Plain Talk


Lo barato sale caro − Episode 2 by Camila G. Cortea

My partner and I faced the letting go of our remaining furniture, and having learnt the hidden costs on taking free furniture by public transportation, we decided to give ours out for free to people who can pick it up from our place. Turns out offering items for free invites an overwhelming rain of private messages showing interest. After 2-3 items showed the popularity of these posts, it was the turn for a mint condition pre-loved PC station, for which we decided to charge a little money − hoping this would filter the amount of messages. We agreed to a taker who promised same day pickup.

Negotiations were troublesome for some unexpected requests, but settled on delivering the item to the nearest Tokyo Metro station to save the buyer some transportation fees. Hoping the handout would be solved this noon and then I could focus on other aspects of the house, I borrowed a big size cart to minimize the use of the furniture wheels, and started pushing uphill for the 15 min walk towards the designated meetup place.

We recognized each other instantly, handled the money and passed the light furniture over the metro side fence. However, when it touched the floor our eyes followed how it went down with a ‘plop!’; there was an empty space where the fourth wheel should have been. ‘Wait here’ I said, returned their money and dashed retracing my steps trying to find where the wheel could have fallen. Fortunately I found it lying on the ground floor not too far away, and soon resumed the handover as planned.

As I walked home pushing the empty cart in the summer midday heat, I deemed the hassle of arranging for the handout and the efforts to deliver personally to the station not worthy of the symbolic price. Moving on, the thought of sushi waiting at home had my mouth watering, and in a presumed relief that this adventure was all over, I pulled my mobile and photographed a nice corner of the neighborhood, only to find out that the taker was in trouble. The metro staff were preventing them from boarding the train. I stopped in my tracks, guilt creeping over me. Had I been more careful with the wheel, the guard on duty wouldn’t have minded the furniture carrier... I hurried to share website links proving the taker was in the right (luggage measurements were clear), then phone called to explain on behalf of the taker. Feeling responsible for his trouble, did a second call, and finally the problem unraveled as the staff found in their paper manuals their luggage allowance coincided with the ones we quoted on their website.

Lo barato sale caro is a saying in Spanish that implies that seemingly cheap options come with hidden costs. Next time, besides avoiding carrying heavy free furniture in my own hands, I will keep the stress at bay by sticking to the original ‘pickup only’ rule.





スペイン語で「Lo Barato Sale Caro」という言葉があるが、これは「一見安く見えるものには、隠れたコストがある」という意味だ。次回は、重い家具を無料で自分の手で運ぶことを避けるとともに、本来の「ピックアップのみ」のルールを守って、ストレスをためないようにしたいと思う。

Plain Talk


Harbingers by Aonghas Crowe

The Japanese will tell you that nothing quite heralds the coming of spring like the ume blossoms of February. In my opinion, however, there are no harbingers of the season better than the coveys of road construction crews, which can be spotted throughout country in the months leading up to April.

Easily recognizable by their white crowns and the vertical yellow stripes on their breasts and backs, the crews have a mating call that is quite distinct―ja-ja-ja-ja-jack, ja-ja-ja-ja-jack. The crews forage deep in the ground seemingly at random; and, having found what they are after, the will replace the top layer of earth with asphalt and quickly migrate off to only Mother Nature knows where.

Back in the days when I did a lot of translation work, there was a hackneyed phrase that I was often forced to render into English: utsukushii shizen ni megumareta (美しい自然に恵まれた, lit. “blessed with beautiful nature”). I would translate this in a variety of ways, such as “The prefecture is blessed with bountiful nature”; “The city is surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty”; or “The town is surrounded by beautiful nature.” Occasionally, I might slip something like “Located in an idyllic natural setting, . . .” into my translation, but I found that if I took too much poetic license, the translation would invariably come back to me with the complaint: “But, you left out ‘beautiful’.” Or, “You failed to mention ‘nature’!”.

The thing that exasperated me, though, when I was doing these translations is that I would gaze out of my office window and look at the jumble of telephone wires and cables, the scarcity of trees, the concrete poured over anything that wasn’t moving, the gray balconies and staircases stretching as far as the eye could see, and shout, “Where the hell is this ‘beautiful nature’? Tell me!! Where is it?!?!”

