Gap-Toothed Women (1987) (by Fliefer). There’s is actually a short film!

Culture gaps - The differences between here and Japan are amazing. As I was there for only 10 days and working long hours, here are a few of the quick observations I made on my phone whilst in Tokyo and Yokahama…

Transport, it’s never late

Nobody shouts

Shopping, 2-3 times more shops

Friendly and safe

Shrinking population


Collectivist focus on community

Individualist focus on ourselves

Roads are narrow

People are short

Car roofs are high?

It’s hot

Corporate men wear pink

Cars are not bright colours

Appliances are pink

Take shoes off

Cartoons are everywhere 

School kids everywhere

Red lights allow three cars through

Honking your horn is illegal

Porn is pixilated

Vending machines everywhere 

Legal drinking is 20

Rubber machine gun?

10 nights in Tokyo 

Plastic food

Chopsticks, children’s ones


Chewing gum?

Toilets, need instructions

Buddhists, wisdom and virtue, not belongings

Teachers swap classrooms not kids

3 earthquakes a day


Never fill your own glass

Manhole covers ar decorated

It’s hot

Money is sanitised

The trains are fab

People are polite

Carry umbrellas for the sun

Cycle on the road

They have good posture
Your appliances don’t work (even with adapter)

You need an unusual adapter

They bow all the time

Everybody abides by the rules

They drive on the left

There are trees where ever possible

They like Jazz

There is no dog poo or chewing gum on the floor 

There are turtles in the park pond not cans 

Disaster warnings everywhere

They give you new slippers each day

They nap at cafes

Dogs are decorated

Everybody is a size 8

They are trendy

So polite

There is no aggression

No talking loud on phones, no pointing

Relaxing music and bells play everywhere

Expensive beer

Taxis have lace headrests & electric doors

They still love snoopy, little kitty is everywhere

You don’t need to lock your bike up

You do not cross the road unless you see the green man 

There are clean toilets everywhere

The shopping mall seems to have expensive perfume pimped though the air con 

They give you an egg timer with your tea

They present your change on a tray with two hands and a bow 

If you park your car in the city, they take it away and you pay ¥15000 yen penalty and ¥18000 for legal fees

Drink driving 300,000 per person!

Walking whilst smoking is banned. 

They put their washing straight on hangers

Girls hold handkerchiefs on the handles of train carriages.

Question - So why is there no litter? No graffiti, no chewing gum? Is the punishment really harsh or do they just respect the rules and environment? Yep, it’s respect!

Oh how things are different here!

How to play gaps.

This widely known solitaire card game gives you a chance to put on your thinking cap. The name comes from the gaps left in the layout once play begins. Here’s how to play:

Object: To end up with four 12-card rows; each one should be a complete suit in sequence from 2 through king.

The cards: A regular 52 card deck is used.

The layout: Deal out the whole deck in four rows of 13 cards. Then take the four aces out of the layout and put them aside.

To play: You may fill any space with the next higher card to the card at the left of that space. For example, if a space lies to the right of the 10, take the J from its present position and fill that space. This will leave a new space where the J was.

Fill an empty space at the left end of a row with any deuce. A space behind a king cannot be filled. But if you’re able to move that king behind its proper queen, the space may open up again.

When all four gaps are behind kings, card movement is blocked. Gather up all cards in the layout that aren’t in their correct sequence behind deuces. Shuffle up these cards and the four aces, then deal the cards to fill out the four rows. Remove the aces as before and proceed with the play. If this layout gets stalled too, you’re allowed one further redeal.

Tips: Usually three or four plays are possible at the start of a game once you remove the aces, each opening up a series of further moves. You may see that some plays will soon lead to a useless space behind a king. To follow each line of play can be perplexing at first, but you’ll get better at it after playing a few times. It helps to identify a card you would like to move and work back to see what other cards need to move before you can move that card.

Variations: A number of players handle the redeals by omitting the aces and leaving a gap in each row behind the last correctly positioned card. If a row has not yet been started, leave a gap at the left for a deuce.