone is very small. I followed her again a few days later but I guess she wouldn't have been happy if she noticed that I had unfollowed her.

I have an issue when using my mobile phone because when I want to tap an icon, sometimes it doesn't react. My skin is quite dry and someone said that's the reason for it. However, the surprising thing is that my cats can tap the icons on the touch screen! They like to jump on my desk and walk on my mobile phone. Therefore, I always put my iPhone's touch screen face down when I put it on the desk, otherwise they might take their selfie someday.

| | Category Misc.