Having grown up on the west coast of the United States, I know what unspoilt nature is supposed to look like. In my twenty-plus years living in and traveling around Japan, however, I have yet to find a place that has not been touched by the destructive hand of man. Mountains that have stood since time immemorial are now “reinforced” with an ugly layer of concrete; rivers and creeks are little more than concrete sluices; and Japan’s once beautiful coastline is an unsightly jumble of tetrapods―concrete blocks resembling giant jacks―that are supposed to serve as breakwaters but may actually be causing greater erosion. One of Japan’s chronic problems is that, once something has been set into motion, it is often difficult to change course. As a result, by the early 1990s more than half of Japan’s coastline had already been blighted by those ugly tetrapods. I dread to know what the figure is today in 2017.

Were I to form my own political party, one of the first campaign promises I would make is to form a Ministry of De-Construction. The MDC would remove unnecessary dams, tetrapods, concrete reinforcements, and so on; the idea being to put Japan’s ever so important general construction industry to work by undoing all of their eyesores. Second, where the dams, reinforcements and tetrapods truly were necessary, I would ensure that they be concealed in such a way to look as natural as possible. Third, the cobweb of electric cables and telephone lines would once and for all be buried. Fourth, there were would be stronger zoning and city planning to reign in urban and suburban sprawl and create compact, highly dense cities that are separated from each other by areas of farming, natural reserves, and parks. Fifth, diversity would be reintroduced to the nation’s forests. No more rows upon rows of cedar that not only look ugly, but give everyone hay fever.

Unfortunately, none of these things are bound to happen anytime soon. The Japanese are so accustomed to being told in speeches and pamphlets that their town or city is blessed with beautiful nature that they have come to believe it despite what they surely must see with their own eyes.

Familiarity sometimes breeds content.


Haru-o sakibure
Doboku kana

Nothing quite heralds
the coming season of spring
like public works.

Unfinished business


Farewell to a Japan Jazz Icon by David Gregory

The messages from all over Japan read aloud during the service helped us realize how widely Koyama-san touched lives and how many like us were feeling something newly missing from our worlds. But, although wonderful and sometimes saddening us, they did not trigger crying. That happened next.

Those first few notes of the "'Round About Midnight" Miles Davis version, the cut Koyama-san always used to open Jazz Tonight, performed by a live piano and trumpet duo up front near the coffin, did it: Instant recognition, recollections, sighs around the room, eyes closed, arms crossed, heads dropped back or down, and tears, at least for me. How many times had we heard, after Miles breathed his somber opening, Koyama-san's low, raspy voice welcoming us into the studio with, "Minna-san, gokigen ikaga desho-ka everybody, how are you feeling?"?and never thought that someday we would hear him ask about us no more?

Koyama-san's widow, whom, like him, had never known me, stood alone at the coffin head and bowed in silence to everyone in turn after they placed flowers around his body as the duo continued with another slow number, the trumpet sounding so strong and crisp and unusual in a memorial service hall. After we placed our flowers, she responded to my hand on her shoulder, a touch just meant to console her, by immediately turning and reaching for me?a total stranger?burying her head in my chest, and breaking down. She needed that hug that everybody sometimes needs. She let go after her respite when she was ready to face the coffin and everyone else again, and returned to her position. Going to Kashiwa in a snowstorm was worth it just for those few moments when I could do something for her.

So our Kashiwa day was both sad and good. But, why did I even want to go a funeral for a man whom I only knew by voice, and who, although linked to jazz, was not even a musician?

Koyama-san and his Jazz Tonight program I listened to since at least the early 2000s. For more than sixteen years, while my life in Japan has been filled with huge uncertainties, he has been here Saturday nights on the radio, reliable, keeping me connected to the world's music and opening my ears to music from Japan I would not know without him. Listening to him always made me feel good, no matter what had happened in my life during the week or what was coming up in the weeks ahead. Koyama-san and Jazz Tonight were my respite. How well can I replace that comfort?

Koyama-san, thank you for helping this foreigner feel good in Japan. Please rest well in jazz heaven.

NHK Radio, thank you for giving Koyama-san a way to connect with us. Please encourage other DJs to continue doing what he did so well.

To Koyama-san's surviving family members: Please care well for yourselves now, and thank you for supporting and sharing Kiyoshi with us.



The Smallest Box by David Gregory

She came over to my table and asked if I remembered her.
“That’s my boyfriend over there.”
Their table hugged a pillar blocking the sunny Tokyo Bay view enjoyed by the other customers that afternoon in Chiba’s AquaRink ice skating facility café.
“Maybe we will marry next year.”

