Self-serve tempura

Tempura by the piece
Photo: Tempura by-the-piece at the grocery store

On Tuesday, we visited Tokyo Hackerspace. I was inspired with ideas for Saigon Hackspace, which will be a hackerspace in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

It was one of those mornings where I woke up very late; I think it was nearly noon. I went with Nick to the grocery store, where we bought fruit, snacks, and lunch food. This is the first time I remember that I’ve seen tempura sold at a grocery store by-the-piece.

In Tokyo, Japan, neatly-packaged foods are the norm. Individually-plastic-wrapped snacks adorn shelves at every street corner.

Plastic-wrapped foods are also very common in Saigon, but they are not manufactured that way, as they are in Tokyo. In Saigon, restaurants and food vendors manually place the food into plastic bags, and tie them closed with rubber bands.

In Tokyo, there are vending machines everywhere. I will write later about my visit to Rikkyo University, where they have entire rooms, and entire sections of buildings, dedicated to vending machines.

At Tokyo Hackerspace, we discussed the social aspects of hackerspaces. They are community-run initiatives. One issue is how to grow the hackerspace, to gain new members and improve finances. We both brainstormed for future ideas, and reflected on past successes. It reminds me a lot of other communities I’ve been part of, including IVCF in college.

On the way back from Tokyo Hackerspace, I listened in on an engaging, and very technical, electronics discussion between Matt and Akiba. It was very interesting, and I hope to listen to more conversations like that. They are clearly engineers.

We hung out with Akiba at the bar across the street from our hotel (I believe it’s affiliated with the hotel, too). One of the things they discussed was how difficult it is to learn a foreign language, because it also involves learning a new culture. At what point do we start thinking in a different language? Doing math? Reasoning? Dreaming? Visualizing?

Leave a Reply