Friday, October 10, 2008

"Foreign Broadcasts Broadcast Locally"

One of the reasons it's fun to spend some time with short-term visitors from outside Japan, is that they come over here still broadcasting on their regular frequencies, and since I used to send/receive on those same (or nearly the same) frequencies myself, I can pick up their broadcasts and see Japan from the outsider's perspective. The narrow side streets where everything (cars, scooters, bicycles, pedestrians, etc.) shares the same space; the surprise of a first experience on a sardine-run train; etc.

And so it was last night. Dinner in an Indian restaurant (not what I would have picked, but it turned out to be a great restaurant and a good choice), with tales of the old country and talk of speeding trains (they were scheduled to take the Shinkansen to Kyoto today), all seeming almost strangely familiar (after 24 years here, the west is beginning to seem exotic and things here normal), and - somewhat surprisingly - I found myself today still seeing "Exotic Japan". Having switched frequencies last night, perception of the world was still colored by the experience.

And um... that's all folks. Except to say that the fall weather is quite nice recently - the last pre-coat weather with some of the trees just beginning to change color. Days to dream of the age when offices had windows you could actually (gasp!-shock!-horror!) open (what?!) to get some fresh air, instead of being sealed in like a fish in a fishbowl.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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