On my way out, I stopped to congratulate the potential groom to be. What I later heard happened with Hiromi and Hiroshi that night at another place also close to the bay sounded so too good to be true that I visited that place to confirm it really happened. It did.

Hiroshi had reserved for the course menu that night at OCEAN TABLE, next to Chiba Port, on the second floor, where tables sat by the huge windows facing Chiba Port Tower and Tokyo Bay. No view-blocking pillars there. And they had a wait, even with their reservation, because it was Christmas Eve, which in Japan matters much more than the following day; the Eve is the year’s couples’ night out, and single women without dates that night can feel their whole year was wasted.

Hiroshi had changed into a suit after skating, and had urged Hiromi, against her protests about overdressing, into a plaid one-piece, raising expectations. They had never come to a place this nice, one requiring reservations. Saizeriya was more their speed: fast faux-Italian, cheap, and everywhere.
The unexpected wait made Hiroshi antsy. He relaxed and all was perfect after they were seated.

They talked. They ate the Christmas Dinner courses. They ignored the soft Christmas background music. They admired the gleaming, golden Christmas Tree rising from the first-floor buffet area through the open center space across from their table. They could see outside the sparkling flashes and half the tree in Port Tower’s Christmas Illumination, and beyond, the lights from the ships on and facilities around Tokyo Bay, appearing almost twinkling. Perfect—but not for Hiromi.

She went to the toilet. Still he had not asked. The day was done. The reservation system only allowed them two hours there. They had been together all day. He had remembered her birthday-just by coincidence, also that day-with a necklace at AquaRink. Nice, but was that all? He had pestered her since early December about what Christmas present she wanted until she had finally exploded with, “Nothing! Don’t you know I just want a proposal?!” And had added she wanted it to be a surprise. Here he had the perfect chance, and he was wasting it.

She could try enjoying what was left of the evening. Dessert was next. At least here was better than Saizeriya….She was still stuck when she returned to the table, and had no chance to do or say anything, anyway. It was his toilet turn.

Their desserts came. Hiromi sat and waited and pondered the future. Outside, the tower stood alone against the dark sky and Tokyo Bay’s inky darkness.

Their desserts waited. Maybe his tooth was bothering him again. Maybe he was just tolerating it to make the night go well. Maybe for her. Maybe she should go to check on him. Wait-maybe she just heard his voice across the room.

No, only Santa Claus, posing for photographs with diners at the far table. He then started circling the room, giving a small present from his big sack at each table. She could check after he was done.

Hiroshi still had not returned to his seat when Santa reached their table. He handed Hiromi a big, red stocking, by far the room’s largest gift, accompanied by a squeaky, “Atari! You’re a lucky one!” Yeah. She set it aside and Santa moved on. What was he still doing in the toilet?

Santa finished his round, returned to Hiromi, and pointed at her unopened stocking with squeaky, “Un! Un!” grunts. The other diners had opened their presents. She forced a smile and said she was waiting for her boyfriend to return. “Un! Un!”

When Hiromi still resisted, Santa took the stocking in his white-gloved hands and opened it himself. Out first came a big, pink box, heart shaped. He opened that and pulled out another heart-shaped box, and then, from inside that, another heart-shaped box. Another smaller, heart-shaped box followed. He removed from that an even smaller heart-shaped box, and thrust it to Hiromi with one more squeaky, “Un!”

Still gone. Well, he’d miss it. Hiromi obeyed Santa this time and opened it, the smallest box in the room …and her mind and face went blank.

After that frozen moment passed, Hiromi looked at Santa. The second shock hit, and more followed. Santa Claus had ripped off his gloves, furry hat, sunglasses, and huge, flowing beard. He took the box from her?she was still speechless?dropped onto one knee, held the open box out and up to her in both stretching hands, and said in a voice loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, “Hiromi-san, boku-to kekkon shite kudasai! Hiromi, please marry me!”

Outside, to anybody looking, Port Tower’s Christmas Illumination still flashed, and the lights on and around Tokyo Bay still appeared almost twinkling. Inside OCEAN TABLE, on the second floor, everything was happening so fast that Hiromi just did not know which was more difficult to believe: Hiroshi and the ring he first tried slipping onto the finger on her right hand, the one he had taken in his before she held out her left hand, or the following PAN! and PAN! PAN! PAN! PAN! PAN! and PAN! PAN! and PAN! explosions ripping and ribbons shooting around the room as diners at the floor’s other tables popped the party crackers they had found with the notes in their presents from Santa Claus.

