There is the gas man that comes around in his little white truck with speakers fixed to the roof, like an American ice-cream truck, playing a cute jingle that sounds like the theme song to a 1950s cartoon
There is the kitchen banter in the noodle shops, a sort of singsong shouting competition between cooks and waiters, each trying to outdo the other in their style, rhythm and intonation: "irasshaimase!" "arigato gozaimashita!"
There are the train attendants on the platforms waving their arms for arriving and departing trains with a white-gloved, two-fingered gesture that seems almost choreographed.
There are the announcements made by bus drivers which hover somewhere between an incoherent mumble and a sexy Barry White-style seduction.
Then there are the funny jobs that continue to arrive in my lap.
I am now the voice of a dozen or more radio id's and promos for Alpha Station FM Kyoto 89.4. http://fm-kyoto.jp
A friend of mine here asked me if I'd be interested in recording some spots in English for a local radio station. Of course I said yes. So I went to the station studios on the 8th floor of the COCON building in downtown Kyoto, and for two hours I sat in a recording booth with a big microphone on a boom and headphones and read through 10 or 12 pages of station id's and program promos.
"We'll be right back."
"This is Sunnyside Balcony. Alpha Station Kyoto FM."
"Let's get into Stardust Parade."
So if you live in Japan (sorry overseas readers) listen for your old friend Robert on the radio beginning in April.