Sunday, August 27, 2006

General Observations About Japan #2

More general observations.....

1. Japanese writing is so difficult that even some Japanese people don’t understand it. A couple of times I’ve asked for translation of a particular character only to be met with “Hmmm. Actually, even I’m not sure what this means”.

Today I was telling two adults in my class that the symbol for Warabi, one of my schools, was very complicated. One of them agreed and admitted he hadn’t got a clue how to draw it, and the other one cheated and looked it up on his phone. I wonder if it is the equivalent of not being able to spell Uttoxeter.

2. On a Friday night, as the train pulls up and the doors open, you are knocked over by the boozy waft of stale beer. On a Friday night the Japanese really go for it. I know the British can drink, but The Tube never smelled like a Burton-On-Trent brewery. A couple of times now, I’ve seen a businessman collapsed in a heap whilst a train guard went through his mobile looking for someone to call.

3.When food arrives, it’s really hot. As in McDonald’s Apple Pie hot. And it all tastes very fresh. Unlike Littlewood’s café, there’s not much hotlamping going on round here.

4. There are no old cars on the road in Japan. This is because parts and warranties are so expensive it’s just as easy to buy a new car. The same cannot be said for pushbikes all of which resemble the original “velocipede”. Or is that a dinosaur?

5. Taxi doors open and close automatically. Also the taxi drivers do not moan about “the ragheads”, refuse to go South of the river, or take you all round the houses. Oh wait, they do do that ; not because they’re dishonest, but because they haven’t got a chuffing clue where anything is.

6. Though Japan has the highest life-expectancy in the world, I’ve never seen so many people bent double with what I presume is osteoperosis. My God, these people really are at right-angles to themselves. It doesn’t stop them, though. They’re out and about trundling across Tokyo with their wheeled zimmer frames. Maybe there’s a home for doubled-up grannies in Akabane somewhere.

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