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Machinehead Does Japan


machinehead

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There are large bicycle parking areas outside the train stations. Commuters ride their bike to the station if it's too far to walk, then make their connections by commuter train and subway.

Machinehead, how are the bikes stored at the train stations? Is there a fee charged? Are bike lockers provided or is it just a padlock-to-a-pole deal? Are there security patrols? Sorry about the 3rd degree :rolleyes:

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Somehow the image of Machinehead swilling saki, burning rubber from toll booth to toll booth, and watching Wheel of Fortune while driving on the wrong side of a Japanese road pops into my mind. :lol:

 

Apparently, you missed the book "How I got this way" by Bobbit. Chapter one. Dont let your wife have access to sharp instruments. This is not to be confused with Pat Nixon's book, "A little Dick goes a long ways".

 

It's discouraging to read of Japan's loss of respect for Mother Nature. It's something you don't envision. It will also bite them in the ass.

 

They have their Pachinko and we have legalized gambling in virtually every state. Remember when gambling was a sin to be avoided and in most places could lead to hefty fines or jail time? It's OK now that the state gets its cut.

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Great story, MH.

 

A former colleague of mine went to work for a competitor. In his new position, he often has to travel to Japan and other places (he's Australian). He's not only a brilliant anti-virus researcher but also a brilliant writer. You can read his adventures in Japan there.

 

If you like it, you might also like his other works of this kind - life in Iceland, life in Australia and life in the USA. :lol:

 

Regards,

Vesselin

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MH,

 

thanks, i attended waseda daigaku in the early 1980's. for epnding money, i taught english to salarymen in tokyo and spent many a night out on the town with them. i was also invited to the company "house". i also taught a grammar school kid and his bro' english - BTW, he attended regular school, was tutored in english and attended night school. if you dont get into a good schools, you are bascially screwed.

 

japan is a beautiful country with wonderful, friendly people. at the time i was there bulk of pop lived in urban areas, so once you left the city, it was just beautiful. the public transport system is awesome, we need it in CA - i traveled twice thru japan on public transport and it was enjoyable - very different from the35 hr train ride i recently took from san diego to portland :huh: . i was surprised to hear that the wives were "angry" as the salarymen all partied together and it was kinda required that they do so. also at the time i was there, street crime was almost non-existent. i walked thru a park every night on the way home from the subway and it took a couple of months for the fear to abate. conversely, when i returned to the states, having the old fears come back was a little discouraging.

 

PeeB

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Machinehead, how are the bikes stored at the train stations?? Is there a fee charged?? Are bike lockers provided or is it just a padlock-to-a-pole deal?? Are there security patrols?? Sorry about the 3rd degree? :rolleyes:

A-bear, you may be imagining flashy 12-speed racers, but most of the bikes at Japanese railway stations are old, 1970-style black clunkers with fenders (to keep tire splash from wetting your clothes).

 

Many are left unlocked. Those who wish to can lock bikes to the metal bike racks. No fee is charged. Few bother with removing the front wheel and securing it too. Petty theft is not nearly as common in Japan as elsewhere.

 

Security patrols exist, but it's not a heavy presence. You don't see hoodlums and vagrants loitering around the stations, waiting to nick a bike.

 

Japanese society is quite orderly in many ways. There's very little aggressive driving. On escalators in Tokyo's underground stations, those who didn't want to walk stood on the right -- without being asked -- allowing those on the left to move past.

 

That's the positive aspect. The downside is that order is enforced by the social rigidity and inflexibility that Jim Rogers describes in the article linked by Soros.

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A-bear, you may be imagining flashy 12-speed racers, but most of the bikes at Japanese railway stations are old, 1970-style black clunkers with fenders (to keep tire splash from wetting your clothes).

:grin: Yes I was thinking of the more expensive models; somehow I always imagined the Japanese would ride nothing else but cutting edge technology-type bikes. Notice the same thing here actually .. those with the old clunkers just casually prop them up against the outside of a shop while the rest of us have to resort to bolt cutter proof locking systems (not that my bike is top line but it's relatively new).

 

Regarding the pedestrian traffic: once upon a time it was very orderly here too, basically keep left unless passing. Now we have a huge influx of Asians, mostly young, attending the various universities and it's mayhem on the footpaths as they tend to walk in clumps IN THE MIDDLE. Not only that but they walk so SLOWLY. Having been to SE Asia I can understand it as pedestrians weave around at random, expertly avoiding collision, just like the road traffic but it is annoying...

 

Bontchev: great stories, read a couple and have saved the rest for perusal later...

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FauxCaster - a blast from the past. That avatar is still my alter ego. Thanks.

good post TwoScrews.

 

FauxCaster, go read what Paul Johnson hASS to say about MH's NEW avatar in MODERN TIMES. Ironically, Mr TwoScrews, who is devoutly anti statist, has chosen an avatar of a shade who was, in a number of ways which Mr Johnson at some length describes, a statist, although Mr Johnson, APOLOGETICALLY, thereupon, immediately therafter, and, presumably because of having just rendered that lengthy description of him AS such, declares (MH's NEW avatar) as NOT being, in fact, a statist.

 

For optimistic views about Japan's immediate future, anyway, see the remarx of Mr Jim Rogers at www.jimrogers.com or in his new book. Here's a quote:

 

"So, I?m convinced that the Japanese economy has hit a temporary bottom, and that a prosperous time is coming?call it a rebound."

 

HRFF did not share Mr Rogers enthusiasm at the time this article (linked to above by Soros) was written. Nor does he now.

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One only has to read such casual, random accounts of the way/the blighted, rigid existence in which millions if not billions of others, elsewhere, live to understand how much we have to be grateful for in this nation. Which makes the looming calamity we are rushing toward, fueled by our unrestrained profligacy, that much more regrettable/lamentable.

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In accordance with the never ending vigilance requisite to policing Mr TwoScrews udderances, BARE ofFURs up the following: his remarx about fishing in Japan are not entirely grounded in fact. The Japanese are, in fact, fanatical fishermen, and there are a LOT of them, and they have as healthy a recreational fishing industry/market there as we do, here, in some major respects. They approach the sport with the same zeal they have applied to making the world's best cars. If you want sharp, highest quality fishing hooks, for example, you buy Japanese. Any plunker of largemouth bass lures knows that the really high end stuff comes from Japan. And so on.

 

TwoScrews should have qualified his remarx - he was, obviously, speaking in the context, mostly, of stream and river fishing. Much of what HRFF speaks to above is lake or ocean fishing.

 

In which Mr TwoScrews contemplates his oversight in his observations about Japanese and recreational fishing:

post-2-1071943850_thumb.jpg

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Machinehead, Welcome back! Haven't read the entire thread but read your first post and found it very interesting, particularly details about the Japanese housing market. Your comments about the weird juxtaposition of the modern with old Japan is intriguing. Arthur Koestler wrote "The lotus and the robot" in 1960 elaborating on that very theme. He was quite put off by it. After reading it I decided not to travel to Japan unless I had to.

 

You have to like or get used to crowds, living in Japan. I've heard some funny stories about Japanese tourists in the wilds of Canada being completely horrified by the lack of humanity. We tend to think they'd be enchanted by it, but apparently some Japanese are overwhelmed and frightened by it. It makes sense.

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