Part 2 of Multiculturalism was Tower of Babylon (第二回外国人労働受入制度はバビルの塔)

Etruscan woman

Perhaps Multiculturism would have worked had it been limited to immigration on the ground of mutual affection among individuals.  People would be much eager to respect the rules and the culture of their loved ones while it is easy to grow unappreciative of a government.  The biggest monster, the sense of entitlement needs no encouragement to sprout and it cannot be contained unless the person confronts himself and life on a deeper level.  It is time consuming process that everyone has to go through, not just immigrants, but in the meantime the damage will be done.  The Samaritan locals will be disgusted and questioning the benefits of accepting immigrants and perhaps here lies the root of the problem: benefits.

It varies from nation to nation, but the general pretext for opening the door to immigrants is sugar-coated with humanitarian empathy underlined with the anticipated benefits that fresh labour will bring to the country’s economy.  On paper it should speed up the progress and prosperity of the host nation.  Did the Etruscans who had been industrious seek to free themselves of manual labour when they decided to share their advanced techniques with the Romans?  I would not know but the tragic result speaks it all.  

‘Do you have money?’  As I was reflecting over the fate of the Etruscans, a senior man sat across me and asked softly.  I would not have believed my ears had I not been approached hours earlier by an old lady asking for money while I waited for the bus.  It was one thing to be racial abused at, but it broke my heart to see the benign looking Australians reduced to begging to an Asian in their own country.  This was in Bondi Junction, not a slum, but the center of the eastern suburbs, the most sought after area of Sydney where a two bed room apartment can be as expensive as 2 million Australian dollars…the recent sale went again to the young Chinese couple according to the newspaper.    Sydney has become a magnet to the hopeful from all over the world and the new buildings, swiftly upgraded infrastructure is a testimony of the sudden prosperity, but…I see another young woman sitting on the street crying and begging for help.  Her clothes do not look tattered, so she must be a new homeless.

The French government has recently unveiled their new immigration policy that is called Talent Visa granted to artists and others with talent.  We all know that artistic crafts hardly generate profits and the talents are hard to come by.  The new French policy cannot be deemed to be based on greed for a quick financial prosperity of the host nation.  What do I know but the French people may have wisely suspected that the systems that was founded on  ‘greed’ may attract ‘greed related problems’ instead of love which they are known to hold sacred.  This could be one immigration policy that cannot do any harm.  To be continued.






Multiculturalism was Tower of Babylon after all (外国人労働受入制度は所詮バビルの塔)


‘The number you called is not connected…’  As I listen to the message I cursed myself for dealing again with a phone service company that turned out to be another scam operated by immigrants.  They must have conned many Australians before they left for their homeland where the Australian authority cannot touch them.  As an immigrant myself I have always wished to give other immigrants a chance, but I must concede after looking back many years that most of them failed to deliver and I have frequently ended up searching for bigger names managed by Australians to rectify the situation.  Nowadays I just hang up if the person spoke English with heavy accent.  You have to because they can speak non-stop and do not give a toss about wasting your time.  However, should a white Australian even hint of their grievance, the immigrants would hit them with racial discrimination lawsuits.  Not only do the Aussies have to shut up in their own homeland, they may even have to pay fines.  It is only human for them to bottle resentment inside.

When I migrated to Australia I vowed not to complain about racial discrimination because I was self-inviting myself into a society where I would be minority.  Rejection was to be expected.  If a person still chose to come here, he or she should start with respecting the culture that had existed before his/her arrival but not many immigrants share my attitude.  Or some of them did initially but got discouraged when they got preyed on by some cowardly Australians who could not quite make it in the white community.  The most common complaints I hear among the diligent immigrants is that their Australian colleagues will steal the credit of their achievement.  Those Australians would claim that they had taught and instructed the immigrants well so the credit should be theirs (Australians.)  When a mistake was made, of course it would be on the immigrants.  You can’t really blame the immigrants for turning bitter and even revengeful.  The awards been  handed out to the people without merit because  she or he is an Australian; but also because she or he is an immigrant for overcompensating political correctness.   Either way it is demoralizing to the both sides.  What is the point of giving one’s best when the society does not reward merit?

So the multiculturalism that was ideally supposed to serve the kind helpful Australians and immigrants ready to contribute to the new land get punished instead of rewarded.  They were the responsible ones who would have seen through matters that enabled the society to function efficiently based on trust that the other party would hold up their end of the bargain.  Australia could have achieved the best it could have been if the responsible ones on the both sides had not been discouraged.  However, no system can ever combat frailty in human nature.  Multiculturalism was another tower of Babylon.  To be continued.


私は豪州に移住した時決意していたことは絶対に人種差別を理由に抗議しないという事でした。自分からわざわざ白人の国で少数派になるとわかっていて移り住んだのです。拒絶反応があって当然。それでも移住を決めたのなら自分より先に存在した文化を尊重することから始めるべきでしょう。しかし厚かましい移民が多いのが現状ですが、彼らだって最初は私と同じ考えだったかもしれません。でも長年一部の豪州人に踏みつけられて心が凍ってしまったのかもしれません。白人社会で勝てなかった負け犬は有色民族に寄生することで自分をささえるのです。もっとも耳にする被害は白人の同僚や上役に仕事の成果を盗まれるというものです。最後には移民に指示を与え教育したのは自分なのだから当然賞金や昇進は豪州人のものだというのです。反対に失敗したら移民に責任おしつけられますから有色人種が苦々しく時には復讐心する抱えても不思議ではありません。賞金が実力もないのに白人豪州人というだけで与えられるケース, また逆に有色人種だから与えられるという体裁を意識したケースを両方みますが、いずれもゲンナリします。双方に悪影響です。実力が公平に評価されない制度の元ではやる気をなくします。