Copyright © 2018 David L. Gregory All rights reserved.


I Did It! by David Gregory

She had been here before. But, those were tour-guided or hand-held visits. After living most of her life in white-bread suburban USA, driving everywhere, shopping in giant malls and supermarkets, and needing only one currency and one language, my mother ventured out on her own, within and beyond Chiba, during one trip to Japan. From her notes, here are Dorothy's...

Grocery Shopping in Neighborhood―Walk five only one bag...walk five blocks back. Survived it!

Shopping in City Center―Walk six blocks to bus stop. Ride bus fifteen minutes. Arrive at stores. Walk around. Look. Decide: cookies.

Buying: “Ikura desu-ka how much?” Hmm. “Kakimasu kudasai write please.”

Paying options: give large bill, let clerk figure change, or open change purse, let clerk take out correct amount. Decide to just give some cash.

Clerk shakes her head (“NO! MORE!”), then counts out correct amount needed from register and shows me. I mimic her action from my change purse. Smiles! Deep bows with many, “Arigato gozaimasu thank you very much!”-es.
(My error: thought there was decimal point in Yen price....)

Open cookies, expecting pirouettes with chocolate centers. Instead, peanut butter waffle rolls, no chocolate. No wonder, now I see peanut sketch on package. “Shoganai can’t be changed,” I did it to myself. It could have been worse!
Travelling to Visit Friend’s Family on Other Side of Chiba―Walk ten blocks to train. Purchase ticket. Electronic lady on ticket machine screen says, “Arigato gozaimasu” and bows. Ride train twenty minutes, watching for correct stop, get off, walk seven blocks to house. I did it myself!

Visiting Hisae Overnight―My Japanese study partner in USA returned to Japan, now lives on other side of Tokyo Bay.

Take large purse and large tote bag with jacket, nightie, toothbrush, cosmetics. Walk six blocks to bus stop. Ride bus to train station. Ride train eighty minutes to Yokohama. Find correct exit from station. EASY. Did not even look at note in pocket explaining route and Japanese signs. And, look! Hisae and three-year old Kei are waiting! “Hello!” they say! Many hugs!

I did it!

Then, still more travel: train together fifteen minutes, short taxi uphill to lovely apartment, sunny and bright.

Returning to Chiba, just reverse process. Next time, we can meet at a station halfway in between. I can do it.
I can do it!

Copyright (C) 2015 David Gregory. All rights reserved. Chiba, Japan

Book Review


Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami by Rey Ventura
Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2014,
291 pp, USD34.00

Reviewed by Randy Swank

video maker and scriptwriter Rey Ventura won the 2015 National Book Award for his third collection of essays, Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami, but for some strange twist of fate you will find very little information on this book. You can’t even buy it on Amazon. This is a shame because Cherry Blossoms... is a beautiful, insightful and thought-provoking book.

These 11 essays, some of them autobiographical, see Ventura travelling back and forth between the Philippines and Japan, his adopted country, often portraying the many ways Filipino lives have been shaped and affected by their rich quasi-neighbor. Like in "A Suitable Donor," where the young men who live in the Manila slum of Banseco tell of how they came to "donate" a kidney or another organ to help a rich person in need − often from Japan.

Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami
by Rey Ventura
Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2014, 291 pp, USD34.00

In "Miniskirts and Stilettos" we meet Ginto, a young lady who comes to Japan dreaming of making it big as a singer and entertainer but has to deal instead with a much darker reality; while "Mr. Suzuki Tries Again" and "Into the Snow Country" are tragicomic tales of arranged marriages where the dreams and expectations of bride-starved farmers from Japan's Deep North clash with those of young Filipino women who want to escape their poverty and go into marriage "as a girl goes into a convent." Ventura tells these stories with a great eye for detail and manages to find a ray of light even in the darkest corners, or poetry in the midst of a nuclear disaster.

The book's first essay is called "The Slow Boat to Manila" and indeed, slowness is the first word that comes to mind when considering Ventura's approach to writing. Everything Ventura does is slow. He is no magazine reporter after all, and will spend days or even months getting to know a person he wants to write about. That's the kind of personal commitment and deep connection with his subject that one feels when reading his essays.


