Sunday, September 03, 2006


Word of the day: Moe.
Some German friends are visiting us, and they have been spending some time in Akihabara, buying gadgets and cruising the goods. Morriz, 19, became enamored of a black shirt with bright pink lettering stating: 萌え アキバ in TOKYO, and bought it without really knowing what it meant.
I wasn't familiar with that character, and that night we went to the okonomiyaki shop across the street from our mansion. The owners, after serving our food and taking our money, started to exclaim at the shirt.
"Ha ha ha!" they said. "Moe!!"
Apparantly moe is a word meaning "crush" or "fascination", and is commonly used by otaku in manga/anime subcultures. This was highly amusing to the shopkeepers.

And a nice phrase brought to you by the same German guests:
It began to rain, just a sprinkle, on the night that they arrived. Of course, at the slightest hint of precipitation - raining or not - Japanese people will pull out umbrellas. Many a time I have seen people huddling under their umbrellas with nary a raindrop in sight, but only a smallish raincloud hovering overhead.
Accustomed to this attitude, I offered umbrellas to the new arrivals.
"Nah", they said. "We are not made of sugar."
This is reportedly a common phrase used in Germany and I like it a lot.

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