Watching a small online condensate of worldwide TV programs, I stumbled upon a bit of French national news wherein a journalist comments, in French, over footage of flooded NOLA streets.

At one point, the camera stops on a man laying on the ground, zooms in, and we can hear the following voice-over:

Voiceover: “… Un homme a terre, qui dans un souffle parvient à peine à dire à une équipe de reporters…” [“… a man on the ground, barely manages to tell a team of reporters…”]
Offscreen (in English): “Are you alright?”
Man on the ground (in English): “I got a kidney stone…”
Voiceover (allegedly translating from English): “… qu’il est affamé.” [“… that he is starving.”]

Yea… Next time I see somebody with a kidney stone, I’ll just cook them some food, ’cause they must be hungry…

Could they actually hand their reporters a dictionary before they send them abroad?

Dans le “Zapping” d’aujourd’hui: un extrait du Journal Télévisé de France 2 (édition de 20h du Samedi 3 septembre, environ à 13 minutes 25 s.).

On y voit des scènes filmées en Louisiane, après passage de Katrina. Commentaire-bateau sur fond porno-médiatique standard… Puis, la caméra s’arrête et zoom sur un homme au sol, visiblement pas en bonne santé, alors que la voix hors-écran continue:

Voix hors écran: “… Un homme a terre, qui dans un souffle parvient à peine à dire à une équipe de reporters…”
Voix interviewer hors écran: “Are you alright?”
Homme au sol: “I got a kidney stone…”
Voix hors écran: “… qu’il est affamé.”

Est-ce que quelqu’un peut offrir un dictionnaire Anglais-Français aux journalistes de France 2 avant de les envoyer à l’étranger la prochaine fois?

A défaut, s’ils cherchent d’autres volontaires pour scénariser les dialogues de leurs prochains reportages: j’ai plein de supers idées originales…

Small quid pro quo today reminded me of an old conversation:

Tomomi: But Dave-san, is there really a difference between English and American?

dr Dave: Of course there is. British are civilised people. Americans are ruthless barbarians: they couldn’t make a cup of tea to save their life.

T: Maajii-de?!?

drD: When Americans try to make tea, they use cold sea-water and don’t even bother taking the leaves out of the box. And that’s Boston we’re talking about. The further west you go, the worse it gets.

T: Aa, so-ka, so-ka. It all makes sense now.

Anything I can do to bring greater cultural understanding between people.

My friend and former neighbour/roommate Tracey forwarded me this:

Widow, 84, a prisoner in her own apartment Police allege 6 gang members dealt drugs from her S.F. home, even ate her senior meals.
SF Chronicle, May 24, 2005

We used to live in that building, two floors above (it was only four stories high). Yep, neighbours were always a bit weird…

Ah, joys of Mission street…

Picture canada_dogsled.jpg
Top 3 major technical drawbacks of dog-propelled transportation versus motorized vehicles:

  1. Car engines stopping randomly every 20 minutes to take a dump.
  2. Right Tire attempting to slice Left Tire’s throat (helped by both Rear Tires) and subsequently putting it out of use for the day.
  3. Rear Tire repeatedly trying to procreate with Front Tire (no immediate use, as far as replacement for Left Tire is concerned).

In conclusion, and despite the important huggability factor (very low for your average out-of-the-box Aston Martin), I would say that dogsleds are very unlikely to regain a dominant position in the transportation sector.

Scene Reconstitution, English dubbing added for our international audience:

Eriko: So what’s the weather like over there at the moment?

Dave: Mmn, that’s a good question. Let’s find out

Eriko: -10°… that’s a bit nippy, innnit.

Dave (fainting): …

Eriko: …?

Dave (slowly regaining consciousness): That’s minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit, not Celsius.

Eriko: What does it give in Celsius then?

Dave: Below -20°, not counting windchills.

Eriko (fainting): …

Now where did I put my baby seal fur-lined thermodactyl underwear.