Tokyo Fab


Japan Camping Car Show 2023

The theme of the Japan Campervan Show 2023 is "Bringing Campervan Culture to Japan". This is a special annual event where visitors can not only experience the latest campervans up close and personal, but also enjoy exhibits in a wide range of genres such as outdoor activities, fun, and tourism. The event will be held in Hall 5, the largest hall ever, and will feature more than 300 of the latest and most popular campervans from all over Japan.
Not only can visitors enjoy vehicle exhibits, but there are also a variety of hands-on concept zones for "travel," "pets," "dining," "disaster prevention," and "outdoor activities," making this one of Asia's largest outdoor and leisure events that goes beyond the boundaries of campervans. From affordable vehicles to luxury vehicles costing over 10 million yen, and new models on display for the first time at the event.

Date:2023/02/03 (Fri) - 2023/02/06 (Mon)
Venue: Makuhari Messe, Kaihin Makuhari Sta.

World Roots Music Festival

Egypt x Taiwan x Ethiopia x Japan
Roots music festival by musicians & dancers from 4 countries.
Said & Adam (Said & Adam/Tannoura, an Egyptian swirling dance)
Eri Liao (Taiwanese aboriginal folk music)
Tasew & HaddinQo (Tasew & HaddinQo / Ethiopian folk music) *Unit name to be confirmed
Koderanny (Coderanny/Japanese folk music)
Tomohiko Sato (DAI-chan A.K.A. Tomohiko Sato/Bon Odori)
Abraham Lukas Yuke (Ethiopian Folk Dance)
With the motto of "Min'yo accessible and enjoyable for everyone," they perform with variety of artists, give workshops, and hold live concerts in various locations.

Date:Fri, 10th February 2023, 6:00pm
Venue: Fuda no Tsuji Square, Tamachi Sta.

What’s App With You?


Remote Control:

Tired of sitting on the couch, having to handle keyboard and mouse on your lap to control your media center Mac? Turn your iPhone or iPad into the ultimate remote control for your Mac. Use Remote Control on your iPhone as a trackpad and keyboard to comfortably browse on the big screen TV. Using AirPlay Mirroring and an Apple TV, your Mac can be located anywhere in your home. All you need to do is download the Mac Helper application and connect your Mac and iOS device to the same WiFi. Simply select your Apple TV from the list of available AirPlay devices and control your Mac from the comfort of your couch or bed!


Are you obsessed with multitasking to the extent that you cannot just watch one TV program but need to watch two programs at the same time? Well, here's an app for you. 2Play is an application that is easy to use and allows you to watch two YouTube videos simultaneously on one of your devices (iPhone/iPod iPad) wherever and whenever you want. Just installed and start. As soon as you install the app, it will be immediately reflected on the home screen dividing it into two. Let's start double screen YouYube so we can save time!


Tokyo Voice Column


The significance of Japanese words by Leina Sakamoto

How many of you have heard the Japanese word “guru” (グル) ? This word is most commonly known in the phrase “ Guru ni naru” ( グルになる) which means to become an accomplice. Therefore, it does not have a very good image. Nowadays it is heard as the abbreviation word for the word group(グループ). However, many Japanese do not know this themselves and use this word in the katakana form thinking that it is an English word but in fact it is a Japanese word. The history of this word goes way back to the Edo period. In the Edo period the sash, better known as obi, which you wrap around a kimono was called “guru”. The obi or “guru” is one long sash which you wrap around the waist of the body and artistically tie in the back. Given its round shape, the original meaning of “guru” meant circle or ring. Thus the root meaning of joining of people or circle evolved into words like accomplice and group. Another phrase that Japanese people are familiar with is “guru guru mawaru”. “Mawaru” means to spin around. In this phrase “ guru guru is used in the same meaning as to spin “round and round”. However, the Japanese word for round is quite different. I am most certain most Japanese don’t think this strange having heard this phrase from childhood. They probably don’t give it much thought but in fact it is the same “guru” from the Edo period.

The Japanese people use the word “circle” in many different ways. It has more than one Kanji for it;円, 輪, 丸, 環. However, the root meaning of the word has been a part of Japanese culture through the years. They respect the circle of family and friendship very much. Another example is the nomination for the Olympics. The previous years before Japan was nominated, Japan had had many struggles and natural disasters. Despite this they were able to recover and be nominated as the host country for the 2020 Olympics. Through the help of each other and the circle of relationships with neighboring countries Japan has come this far after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. They feel that the Olympics is another “circle” or opportunity for the growth and continuing recovery of Japan. It was also nominated as Japan’s motto or kanji of the year of 2013.



