|RANT 'N' RAVE
Daisuki na Tokyo -
Tokyo's my favorite
Wherever expats gather in Tokyo, the same,
tired old gripes are soon voiced. And I'm left feeling faintly stupid for loving it here.
I've only logged a year so far. Maybe soon the penny will drop and I'll be whining with
the best of them. But in the meantime, I get a kick out of my commute. Navigating the
crowds is as much fun as rollerblading in traffic: Dodge! Duck! Make that light! Eat
umbrella spray, punk! It used to piss me off that the trains shut down at night; then I
realized it's the excuse we all need to party until dawn instead of wimping out at 3am.
Isn't it a blast catching the first train, a.k.a. the Yamanote Zoo?
I also love catching the last train with all the squiffy workaholics. There's
something infinitely touching about a salaryman asleep. Awake, he's a mesmerizing paradox:
his suit connotes authority, but it's also a corset of oppression. I empathize! Asleep,
he's simply adorable.
As for Tokyo's female fashion victims, they're adorable all the time. I often
amuse myself by holding a private Living Barbie contest. It takes time and energy to be a
Tokyo's inanimate scenery also leaves New York City, my hometown, in the shade. You could
drop Times Square into Ikebukuro and it wouldn't get any sparklier. You could stick the
World Trade Center into Ginza and nobody would notice. Doesn't just looking at all the
neon make you happy?
So many rebuttals, so little space. "Oh, the poor homeless of Tokyo!" Guess
what? They're a damn sight comfier in Shinjuku than they are on the gratings of Manhattan
since Rudy "Shoganai" Giuliani booted them out of the subway system. In
Ueno Park they do it up with tents, pets and laundry lines. That says a lot about Japan,
Of course, I, too, have my reservations. Natto is disgusting, Morning Musume are
even more annoying than the Spice Girls, and I worry about earthquakes just like I used to
worry about terrorists with anthrax blowers.
It's home away from home! Gotham to the power of ten! Bigger, faster, wilder, more! Ain't
that supposed to be the American way?
You've even got your air pollution
the complaints spilling unfiltered from the
mouths of certain expats.
Yes, sometimes we're made to feel like performing seals. But patience and compassion will
lead to mutual understanding. For those who feel like giving up, I have four little words:
Don't go home yet.
Many thanks to an anonymous reader for this Rave.
Got something to get off your
Send your 500-word rant (or rave) by fax to 03-3423-6931, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org