The other side of the society (育ちが違っても)

flower darwinI do not presume to know how the Australian rich live, but some of them keep mansions in the eastern suburbs of Sydney.  I chose to live in a small apartment there because it is the safest area predominantly occupied by white Australians.  The cream of the rich are said to be living in Darling Point and Vaucluse.  They keep to themselves and only people the outsiders get to see are their domestic help.  They would be either South Asians or South Americans.  This would naturally affect their concept of Asians and immigrants.  Children growing up in this environment might have problems when they see immigrants’ children at private schools strictly for the privileged.  The attitude is reflected by the popular Australian TV drama featuring a rich girl at private school with mega sense of entitlement.  Her famous line is ‘Asians are losers’ and the Chinese students are bullied and portrayed as an ugly geek without class.  Some criticized the show but the fact that its series 2 was produced reveals the true sentiment among the white Australians.  Whichever side of the society they are on, the rich and the poor both seem to struggle with the idea of immigrants with money and success.  In case of Chinese immigrants, they are often richer than the well-to-do Australians.   

Again I do not presume to know how the Australians feel, but one thing I can relate.  I too find it appalling the disrespect for the public space shown by some immigrants.  I have witnessed them toss trashes on the street, jump the queues and cheat the systems for financial gains.  Even those newly cashed up lots cannot shed off their former vulgar behaviour of taking more food than they can eat from the buffet.  If it is this demoralizing to me, an immigrant albeit respectful one, it must be even more depressing for the Australians to see their neighborhood being trashed and their space invaded.  I was lucky enough to have occasional respite during my holidays in my homeland, famous for being one of the cleanest, the most orderly and efficient place on earth.  No one there jumps the queues, thanks Christ, and people keep their voice down in the public with the possible exception of street merchants and fisherman’s wives.  

But poor Australians are stuck in the environment where breathing seems to get harder everyday gradually.  Pent up frustration needs an outlet.  To be continued.

豪州にも裕福層はいてシドニーの東部に大方住んでいます。白人優勢な代わりに安全性が高い場所なのでささやかな住居を構えていました。セレブはDarling Point 又は Vaucluseに集まっていますが高い塀に囲まれ外部の人間との接触は使用人ばかり。お手伝いは東アジア人や南アメリカ系の移民なので山の手の人のアジア人や移民に対する印象は容易に想像できます。子供達が一流私立の学校で移民の子を見かければ例えどれだけ裕福な実家でも白人からみれば何か違うと感じて当然でしょう。それが鮮明に反映されているのが最近人気の豪州ドラマで主人公は有名私立校に通う超過保護に育った女子学生です。彼女の決め文句が「東洋人は皆負け犬なのよ」でドラマの中の中華系の生徒はダサク柄悪く、まぬけに描かれ当然のごとくあざ笑う虐めに毎回あっていても白人学生におべっかするアジア女学生の様子に同じ東洋人として悲しく思いました。反捕鯨オーストラリア人は表だっては公平に番組を批判しつつも視聴率で支持し続編が2つ既に撮影されたのが彼らの本音です。白人を超えたアジア人などオーストラリア人として育ちにかかわらず裕福も貧乏も等しく受け入れ難いのか、複雑な心境のようです。 

しかし私もオーストラリア人に共鳴できる事があります。一部の移民による公の場に対する非礼は私もゲンナリします。平然とゴミを路上に捨てたり、列を飛ばして人を押しのける移民。お金の為に福祉や公のシステムを誤魔化したくせに逆キレする彼らの姿を何度も見てきました。同じ移民の私がこれほど嫌気がさすのなら豪州人はどれだけ不快でありましょう。自分の育った町が移民の手で汚され自分の領域が侵されていくのを見るのはどれだけ辛いことでしょう。 私は幸い里帰りで世界一清潔で時間通りに動く社会に触れて息抜きが可能でした。滅多な事で列の割り込みのない素晴らしい国民は公の場で大声を慎みます。 



I have accepted discrimination because…民族の違いの壁が高いと私が認めるまで

white supermacy

While the steep price hike in Australia coincides with the broadening of Chinese presence in Australia, the cost of living had started climbing a few years before the arrival of rich Chinese.  I do not presume to know the reason, but I noticed that the resource boom initiated by the avid Chinese buyers had kicked off Australian economy.  The young Australians were quick to acquire the taste of finer things in life.  No more overcooked steak with soggy vegetables, but the 5 course dinner of fine European fare.  Cheap local clothes shops were replaced by designer’s clothes from overseas.  Unlike other part of the world, the Australians of the current generation have not known recession for 20 years.  Their industrious parents gave the very best to their children.   

Things started to feel different several years ago which I could not put a finger on in it until I saw this article titled ‘culture of expectation growing in Australia’  The Australians’ respectable ‘Can-do attitude’ is no more.  The number of people dependent on dole or welfare had been steadily increasing before the rich Chinese immigrants landed.   Also not every Australians were in the resource sector.  Most people’s income has not increased as much as the cost of living has.

However, it is human’s nature to blame others.  The poor and the struggling middle-classed Australians may have first blamed the Indians for stealing their jobs.  A few years ago, a number of Indian exchange students were murdered from pure racial hatred.  Now the Asians are the new target, but I can’t blame the Australians for feeling threatened because even I can see that all the homeless people are Australians while those holding jobs are mostly Chinese workers.  Australians are losing their business to the Chinese but the Chinese had no other options as they used to be discriminated against in the Australian predominantly white work environment.  The Chinese worked hard to secure their place because they want the best for their children just like the Australians want to preserve their white supremacy privileges for their children.   However ugly the outcome, they were both motivated by love, not hatred.  The young are not born racist, but they become so after listening to their doting parents. 

