Rambling impressions of Japan

Not to worry, the damage Godzilla, Rodan and Ghidra did to Tokyo has been repaired.

by Bobak Ha’eri

With so many students wasting their spring breaks in tired spots like Mexico or Uganda, I headed off to the land of the rising sun. I didn’t expect to get a column out of it, but spending 12 days here has made a number of impressions. Here they are in a more-or-less cogent collection:

I thought I’d stumbled unto a great unknown party scene when a bunch of topless girls hopped in the hotel pool. Then I realized they were all little boys. Japanese people are slender. There aren’t a whole lot of buff people walking around. I visited a gym, but they were playing Enya – so I understand why.

Japanese food is, by-and-large, very healthy and tasty. Even the water is healthy, as noted by the popular brand “Pocari Sweat.” Yet, McDonald’s is everywhere and exceptionally popular. I guess the Japanese are the ultimate refutation to “Super -Size Me.”

Surprisingly, many Japanese women pack weight in their calves. I didn’t see any sumo, but a few U.S. tourists came pretty close.

The Americans with Disabilities Act would never work in Japan. There isn’t enough room anywhere for anything. Still, the Japanese manage to live longer than we do.

There’s a hip-hop craze going through young people’s fashion in Japan. It’s proof positive that while FUBU sweats might not give you street cred or a doctorate in thuggery, you can look like an idiot while spending a lot of money.

The trains are so timely you can set your watch to them. The subways are actually intentionally delayed because people were timing their suicide jumps to the train arrivals.

The Bullet Train system is the fastest and most accurate train system in the world. The system is very complicated and expensive. If you jump in front of a Bullet Train, your family pays all the costs associated with repair and massive rescheduling. The Japanese must’ve learned this from the Chinese: making the family pay for the bullet.

The cell phone craze in Japan is beyond imagination. Everyone text-messages all the time. All the phones are flip phones with cameras. Because of issues with the camera usages, all the phone cameras make sounds that cannot be turned off. Women in Japan appreciate that feature.

While I was here, some yakuza (Japanese mafia for those of you completely out of the loop) entered a man’s home, stabbed him, then realized they had the wrong man and apologized for nearly killing him. The victim was not impressed by the courtesy.

While boxy cars are very popular, the H2 Hummer looks even more ridiculous when seen on a Japanese street.

The Japanese royal family is a light version of the British royals. Princess Nori just made headlines for finally getting engaged at the ripe age of 35 – to a commoner! Prince Charles just got engaged to a commoner. If things don’t work out for either of them, they should marry each other. Tabloids would have a collective orgasm at the thought.

Starbucks sells waffles -ñ I don’t know where I’m going with that, but it just needed to be said.

In closing, I am happy to report all the destruction done over the years by Godzilla, Rodan and Ghidra King Ghidorah has been successfully cleaned up and repaired. They even put Tokyo Tower back together.

If you take the “to” in Tokyo and move it to the end, you get “Kyoto.” Whoa …

Bobak Ha’Eri welcomes comments at [email protected]