Eriko: それでね、 あそこに 天気はどう?

Dave: そうですね。探そうね

Eriko: −10°だね、ちょっと寒いじゃん。

Dave (眩んで): …

Eriko: …?

Dave (ゆっくり起きて): セ氏じゃない、華氏ですよ!

Eriko: じゃあセ氏でいくつ位なの?

Dave: −20°下。冬風もあるんですよ。

Eriko (眩んで): …

My friends Kristy and Tara have resumed their traveling around the world and are traipsing around South-East Asia and India at the moment.

Kristy has been regularly sending emails accounts of their (mis)adventures, and I thought it’d be nice to get her to start blogging these for a wider public.

So I made her a blog account and gave it a start by importing her past emails. Hopefully, she will be able to regularly add to it, net access permitting.
Eventually, she should also be able to upload pictures (as soon as I have time to finish the setup).

These girls are definitely not following your average chartered touristic path and their tribulations are filled with lots of weird and comical moments…

Anyway, if you are curious to know how two slightly crazy girls, yet seasoned travelers, are managing the bumming-around-Asia experience so far, go check out: !

Posting pictures of clubs and parties would get old really quick. So I probably won’t be putting any, save maybe for a few highlights at the end.

Instead, here is a bunch of miscellaneous pictures, arbitrarily sorted by categories rather than chronological order.

This first batch seems to illustrate the fact that all my friends suddenly decided to move into places with breathtaking views: it’s really hard to tell who’s got the most amazing shot of the City, but here are a few serious contenders.

On the pics, respectively:

  • sunrise at Will’s place
  • some house on 17th (not even the nicest Victorian, but it had gotten a brand new paint job and was just too flashy to miss)
  • view from Matthieu’s Castle in Noe Valley (can I hear anybody say two-level decks…), just behind the park
  • Dolores Park
  • the Mission
  • Bernard and Karen’s place in Woodside
  • Valencia St. (or is it Dolores?)
  • the Embarcadero, in a strikingly Sunset Blvd.-like shot, save for the hordes of stretch-neon-clad joggers.
  • the view from Berni’s new house in Woodside, surrounded by redwood trees (they might not look like it, but these things are actually vertiginously high, probably over a hundred feet).
  • 5 Things I did NOT miss about San Francisco:

  • Coping with annoyingly high level of California sun-baked flakiness
  • Nights laboriously spent in living rooms: crowded around the coffee table, doing lines and rehashing same tired club stories
  • A good half of the people on the street: running around, mumbling to themselves and nodding to lamppost, like they’re on crack.
  • The other half: actually on crack and/or clinically insane.
  • Obnoxious people: talking on their cellphone every-fuckin’-where, loud enough to let the whole train know how they “like, so totally hate nancy from accounting” or “what’s his name who did that presentation at the meeting”.
    And the fact I’m in heavy keitai withdrawal myself has really little to do with the incredibly strong urge I have to shove their cell down their throat before rinsing it down with whatever’s left of their starbuck’s chai mocha soy latte.

    5 Things I REALLY missed about San Francisco:

  • The smell of fresh pine wood: in the morning when walking down 17th St.
  • Smoking bowls at friends places: on the fire exit of old Victorian houses.
  • House beats that resolutely stay south of the 130 bpm border: drawing crowds that dance like there’s no tomorrow but stay until tomorrow.
  • Sunday brunch: with mimosas and egg benedict on the patio at Luna Piena
  • Friends: to smoke said bowls and eat sunday brunch with.

    Overall, the Good outweighs the Bad by a wide margin… though it’s good to realize some of the things I’m getting in the bargain by living in Tokyo…

    Now if it only could be the exact same sunny blue skies by the time I return…

  • Will’s new place is completely awesome.
    Being just a few blocks over the Castro, it’s got a view on most of the city all the way to the bay. And to top it all: a huge deck.

    It’s nice to be back here…