So… I’m living on hot property… well OK… I am living near hot property.  Anyone who knows my old roomie and I, would be well aware  of the Dokdo plight as you would have seen us wear our Dokdo T-shirts. Well… Dokdo is/was a disputed territory between Korea and Japan. If you’re into history at all… I’ll endeavour to finish that draft on Ulleung and Dokdo history. It has been gathering dust for nearly a month now. A special thank you goes out to my history teacher, Mr Nel for his enthusiastic contribution to my historical education, and my mother, for her love of museums, libraries and the history channel. I have learnt a lot about the Anglo-Saxons through her arguments with my Geordie stepdad about his true origin.

Now…back to the point. An not-so-old university lecturer of mine is hopping the globe writing travel books, the lucky bugger. He is currently in Japan, and very kindly invited me over for a cup of tea. What a sadist!  Please refer back to my trek to Daehangno in Seoul, add 1 hour to the airport and then the actual flying time to calculate when I will be able to be there. Unfortunately my teleportation device has been giving me a lot of problems this week. I overslept a couple of mornings and tried to use it to go to school, but ended up in various uncomfortable situations. I know many of you would like to blame this on the ash from that Ice-land volcano and all its “melted water“… but I never really got that far. I ended up in Baghdad 5 minutes before another bombing, and in Poland to see someone place a flower on the late president Lech Kaczynski memorial. On Thursday, and I was really in a horrid mood, I ended up in Thailand to watch a red shirt protester escape from the  police by the sheer innovation. I was nearly late for school a couple of times this week.

In all this week’s/month’s craziness in the news and the appeals from fellow-South Africans for prayer after the death of right-wing politician, Eugene TerreBlanche and some verbal skirmishes with Mr Julius Malema… I think many of us are in need of looking back at Japan. Japan has been responsible for much of Korea’s historical heartache. The island nation has tried to occupy Korea more than once (and has succeeded too), and this has caused a bit of a rift between the two nations. Let’s all hope that part of their history is now over. As a diplomacy, I would like to include some clips from Japanese game shows. Call them silly, crazy, ingenious… profound… but do watch them and do laugh.

The first is Human Tetris. I think Russia also has a version of this game show, but I haven’t seen any of them yet. Have fun!

This show is called All Star Athletic Games. The reason they run and jump in the ice bucket is because the water is boiling hot.

This is one of my favourite clips of a marshmallow eating game. It is soooo silly, but it cracks me up absolutely EVERY time!

Now the punishment for not making it through the tunnel with your scooter is just ridiculous. Not one of my favourites on funny, but it scores pretty high on absurd. Man, they must pay a LOT of prize money….Of course this contributes to my theory that in Asia, it pays to be skinny…

It was REALLY hard to stick to so few videos, so if you have the bandwidth for it… please PLEASE please go and look for more of these…there are so many different kinds out there.  For a good time, call Japan. If you want to have the full experience, go visit the Manga museum in Kyoto, get these on your iPod and book yourself in at the 9h capsule hotel and lie in while you watch some game shows and drown out the snores from your neighbours. At least that’s what my friend seems to be doing… Hey, order my skinny Vanilla Latte in the mean time.