Day: October 11, 2018

Travel Blog: Food in Japan is Too Perfect?

The first time you travel to Japan, you’ll be blown away by intricate handicrafts, perfectly folded origami, manicured gardens, clean streets, and meal sets. Indeed, this attention to detail shows high regard for quality and order, which the Japanese are now known for.  In my parents’ time, “Made In Japan” meant shoddy, but now “Made In Japan” is a mark of quality and innovation.  Today, I’m talking about “perfect” meal sets. Attention to detail is showcased especially the meal sets, even at casual restaurants. They are the stuff of an obsessive compulsive person’s dreams, each item delicately placed just-so, to ensure the best presentation of each small portion… one tomato sits gently on a single lettuce leaf, a few sheets of seaweed peek out of the ramen broth, and the slices of chaashuu pork are perfectly round, made of alternating ribbons of fat and meat. Even Japan Airlines economy class meals were served to us like this, complemented by a “Thank you for waiting. Here is your meal.”   Air Canada really has nothing on …

Travel Blog: Hong Kong Consumerism as an Identity

As I write, I am sitting in Hong Kong International Airport awaiting my flight to Narita from Hong Kong.  I knew my first post-Hong Kong blog post had to be about one thing: consumerism, and specifically consumerism of brand name products. That’s because one of the first things you’ll notice about Hong Kong is the prominence of high-end brand names: Atelier, Balenciaga, Chanel, Ermenegildo Zegna, Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Hermes, I.W.C., Jaeger-LeCoultre, Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, Montblanc, to name just a few.  Pacific Place and IFC are just two of the places where you can literally find everything on a “high brand” shopping list.  It’s not just foreign brands that are popular, either.  On practically every street corner in Hong Kong you are almost guaranteed to see a beacon of bright red and gold – jewelry stores Chow Tai Fook, Luk Fook, and Chow Sang Sang.  No matter what direction you turn, there are opportunities to brand the most special moment of your marriage with their trademark. Is it just the mainland Chinese tourists that are driving …