When I was faced with the reality of discrimination being born out of love, I realized there will always be discrimination and one can either accept it or leave the toxic environment if it gets too much.  My decision time was fast approaching.  To be continued.








Great China has landed! (中華系の豪州旋風)

China RepublicThe unprecedented housing boom boiling in Australia was initiated by the wealthy mainland Chinese who would pay millions even billions to buy up Sydney properties.  They are only allowed to buy new buildings, but their bidding power has pushed up the price beyond the reach of most Australians.  It did not end there.  The hike in the price of new buildings has also pushed up the old properties and the price has not doubled but increased by four folds since 25 years ago.  The rent has gone astronomical that young people are forced to borrow money from their parents to buy a mediocre house while locking themselves till their 80’s to pay off the loan.  This is however is an old news as Japanese media has caught on and ran an article about it with a  serious warning.   But even the journalist of the article seems not aware of its dire effects on the people of Australia.

The cost of living has jumped up accordingly but the pension of retired people remain the same.  They used to eat out at nice restaurants but lately I see them at cheap ethnic restaurants bringing with them their own cheap wine to give a modest meal some desperate flair.  Young homeless who can’t even afford that…well I saw one of them striking the window of a Thai eatery with a stick while young Chinese girls and boys step out of their new expensive mansion to attend a private prestigious school looking utterly relaxed and sure of themselves.  

A humongous restaurant called Republic of China has opened near China Town in Sydney. I had to pay $11 for a bottle of water and I here upload the meals for which I paid over $40, drinks NOT included. Tofu soup
                                                                                                                                                 Tofu soup

Peking meat balls                                                                                                                               Peking fried meatballs

Peking noodle

                                                                                                                                        Peking Dried noodle

Now,let’s compare with the lunch I paid the same amount in Chinatown Yokohama Japan in the same month.  Cold plum drink included.

yokohama drink

seafood salad


Sea food salad of the season

steam goodies

                                                                                                         Steamed chicken and perfumed rice dumpling


Vegetable soup made with medical herbs

prawn dish

Prawn dish

fried pork plum perfumed

Pork fed with plums, marinated and fried crisp


Strawberry and coconut pudding and Herbal Jelly

chinese beauty tea

Beauty Chinese tea included in the lunch course

Taste wise they are both great as they are both cooked by Chinese, but cost performance is infinitely better in Japan because you get 6 dishes instead of 3 in Sydney.  Or rather Sydney has become a city that is no longer kind to the weak and the old. Even the local Australians think Australia that was paradise of 20 years ago is gone and Chinese are blamed for it.   But really?  I have observed other things.  To be continued.

Now, please allow me to slip in PR for my graphic novels which have finally received good reviews.  Please, read sample pages by clicking any of the book covers on the right side bar.   The newest book is on the top.  However, if it is a free digital amulet of Orient you are after, why not click the following page?

Copyright 2013 by Mirror Miroir/THE THIRD RED APPLE All Rights Reserved.






Part 3 of Discrimination around me(身近の差別第三)

Over the long years I have caught buses many a times I was stopped by the driver to check if I had paid for the ticket.  The driver would hear a beep signaling that someone had inserted an outdated ticket.  Each time it was the Australian passenger who got on right before me, but the driver would always suspect me, the Asian.  None of them apologized when I showed them a valid ticket.  It was a different story when the driver was an ethnic.  The Australian passengers would pretend to have inserted their ticket or simply walk pass by the ethnic driver with disdain taking for granted that the coloured lots would not argue with the Australians passengers. 

This mild degree of racism was tolerable until recently when the Australian passengers would openly slander the immigrants within the hearing distance of the driver and other immigrants.  This behavior is observed mainly among the senior Australians.  The young would occasionally have a go at French but their main target is also ethnic immigrants.  Whatever has happened to the happy Aussies that I used to know? 

I looked around and realize with horror at the increase of homeless people, young and old.  Then one middle-aged woman dragging an old dingy suitcase suddenly growls at me.  ‘Go back to China!  The government should clean out the trash!’  I am not a Chinese, but look similar enough in her eyes.  In hindsight, she had been evicted from her place.  The biggest property boom in 50 years had swept through Australia with Sydney climbing up the ladder as being the 5th most expensive city to live in the world when 20 years ago it was one of the cheaper cities.

Now, please allow me to slip in PR for my graphic novels which have finally received good reviews.  Please, read sample pages by clicking any of the book covers on the right side bar.   The newest book is on the top.  However, if it is a free digital amulet of Orient you are after, why not click the following page?

Copyright 2013 by Mirror Miroir/THE THIRD RED APPLE All Rights Reserved.



