Friday, September 23, 2011

Discovering Japan

This is my new alarm clock. I’ve been looking for it for years – always wanted an old-fashioned one that looks and sounds like the one in the cartoons. I found it in one of the Japanese novelty stalls that sprout in the corridors of malls from time to time. It’s not that this kind of clock is not otherwise available, but the idea of paying 200 dollars for something that forces me to get up in the morning makes me ill. This one didn't cost too much more than a designer coffee, in spite of being designer green. While paying for it, I said (only half-jokingly) to the girl who was presiding over the ceremony that I hoped it would still be working next week. She drew herself up to her full height and said “it’s made in Japan ma’am.” She was so offended, she threw in a free battery! Okay, then.

I also got this. It looks and feels like a Canon lens, but is actually a thermos coffee mug. I bought it for my brother.

After the purchases, I tore myself away with some difficulty from an Angry Birds hand-held fan, a tiny portable speaker made of old newspaper, an iPhone cover in the shape of a red-faced macacque (in relief, complete with hanging tail and fur; it would look like you had a monkey hanging off your ear), an umbrella rolled inside a Japanese-girl totem pole and another, battery-operated one that changed colour as you walked. And a keychain that said “My other keychain is a fridge magnet”. The novelty merchandise from Japan is the most entertaining, creative and frankly mad stuff I’ve ever seen.

Those I’m spending Christmas with this year can consider themselves warned.

The picture of the alarm clock is something I got off Google Images (from here) because I forgot to take a photo of mine and didn't feel like waiting till later to post. This is exactly what it looks like.

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