Unusually for him [cough], E@L was a little bit muddled a few weeks ago, somewhere in a foreign country in the middle of a conversation with someone he can't recall for legal reasons.
Anyway, point of story: E@L had stated that Hitachi, the company with which E@L may or not have a passing employment-oriented relationship, made Japan's Shinkansen trains.
And the other guy said, "Yeah, along with Toshiba."
E@L was certain he was unsure about this, but being always polite, did not challenge this assertion. More than that, he assented to it. "Yeah..." he said, semi-agreeing enthusiastically (beers had been consumed and the mood of the moment was positive) but quickly changed to a subject he felt he might be certain about being certain about - which is to say he shut-up and glugged another beer.
It's been bothering him though, because he had probably looked this up years ago. Fuck, the past is a foreign country, which is fair enough, as most of it happens in foreign countries. And besides... He has a vague memory of someone in Japan telling him about the Shinkansen, perhaps on the ride from Tokyo to Osaka.
Certainly Hitachi made the early models, as organised by Japan Rail, he is sure about that, but did they make ALL of them. Did Toshiba kick in at some point in time and go into a joint venture, or did Toshiba even make one or more of them completely?
Well yeah, screw you, Hitachi made them, along with Kawasaki and Japan Rail. All of the mainstream models are Hitachi.
Toshiba didn't get a fucking look in.
E@L thinks he's mentioned this aside before: Each year, Hitachi sponsor the Christmas lights on Orchard Rd.
And each time E@L goes through the gaudy (Singapore is nothing if not meretricious) show in a taxi, he asks the uncle if he knows who sponsors the lights. Do they even notice?
If they don't know, he tells them. If they do know, he asks them what products Hitachi make. They usually don't know any, or they say things like, "Toaster?"
One uncle said, "Diggers", which is true. "Very good. But Komatsu* better."
* Not that Komatsu don't get into their own spots of bother...