改めて見渡すといつの間にか増えていた浮浪者、老いも若きもホームレスです。一人のみすぼらしい鞄を引きずった中年婆が私に怒鳴りました。「中国へ帰れ!ごみ!」私が中国人に見えるのです。今思えば 中年婆は家を追い出されてのでしょう、家主に。オーストラリア特にシドニーは50年に一度の不動産バブルが到来していました。物価も跳ね上がり20年前は安くて暮らしやすい国だったのが今や東京を抜いて5番目に高い都市になっていたのです。今や世界で3番目という声も上がるシドニーで働いている人たちは殆ど中国系です。と、いうことは経営陣に中国系が浸透しているのです。今や中華と昔から中華系におもねる某反日民族だけが住む町も増えてきて誰の国がわからない状況です。テレビの政治家が白人であることから辛うじてオーストラリアだと認識します。日本も移民を受け入れる方針を固めているようですが、理想論と現実は別物です。



Part 2 of Discrimination around me (私の身の回りの差別第二回)「

In my last post I mentioned of the neighbors who played a dirty trick on me.  I cannot go into the details of the scam as the leading conman was a lawyer, expelled from the Law Society but still a lawyer.  Let’s just say my dream to live in a modest comfortable apartment was dashed by those Australians who were old enough to be my father and mother.  My finance suffered a big dent that I had to stay on and work harder to earn it back.  Running back to my parents and make them sad was never an option, so I soldiered on in Sydney despite the horrendous experience.  Years later, I got it out of my system by incorporating the experience in my graphic novels, The Third Red Apple.  That blasted lawyer is casted as Mr. Sincere in my story. 

While I was stuck in Sydney I tried to make the most of it by looking for positive.  I realized what I should have known at the beginning: local Australians do not owe immigrants life.  The life is full of hardships for everyone, Australians not excluded.  They are struggling too, financially or socially.  Why should they stop their life to cater for self-invited new comers?  And if they see an easy prey in the immigrants, it would be awfully tempting to take an advantage of the ignorance of the rookies.  While they are not respected for succumbing to the temptation, it still makes them human. 

The common advice is to forget and forgive.  I don’t think so.  It will be foolish to forget the betrayal of trust unless you want to go through it again.  Forgiveness seems noble but actually it is a sheer state of arrogance.  You forgive when you believe you are completely innocent.  With the exception of children, no victims are utterly blameless.  Lack of research, sense of entitlement, and the desire to gain more than one should, these things prompt people to walk into a trap set by predators.  I chose to confront myself and understanding that ensued  liberated me from grudge. 






Part 1 of Discrimination around me (私の身の回りの差別第一回)

To be fair, some Australians have tried to befriend immigrants.  They are the reasons that kept my hope alive.  However, some immigrants are surprisingly full of sense of entitlement and demand more privileges.  Immigrants blame the Australians for not respecting their culture while the Australians feel theirs that has been passed down from the British ignored.  

But after living in a multi-national society for years I might say that it is not about culture at all.  You can enjoy a culture, but you can still detest the people who created it.  There have been millions of culture exchange events and friendly games that sent people to euphoria but on the following day hate and disdain returned to rule the reality.  Some even stole other people’s culture and would pass it on as theirs.   

Darwin AirportFirst thing you notice after you step out of your plane will be distinct aboriginal arts pretty much everywhere.  You would think as Australians had embraced the aboriginals’ culture, they were friends.  Not according to the Aboriginal people and that should have been the cue for me to go instead of staying on in Sydney when Asian pop culture became popular.  Modern Chinese and Japanese restaurants opened up every week.  

I was an immigrant who tried to respect Australians and their ways.  Even when I was verbally abused by an Australian racist stranger, I gave up my seat on the bus for him having noticed that he needed a stick to support himself.  Partially out of empathy, but I also had my standard to maintain.  He did not thank me, but took the seat.   Short while later he was mumbling ‘The government will clean up this place.  Go back to where you came from.’  Everyone was indifferent except this one teenager girl who smiled at me apologetically.  To me that was enough reward for the seat I gave up.  Small as it was, the accumulation of my efforts was supposed to make some difference.  Little did I know my Australian neighbours would gang up to swindle money out of me.   To be continued to Part 2.


だけど長年の結論として文化などぶっちゃけ関係ないのです。いいなと思う文化でも造った民族は嫌いというのはあり得ます。文化交流とか親善試合とか何千回と催され一時は世界は友達!と舞い上がっても翌日には嫌悪と軽蔑が人々を現実に引き戻してきました。中には他の民族の文化をぱくり自分達の文化として通そうとする民族もいます。 海外だから寿司を日本人以外が握ってもばれませんが、問題を起こした時だけ日本人の責任にするのは困ったもんです。




Yellow pulp avocado and the price of copy-catting part 6 (黄色の果肉のアボカドと猿真似の代償第6)

green avocadoThe avocados you may know are black-skinned and green flesh.  However, in Australia there is green-skinned kind with yellow pulp inside.  You would not guess it from the outside.  Australians are not as predictable either as the world may think they are.yellow pulp

In my last post I mentioned that some Australians would pretend to be English when alone with non-caucasian immigrants.  Americans are no less popular choice of theirs.  One Australian couple stands out in my memory who constantly addressed people as ‘Hey, you guys’ which is typically American greeting.  They referred to America as ‘States’ as if born American.  The couple detested the Australian colonial classic style and renovated their new apartment in a modern style.  Whatever the latest fad that surfaced in America they had to buy into it.  However, their finance situation suddenly or as was expected, turned south and they ended up selling their apartment only a few years after purchase.  The painter who has been featuring in this blog also ended up selling his newly renovated house as he split up from his wife.  Whatever were the reasons for their divorce, the depression he suffered after the English neighbour, whom he had tried so hard to copy-cat, rebuffed him could not have helped.  The price of copy-catting has been devastating.

To make the matter more confusing was those same copy-cat people would trash the English and Americans in the company of other Australians.  I learnt phrases like ‘whinging Poms’ and ‘Arrogant Yanks’ after I arrived here in  Australia,  though I personally think the English are perfectionist and the Americans are simply proud of their great achievements. .   While it is not my business to speculate on their discreet copy-cat behavior, I cannot help but wonder if it is one of many reasons some Australians vent their frustrations out on immigrants they hardly know and that part becomes my business.  To be continued.






