Saturday, March 31, 2012

Currying favor

You don`t need me to tell you Tokyo is an expensive place. If I do come to live here, keeping down costs will be imperative, and one kind of spending that will bear minding is my curry habit.

I am nothing if not a curry fiend. Any excuse to have curry is a good one, so while wandering around Minato after the Temple info session last night, it only made sense I would stop at a place calling itself an Indian curry restaurant and cafe. Eating at GaNapati was almost a zen-like experience ... in that the main fare tasted like nothing.

I ordered a vegetable curry with a medium level of spice and a serving of butter rice. After initially sampling each and then mixing the two, I still failed to find any discernable flavor. Visually I could tell I was eating curry, but if you had blindfolded me and then put what I ate in front of me, I might as well have been eating porridge. The two gentlemen of South Asian persuasion in the kitchen were very nice, but going back to GaNapati is not high on my Tokyo to-do list. The bowl of curry rice I got at Tokyo Dome was more enjoyable and about half the price.

Otherwise, the TUJ info session did little to move me from my stance that this is the place to go -- provided I can sort out the whole financial issue. The professors I spoke to and e-mailed with were great, the staff I met yesterday were very helpful and the whole TUJ community seems fairly tight despite having the students spread throughout Tokyo and the main campus taking up six floors of an office tower. Now I just have to convince Uncle Sugar to lend me some money to finance this new adventure.

Back in the Big Durian, it looks like little has changed. The government still cannot get its act together, even when it has the right idea, and now FIFA has joined the Indonesian Football Association (or PSSI, its acronym in Indonesian) in kicking the ongoing problems further down the road. If the warring factions in Indonesian football are still at odds after almost two years, what makes FIFA think another three months will make a difference? Also, what could the PSSI possibly have shown FIFA to convince it that there was progress to be made? From what I have seen and heard, fans in Indonesia are coming around to my initial position that nothing is going to meaningfully change until FIFA brings the hammer down on the PSSI and bans the country from international play. Only then will the money men behind this whole fiasco be forced to own up to their bad behavior and work in the best interests of the game rather than their pockets.

That was all expected, though. What bugs me most is that I was out of town and unable to give my friend, whom I recruited to Globe Towers, a proper send-off. She deserved better treatment than what she received from the higher-ups, but they have clearly shown where their primary concern lies and it sure as hell is not with the people.

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