Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ramen Adventures in the NY Times


That's Matt Gross, known worldwide as the New York Time's Frugal Traveler. A few months back, Matt came to Tokyo to write a cover story about ramen. He hit me up for help navigating the crazy world of Tokyo ramen. Hells yeah I'm gonna help a writer from the NY Times write about ramen.

The article is out online now. Check it here:

And it will be a cover story in the travel section of the January 31st New York Times. Cop that shit!

More photos over at my ramen site,


And, if you somehow found your way to this site by way of the NY Times article, よろしく, welcome! How did you find me? I don't really link from Ramen Adventures to Gaijin Bash. Gaijin Bash is my little corner of the web where I write about stupid shit that I do in Japan. I'll give a little Q&A, sticking with the questions that every Japanese person will ask you when you meet them for the first time.

どこからきた? What country are you from?

I'm from San Francisco, in America. You have to say San Francisco, so people don't assume you are some sort of jerk (I'm looking at you Candaians, why you hatin on me!). Of course, I hear SF is all about hipster assholes these days, so maybe it's not such a good thing.

日本語が上手ですね!Can you speak Japanese?

More than last year, but not as much as I should if I could study for more than 10 minutes at a time. I can understand about 70% of conversations at bars... ish. I think I'm pretty damn funny, but I can only make stupid oyaji gags in Japanese. Those are like puns, except not funny. Puns are only funny when they are perverted.

納豆を食べる?Can you eat natto?


趣味は何ですか? What are your hobbies?

Eating ramen, photography, and motorcycle touring.

仕事は何ですか? What is your job?

I teach at a private girl's High School part time and tutor on the side. Please don't make any inappropriate comments.

日本はどうですか? How is Japan?

It's great.

アニメが好き? Do you like anime?

I guess being pigeon holed as an otaku nerd is better than being pigeon holed as a fat, racist American asshole. But, no, I'm not really into anime specifically.

鉄砲がありますか?Do you have a gun?

No, dammit, stop asking me if I have a gun! Why do you assume every American has some realtionship with guns. Oh, a follow up? Yes... I've seen a gun. Yes... I've shot a gun. Yes... I've been shot at before...

Any more questions? (generic Japanese questions only please)


Will said...

Congrats on being in the NY Times! That's pretty damn awesome.

Todd said...


For some reason I get asked a lot here too if I have a gun. Must be an East-Asia thing.

Yue 月 夢花 said...

I find very funny japanese magazines questionaries XD
anyway, congrats! keep rocking ramen shops at Japan :D

Jay2Dee2 said...

Yeah I just read this the other day! Nice job contributing to this dude. Ramen leads the way!

And, ummm, yes, I've shot many a guns too.

Anonymous said...

Hey just wanted to say, am really enjoying your blog. I've started from the beginning (so up to June 2008) so glad there is a lot more to come! Thanks for helping me kill all those hours stuck at my desk :)

Anonymous said...

Funny thing about the gun question. While staying with a family I was asked about guns and showed a few pictures of my friends and I shooting guns at a range. My host father had a hard time believing that the guns were real. Odd.

Being 6'4", another question I get often in Japan is "How tall are you?" The odd follow up question I've been asked a few times that always catches me off guard is "Why?"

Ramen Adventures said...

The "If I had a time machine" question is messed up if that person being asked has a really traumatic thing happen in their past. I guess the "can you eat natto" question is pretty traumatic though too.

I'm 6'4" also, but I always get, how tall is your NOSE? Cause I have a big ass nose. I've never measured my nose though.

Yue 月 夢花 said...

HA! XD you're right Brian... the things people answer are very simple, but you are right. Although... I only saw natto in pictures, but does look pretty awful :X