MUSEUM -What's Going on?-



Dame Barbara Mary Plunket Greene is a British fashion designer and fashion icon. She became an instrumental figure in the 1960s London-based Mod and youth fashion movements. She was one of the designers who took credit for the miniskirt and hotpants. Ernestine Carter wrote: "It is given to a fortunate few to be born at the right time, in the right place, with the right talents. In recent fashion there are three: Chanel, Dior, and Mary Quant."
Japan's first retrospective exhibition of the miniskirt queen
Witness the story of the flag-bearer for London's fashion in the 60s
Mary Quant burst onto the 1950s fashion scene in London as she popularized the miniskirt. She stood at the forefront of 60s street culture as the most iconic fashion designer.


While she is widely known today for her cosmetics line in Japan bearing her distinct daisy logo, Mary Quant originally worked as an entrepreneur and pioneer in the vanguard of 60's London (Swinging London) fashion scene. Her modern, youthful designs transformed women's clothing at the time.
This exhibition focuses on some 100 garments organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum in UK, alongside accessories, photos, videos, and other materials. Following the journey of Mary Quant's career as a designer from 1955 to 1975, visitors may recognise how she worked as an entrepreneur and trailblazer in her own time.

Period: - Sun. January 29, 2023
Venue: THE MUSEUM - Bunkamura
Hours: 10:00 − 18:00 /-21:00 on Friday and Saturday (last admission 30 minutes before? closing )
Admission: Adults: ¥1,700 / College & high school students: ¥1,000 / Junior high & elementary school students: ¥700
*Advanced booking recommended

For more information, please visit

junaida exhibition ”IMAGINARIUM”

junaida (1978-) is an artist who has published several picture books in recent years, including "Michi," "No," and "Kaibutsuen" (all published by Fukuinkan Shoten), all of which have attracted considerable attention. The enigmatic world of his works, reminiscent of Europe, is filled with finely detailed figures and backgrounds. The mysterious world where brightness and darkness coexist in vivid colors is attracting a lot of attention.

「IMAGINARIUM」 (2022) (C)Junaida

“IMAGINARIUM" is junaida's first large-scale solo exhibition. Over 400 original picture book drawings and one-page paintings will be displayed in a world of red and gold. Visitors are invited to enjoy the entire imaginary world, encountering works drawn especially for this exhibition, as well as monsters that move. The exhibition catalog and many other original museum goods will be available for purchase. Publicity materials and the catalog will be designed by cozfish, a design studio that has worked on book designs for "No" and "Kaibutsuen".
Junaida is a Kyoto-based Japanese artist with several picture books published in Japan, including The Endless with the Beginningless and Lapis / Motion in Silence. His haunting, beautiful imagery draws on the poetry of Kenji Miyazawa for inspiration. His recent work includes designing covers for the popular Hobonichi Techno planner.


Period: - Sunday 15 January, 2023
Venue: PLAY! Tachikawa
Hours: 10:00-17:00 / -18:00 on weekends and holidays (last admission 30 minutes before? closing )
Admission: Adults: ¥1,800 / College students: ¥1,200 / High school students: ¥1,000 / Junior high & elementary school students: ¥600
*Advanced booking recommended

For more information, please visit

Strange but True


Ratatouille anyone?

Cat cafes are all the rage these days, so it only seems logical that some other species are getting in on the action. For two days this summer, San Francisco will be host to a pop-up rat cafe, where patrons will be able to enjoy coffee and pastries in the company of the critters. The San Francisco Dungeon, a tourist attraction where actors reenact bits of the region’s history, will be hosting the event July 1 and July 7. Don’t worry ― these aren’t wild rats brought in from the streets. Instead, the rodents of honor are adoptable domestic pets from Rattie Ratz, a Bay Area rat rescue group. That means that if you get along especially well with one of the rats at the cafe, you may decide to make your new friend a permanent addition to your life!

Let's Night Fever!

"Night fever, night fever, he knows how to do it!" This flamboyant frog was captured channelling his inner John Travolta. The animated amphibian adopted the iconic pose from the 1970s hit movie Saturday Night Fever. Amateur wildlife photographer Aditya Permana from Tangerang, Indonesia, took the groovy picture in his local pet shop. He sat for an hour with his Nikon D300 and his patience was rewarded when the frog suddenly jumped up and struck the classic disco pose. The image shows the feisty frog with one hand pointing to the sky in the same manner as Travolta’s heart-throb Tony Manero, even with his left elbow kinked out and his right knee bent. He knows how to show it!


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