Marble cup cake and Part 5 of the price of copy-catting(マーブルカップケーキと猿真似の代償第五)

marble cupcakeMarble cream is a brilliant solution when you just can’t decide on which flavor you want more.  Some of us face the same dilemma with our own identity.  

Now back to the painter who had a daughter who looked about the same age as his English neighbour’s daughter.  Initially the English gentleman did not allow them to play together, but eventually caved in.  The painter and his wife dressed their daughter in the similar frilly dress as the English girl, which was a disaster.  The English girl was pretty and fragile while the painter’s daughter was peculiarly butch for a girl.  Two of them side by side in the same dress…was the proof that dress does not make a princess.  Their manners could not have been more different.  The English girl would use a fork when eating her sweets, but the painter’s daughter would grab it and stuff her face.  The stereotype of films and novels is ‘the well-bred girls bullying the poor.’  In the real world you see the opposite quite often.  The painter’s butch daughter was bossing the  demure English girl around.  Soon she stopped playing with the bully.  That was about time when the painter’s daughter turned her attention on me. 

One afternoon she bent one finger at me over the fence as if beckoning a dog.  This I forgive her because she was still a child and may have well confused me with the immigrants working for her father.  But her scheming smile was not innocent as I noticed she was holding a bucket full of water.  ‘Come closer, come closer.’  She repeated as she raised the bucket.  I slowly did as I was told and pulled back at the last moment.  The girl lost her balance and splashed herself.  She was furious but could not quite explain the incident to the painter who walked into the backyard a few minutes later.  Instead she pointed a finger at me and yelled.  ‘What is THAT doing here?!’  Not She, but THAT.  The painter said ‘Darling, be nice to the guests in our country.’  The painter had copied the way the English executive neighbor spoke despite him being an Aussie bloke.  Did he use the term ‘Guest’ as in friend?  Or was he implying I should leave?  Judging from his daughter’s attitude raised by the painter, I can imagine what was being said in the privacy of their home.   To be continued

Copyright 2013 by Mirror Miroir/THE THIRD RED APPLE All Rights Reserved.

marble cupcake2



ある午後、娘は私に対して指を曲げて犬を呼び寄せるようなしぐさをしました。子供だから許しますがペンキ屋に雇われていた移民のアルバイトとの差がつかなかったのでしょう。しかし悪巧みを隠す笑顔は純真ではなく、手に水一杯のバケツを持っていました。「こっち、おいで。こっちにおいで」そ~っとバケツを持ち上げています。私もゆっくり言う通りにして土壇場で体をひきました。驚いてバランス崩した娘は自分が水を被る羽目に。怒り狂うものの数分後に帰宅したペンキ屋に説明できないので私を指さし「あれはここで何しているのさ!」あの人でなく「あれ」です。ペンキ屋はおもむろに「我々の国の客人には優しくなさい」と隣人の英国紳士そっくりの口調でのたまるのです、オーストラリアのだらしない成りの親父がです。ペンキ屋が「客人」を「友人」の意味で言ったか、私はいずれ出ていくべきだと言ったのか。彼が育てた娘の言動を見るかぎりペンキ屋が家の中で黄色人種のことを何と話している察しがつくのです。 続く



Crisp Egg wrap for Easter and the part 4 of the price of copy-catting充実な卵餅と猿真似の代償の続き4(和訳は英文の下)

soy milk and egg pancakeHappy Easter to you all.  Eggs symbolizes Easter, so instead of the chocolate versions, why not try Taiwanese Egg crisp wrap for a change?  Complemented with a bowl of soy milk, this is a Taiwanese typical breakfast. It is crisp on outside but spongy on inside, a surprise which is pleasant in food, but not always so in human nature. 

Back to the painter who copy-catted everything about his neighbor, the executive.  I did not mention before that the latter was an English-descendent.  Was he proud of it I have no way of knowing, but our painter and his wife, both unmistakingly Australians wearing tongs (cheap beach sandal) everywhere even to the airport, reacted odd.  Their voice was loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear their conversation.  As the English executive spoke calmly I did not hear him but the painter’s wife was lecturing him that having a kind heart was more important than status or education…as if implying the English or the educated people had no empathy.  However, to her husband’s employees who were mostly immigrants, she spoke condescendingly putting on the air as if she was a graceful English lady.  According to the painter’s wife, if you can set a table for a dinner party as shown in Vogue magazine and throw in the word ‘elegant’ in your conversation, you turn classy.  I wonder if an English lady would walk around her garden in underwear exposing herself to the public eyes, but I have met many Australians who introduced themselves as English to me only to have other Australians jump in to expose the lie.  I have not yet figured out why they do that.

So, back to the well-to-do Eastern Suburb of Sydney.  This painter had a daughter who grew up watching the inconsistent behavior of two parents while being spoiled rotten as the painter was successful in his job and all cashed up.  I still remember her, not because she possessed any outstanding features, but because of the conceited face staring at me over the fence.  To be continued to the part 5. 

Copyright 2013 by Mirror Miroir/THE THIRD RED APPLE All Rights Reserved.

thick chunk of tastiness





















Real Strawberry Cupcake and The Price of Copy-Cat part 3 ( 本物の苺カップケーキと猿真似の代償第3)和訳は英文の下

Strawberry cupcake
Nothing lets me down more than bitter aftertaste of artificial colouring and syrup, but fortunately Ghermez, my favorite cupcake shop in Sydney uses real fruits in their cakes.  I haven’t confirmed it with them, but the proof is in its taste and texture.  I am chiefly a chocolate fan, but for Ghermez Strawberry icing, I will gladly make an exception.   
Check my old post for their addresses.


