Friday, October 05, 2007


Just a quick note to let everyone, all three of you, know that I'm alive, and well, and living in Japan, and bopping around various universities in the Tokyo area, checking on teachers, earning my keep, and the other day I happened to be at a women's university, which still exist in this country, and I was in a cafeteria with three hundred twenty-year old Japanese females, and one pasty-white Canadian male, that male being me, and I went to get a hot chocoalte from the vending machine, and I was actually feeling a little bit jaded, having been familiar with Japan since before Y2K, since most of these students were in elementary school, and I approached the vending machine, and I noticed that there was a digital key pad where I could conveniently place my order, and a lovely, digitized, smoothly synthetic version of Sonny and Cher's classic 'I Got You Babe' was pleasantly pumping out of the vending machine's speakers, and, the piece de resistance, hanging by a thread, literally, to the side of the contraption was a delicately designed, carefully crafted, covered in plastic, menu.

Let me repeat this, for it bears repeating:

The vending machine, which distributes hot drinks, had a touchpad screen. It played Sonny and Cher from its speakers. And it offered an actual, physical, tactile, honest-to-god menu for me to flip through before my purchase.

How could I have ever thought I could become cynical about Japan?