Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Journey to the Far East

The powers that be have decided in their wisdom that it is for the common good that I leave the country for the time being and visit my company headquarters in Japan. I’ll be leaving in a couple of weeks for a one week duration. I’ll be there just long enough for adjust to sleeping in a timezone 180 degrees out of phase with my normal body rhythms.

I’ve never been there before, in spite of having a long interest in the history and culture of Japan. Being a business trip, I really don’t expect to see much of the country aside from airports, train stations, hotels, office buildings, and restaurants.

Since my mother passed away and my kids are grown, I am less anxious about travel. I don’t have to worry about them any more. From that regard, I am quite looking forward to it. Here is a chance to test my fledging Japanese language skills. Here is a chance to see what it’s like over there.

One thing I am NOT looking forward to is the flight. I don’t mind flying. Not at all. I can’t stand travelling by air though. I don’t like airports, checking in, security, waiting at the gate, finding my luggage; you name it. It seems like the whole processs has been explicityly designed solely to antagonize the traveler. Then there is the length of the flight to consider. It’ll be about 13 hours each way.

So, I’ll probably see a couple of movies. I’ll do some crossword puzzles. I’ll probably work on some Japanese language related stuff, hopefully take a few naps, and get some reading done.

I’ll have a lot of time to do some reading. I’m only going to have so much space to lug around books, so something thick and densely printed. I don’t think I’m going to want to think too hard, so something entertaining rather than something to be studied.

Any suggestions?


Zen said...

YOKATA!!! I am so jealous!! How lucky for you!

My wife is going in a few months to visit family. I will be unable to go :-(

where are you going, Toyko?

Billy Jack said...

Proust, or Genji Monogatari.

Rick Matz said...

I'll be in Osaka for one day, then Tokyo for another four.

I'll look into both Proust and Genji Monogatari to see if I'd like them. Thanks.

andi said...

My wife went to Japan on business last year, unfortunately I couldn't go too due to family commitments, which is a pity as I've only wanted to go to Japan for the last 30 years (no sour grapes there of course). She says it's true about heated toilet seats!

Rick Matz said...

My friends are suggesting that I skip work one day and try to get on a Japanese game show.