August 19, 2006

Why is she leaving?

A British friend of TimesOnline journalist and blogger Richard Lloyd Parry is leaving Japan after 15 years here. Why? Parry summarizes her reasons on his blog.

My favourites:
Things she'll miss - The sound of suzumushi and semi (crickets and cicadas). Who needs a CD of whale song or waves with these natural melodies to hand?
...

Onsens [hot spring resorts]. 24-hour absolute dedication to sensual pleasure and relaxation. Bathe, eat, drink, sleep, eat, bathe (and usually a few other activities thrown in). If only the Japanese knew how to live like that outside the onsen.

Drinking alcohol in the cinema
Drinking alcohol in the park
Drinking alcohol in the street
Drinking alcohol on the train....

What I won’t miss

Squeaky bicycle brakes. I still don’t get it. Is it intentional? Are they made like that?

Gokiburi [cockroaches]. I have had close encounters with venomous sea snakes and 400,000 Indian chikans [molesters]. But nothing gets me on a chair screaming as quick as a Japanese goki.

My Japanese neighbours. Humourless, cold, petty, joyless. On bad days I see them as representative of the whole nation.


If you were leaving the place where you are now, what would you miss and not miss?

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