Pros / Cons of Life in Japan #1 Walking

MJG Japan, Pro / Con 28 Comments

City-walking is both an art and a science. As any seasoned city-walker knows (I’m looking at you, New York), success depends on an endless stream of complex crowd-motion algorithms executed with the balletic grace of Neo slow-dodging bullets. Like a persistent spermatazoa wriggling for the egg, we city-walkers waggle, chicane, and drive our way through the crowds of human dreck that litter our path. However in Japan, more specifically in Tokyo, all those fancy commutation computations may be rendered inert by a single oblivious breed. CON? THE WALK-IN-FRONTER Everybody knows there are two (or more) lanes on the sidewalk, just …

Pros / Cons of Life in Japan #2 Fighting

MJG Japan, Pro / Con 9 Comments

Fighting in real-life is pretty dumb. You’ve gotta be a drunk or some kind of psycho to go around initiating fights with real people, though there are doubtless plenty of both. I remember being yelled out countless proposals to fight while walking pub-to-club on the night-streets of Bolton, UK, as though they were casual invitations to dance. There was the same pulse-quickening excitement, flushed faces, the same hopeful anticipation. I’m sure it happens every night still. It’s strange, but then some people just like to fight, like Begby in Trainspotting (though more accurately he just liked to glass people in …