Speaking of which, was the friendship between our cool executive and our socially ambitious painter REAL?  Finally the evening came and a party at the painter’s garden to celebrate the completion of the big renovation of his side of the detached house.  I was away but a neighbor told me he was wearing a suit holding a glass of champagne instead of his usual beer.  The executive was there of course, but he was dressed casually.  The painter had invited all his friends and relatives to show off his new elite friend.  From what I heard the painter was laughing all the night through like a Santa Claus.   

The next morning, however a sale sign board went up on the executive’s side of the detached house.  The house went quickly as a huge housing boom had swept through Australia.  After they left  a real estate agent came to take down the sale sign.  He was chatting with an assistant or something.  ‘It fetched the highest price ever, though I had my doubt when I first saw the shitty side of the house.’  I stopped and turned.   Four months before, the painter’s side was a cluttered mess, but now the orderly side of the executive had taken over and the detached house looks like one fine mansion.  Four months…that was when I first saw them talk friendly.  It kicked off the painter’s renovation and yet the executive never let on that he was planning to sell his side all along.  Did the painter hear from the executive again?  Apparently not, for the painter looked depressed.  But the price of copy-cat did not end there though.  Do you remember he had a daughter?  To be continued.  

Now, please allow me to slip in PR for my graphic novels which have finally received good reviews.  Please, read sample pages by clicking any of the book covers on the right side bar.   The newest book is on the top.  However, if it is a free digital amulet of Orient you are after, why not click the following page?

Strawberry cupcake2添加物の苦さは嫌なものですが、私が大好きな カップケーキ専門店Ghermezは本物の果物を使用しています。確認したわけではありませんが香りや舌触りが何よりの証拠。チョコ党の私でもここの苺のアイシングだけは例外です。住所が気になる方は昔のブログをご覧ください。英文の中にリンクを入れておきました。




 Copyright 2013 by Mirror Miroir/THE THIRD RED APPLE All Rights Reserved.


Addictive Yunnan Noodle and the price of copy-cat part 2 (中毒になる雲南麺と猿真似の代償第二, 和訳は英文の下)

Taipei noodleIt’s a big credit to any eatery when customers from overseas come back for more .  Yunnan Len Hah Yuen in Taipei and their clear broth noodle is my favorite.  I was not alone as almost all the diners ordered this addictive noodle, even after they had knocked off a dinner course.  Kudos to the owner who has the courage to stick to the basic.  Let’s go back to one of those people who wanted fancy, the painter I used to know. 

Australia has wildly been known to be egalitarian society, but there has been one type of classicism developing in Sydney for all I know.  The mining boom and the rich it has brought Australia accelerated polarization of the  society in two sectors: the private school clan and the public school group.  Many parents have made the same comment on all kinds of media: we want to send our children to a private school so they can have a better future than others.  Our painter chap was also socially ambitious type and in my last post I described how he copied everything about the executive neighbour who in turn ignored the painter for a long time.  So I was shocked one day to see them chatting friendly in the painter’s garden.  The painter was clearly enthralled and listened to every suggestion the executive made and bragged to everyone his new friendship with the elite, or the suit.  I learnt that the executive suggested painting the painter’s side in the same shade as his side.  This the painter did.  ‘Why not rearrange your garden to synchronize with mine?’  This the painter did with glee.   The executive lamented that the roofing on the both sides was getting old, but good builders were scarce.  The painter offered to do the job himself as he had some building craft.  He would not accept money from his new friend.  The executive thanked him and picked a colour that would suit his refined taste.

One late afternoon, I was passing by the garden on the executive’s side.  He was glaring at a filthy towel hung over the fence, looking supremely annoyed.  ‘What’s that?’ He demanded of his wife.   But he knew the painter had left it there taking it for granted his new executive friend would not mind.  I hurried on home, but I felt some sort of foreboding.  To be continued.  

Now, please allow me to slip in PR for my graphic novels which have finally received good reviews.  Please, read sample pages by clicking any of the book covers on the right side bar.   The newest book is on the top.  However, if it is a free digital amulet of Orient you are after, why not click the following page?

Taipei noodle2海外からのリピがある店はお墨付ですが台北市錦州街16号にある雲南人和園の過橋麺は中毒になる味です。店内の客もコースの〆に皆これを注文してました((02)2536-4459、(02)2568-2587)ぶれずに基本に忠実なシェフに乾杯。大抵は華美に流れるものですが、そんな一人、例のペンキ屋に話を戻します。

オーストラリアは博愛と平等の精神を謳いますが、長年の間に一種の階級がシドニーに形成されていました。私立学校閥と公立学校の出身では将来がまるで違うらしいのです。マスコミを通じて多くの親御さんが「うちの子供には人より良い人生を歩ませたいから私立にやりたい」と述べていました。我らがペンキ屋親父も上昇志向をもっていて隣の重役の紳士の猿真似ばかりしていたと先日書きました。紳士はずっとペンキ屋を無視していたのですが突然ある日、ペンキ屋の庭で親しげに重役が会話しているではありませんか!  ペンキ屋は浮かれて重役の提案なら何でも従うのです。  そして近所中にエリートの友人が出来たと自慢してまわりました。重役が外壁の色を統一しょうと提案するとペンキ屋は重役の側と同じ色に自分側も塗り替えました。「表の庭も同様の揃えたらどうでしょう?」 ペンキ屋は喜んでそうしました。そして重役が嘆きます。「お互いの家の瓦が古くなったが良い職人は中々いないのですよね」  ペンキ屋は自分は建築の基礎があるから自分でやると提案。無論、友達のあんたからお代はもらわないさ。  重役は礼を言い瓦の色を自分好みに合わせて選びました。




The legendary Pepper Meat Bun in Taipei and the price of copy-cat (伝説の域到達の胡椒肉饅頭と猿真似の代償, 和訳は英文の下)

Meat bunThe shop is hidden in the back alley of Taipei.  It just goes to prove that location is not what it takes to succeed.  What a pleasure it was to see so many cooks gathered to create one food only.  Taipei kitchen

Oh, those beauties being cooked inside the heated pot, but you must reserve them and receive a ticket.  It was worth the wait.  My teeth went through the flaky crust and reached the juicy meat.  Peppery fragrance teased my nostrils and I was in heaven.   I didn’t have to pay a fortune for it ether.Pepper meat bunIts size was as big as a tennis ball, but I gobbled down two in one sitting.  I saved the third one for midnight snack.   I shall upload the shop sign so you won’t get taken in by the copy-cat fake shops on the main street. 


Stealing the fruits of other people’s efforts must be a smart thing to do for some people.  You can make quick buck…but at what cost?  Of course, money is important, but I have lived long enough to know that one can end up paying more than the money begotten through copy-catting. 

In this respectable Sydney suburb stood a detached house.  One day a painter who had acquired a small fortune moved into one side which displeased the executive who had lived in the other side.  The executive who sent his daughter to a private school, refused to let her play with the painter’s daughter who went to a public school.  I did not find the executive likable, but the painter’s manners were rather coarse.  Though it never bothered me, the painter surprisingly was acutely self-conscious.  He started copy-catting the executive.  Whatever the executive had, he bought it.   The executive read newspaper in his side of garden, the painter started reading one too, although I often found him dozing off holding the newspaper in his hand.

Then one day a miracle happened.  Or was it?  Find out what in my next post.    Now, please allow me to slip in PR for my graphic novels which have finally received good reviews.  Please, read sample pages by clicking any of the book covers on the right side bar.   The newest book is on the top.  However, if it is a free digital amulet of Orient you are after, why not click the following page?




 Copyright 2013 by Mirror Miroir/THE THIRD RED APPLE All Rights Reserved.

Back-alley gourmet in Taipei and the grace of working class (台北裏道で見つけた強力水餃子)

Dumpling signFrom Penang I flew to Taipei of Taiwan to taste the real thing.  I would not deny the charm of ever evolving Hong Kong cuisine, but there are times for food that has stood the test of time.  I would have headed straight for my favorite restaurant, but their lunch time had finished.  No worries as in Taipei is full of jewels.  Within two minutes-walk of my hotel I discovered one.  I can’t quite pronounce it so I’ll just upload the store sign.  I had a hunch it was good before I even saw the media report hung proud on the wall because of quiet pride and joy in the eyes of their workers.

Now, those who read my previous post may think I am having trouble with my old neighbor because she is a bogan of working class background.  No.  I resent her for putting on airs with me pretending to be an elegant English lady and assuming an immigrant like me would not know better.  Well, it so happens I was raised in England during my kinder garden years and I remember the manner of a real sensitive English lady.  For one, no lady in this respectable English suburb where my family lived screamed or bellowed when she could not get her way.  The real English ladies saw through everything they were involved with sense of responsibility.

 No, I resent my old neighbor, or actually pity her for having lost the grace of working class.  My definition of working class is people who devote their life to realizing their dream, not caring to elaborate to gloat.  Their eyes are usually very clear reflecting their quiet pride and joy which rubs onto whomever they come in contact with.  That may be why a popular eatery draws in crowd because they are spreading happiness. DumplingBack to this family run eatery in Taipei.  Their boiled dumplings were beautiful.  It takes a lot to impress me after having eaten in Shanghai, Hong Kong, etc. etc.  juicy dumpling

Now, please allow me to slip in PR for my graphic novels which have finally received good reviews.  Please, read sample pages by clicking any of the book covers on the right side bar.   The newest book is on the top.  However, if it is a free digital amulet of Orient you are after, why not click the following page?

Copyright 2013 by Mirror Miroir/THE THIRD RED APPLE All Rights Reserved.


むしろ私は近所のおばさんを哀れにさえ思ったのは労働者の品を失っていたことです。私の定義の労働層とは一つの自分の夢の為に邁進する為に人生から余分なものをそぎ落とし飾らず自慢などしない潔い生き方を思います。本物の彼ら目は澄んでいて静かな誇りと歓びは周りの者も幸せにしてくれます。人気店は美味だけでなく幸福を分けてくれるのかもしれません。さて台北のお店ですが、水餃子の美味しかったこと!これでも上海や香港で水餃子を味わってますので滅多な事では感動しない私。 ツルリ、むっちりの皮にうまみのある肉餡が胃に沁みました。


Another yummy noodle in Penang and the tower of Babel(ペナン島の美味なる麺とパべルの塔)

Heaven templeOn my last day in Penang I ventured out to the suburbs to visit the Heaven Temple.  It is a multi-layered temple in the term of design。 Chinese and a few South Asian styles have blended marvelously.  It did not have a long history but the scale of it was enough to impress me.  Nearby the temple was the best, much photographed Penang sour Laska’s stall.  Laska signI had never eaten at a stall because I was concerned about hygiene, but as the Malaysian driver introduced the stall with pride, I felt obliged to give it a go.  It was so delicious and I suffered no illness afterwards.  Its soup was amazingly multi-layered in taste and flavour, another example of successful multi-nationalism which is not always the case in other countries.   I’ve lived in Sydney for years where I witnessed and even experienced the ugly side of malfunctioned multi-nationalism.  

Best Laska noodle

So what is the difference?  I should never generalize, but maybe multi-nationalism cannot work well when one group is bigger than other groups, particularly when the bigger group’s ancestors happened to have built the nation putting in the roads, fencing and mapping, etc, it would be natural that they should be proud of their heritage and expect some precedence over the new comers.   So as an immigrant I made it my point to respect that heritage and did not expect to be accepted into the community until I had contributed in some way.  I am not one of those immigrants with sense of entitlement and belief that they do not live within the law of their new country.  However, due to my limited capacity my contribution was made in a small way like doing chores that others did not want to do around the apartment.  Gradually my neighbors’ attitude turned amicable towards me.

And then this old woman moved in.   She was uneducated and demanding of everyone but in me she found a scapegoat for all her problems in her life and workplace even though I don’t even know where she works.  But what really hurt was seeing my old neighbors surreptitiously withdrawing their support from me.  I can understand they do not want to cop the trash from this old woman themselves and it may be easy to forget the years of my hard work dedicated to the apartment in charity, but I had a little more faith in them.  With a heavy heart I booked a trip to a tropical South Asia, but when I return I will have to make the arrangement to leave the apartment.  The lesson of the Tower of Babel is not to be taken lightly.


Now, please allow me to slip in PR for my graphic novels which have finally received good reviews.  Please, read sample pages by clicking any of the book covers on the right side bar.   The newest book is on the top.  However, if it is a free digital amulet of Orient you are after, why not click the following page?

Copyright 2013 by Mirror Miroir/THE THIRD RED APPLE All Rights Reserved.




Bias under the shield of fairness and Asian desserts (アジアの甘みと一方的な告発を鵜呑みにする人)

DragonI never took to Cendol, a bowl of sweet cold coconut milk soup with strips of green jellies, but that all changed when I tasted the real thing in Penang.  I have already introduced Joo Hooi Café in my past posts.  It is located next to the hugely popular Cendol shop and you can beat the long queue if you order through Joo Hooi after your meal.  The commission is minuscule. The jellies are flavoured with fresh  (I think) extract of Pandang leaves or stems and that made a HUGE difference adding depth to the dish, which is a stark contrast to the copies I have tasted outside Malaysia.  CendolCendol’s recipe is available online, but the Malays would not tolerate tasteless strips of jelly coloured with artificial green colour.  Not for the first time was I reminded in Penang never to judge unless you have checked the real things.  And the same goes for people. green penang.2

Despite my caution, media still gets to me, but some writers have been found out to be less than truthful.  This is where some corny writers would claim to be different from others, but I would not insult your intelligence.  Instead, I put on my reader’s hat.  Why are we so quick to believe one-sided claims and judge the accused without making appropriate investigation?

sleeping buddah templeIn real life we often come across ‘elaborated accusation’ of ‘self-acclaimed victims.  They will eventually reveal their true colour and we take caution not to fall for ‘the boy who cried wolf.’  However, when our life is not affected by the outcome of the news, we believe the side that shouts louder persistently.  We don’t even allow the other side a chance to set the record right. They may be guilty but not as much as the accusers claim.  It was in Australia when I first heard the term ‘bleeding heart’.  It stands for someone who loves to act generous at the expense of others.  Irresponsible kindness helps nobody: the accused, and even the elaborate accuser who will treat integrity with disdain knowing they can mix some lie with a lot of fiction and the world will reward them for it.  ‘Bleeding heart’ form bias in the name of fairness, but by judging without investigating the facts on the both side, they may miss out getting to know the merits of the accused, or potential friends.sleeping buddah

センドルというココナツミルクに緑色のゼリーを混ぜた甘みを正直すきではありませんでしたがペナン島で本物を味わって初めて納得。以前にJoo Hooi Caféというペナン麺で人気の店を紹介しましたが、隣にセンドル有名店があり行列に並ばなくてもJoo Hooiで食後に注文すれば味わえます。コミッションは微々たるもの。ゼリーは本物のパンダン植物(多分)で風味づけられ奥行きを添えてます。それまで試したセンドルは何だったのか?やはり本場マレーシアでなければ出せない味のようです。つくづく本物、事実を自分で確かめる前に偏見をもってはいけないと当たり前ですが実感。

 慎重な私もマスコミには影響されてしまいます。しかし注意をひくために記事に色をつけていた事が後に判明する記者の方もいるのですよね。物書きを目指す者として注意せねばなりませんが、ここでは読者として考えます。どうして我々は一方的な主張を鵜呑みにして偏見を持ってしまうのでしょう?実生活なら被害者ぶった人間の着色した告発に遭遇しても彼らはじきに正体がばれるので「狼少年」から我々は身を守ります。しかし自分の生活に影響がなければ告発された人間を簡単に決めつけて弁解の余地も与えません。豪州で初めて耳にしたのがBleeding Heart,直訳して垂れ流しの心ですが、無責任に道徳者を演じる人を指します。片方の主張だけを取り上げる無責任さは皆に害します。告発される者は勿論、告発側の人間も人生をなめるようになるでしょう。少しの嘘と多くの創作を混ぜれば世間の同情をかい利得につながるなら地道な努力が馬鹿らしくなって当然。垂れ流しの心の人は両方の主張をとりあげもしないで偏見を持つことで‘不当に告発された者’の長所を知らないままで終わるかも。もしかしたら友達になれたかもしれないのに。