I`m at Narita Airport outside of Tokyo. It`s a very nice facility but far from the city. You basically have to take one of the train or bus services or pay for a 40 mile cab ride. The good news is that this is Japan, which despite its leadership in things automotive, gives you every reason never to own a car. Train and bus services are frequent, cheap and reasonable. Moving your luggage around from the underground train station is easy. I had to make an overnight stop here on my way back from Singapore and Hong Kong due to flight schedules and prices. And couldn`t resist the prospect of one last bender.
I thought that the prospect of coming back to the US would focus some thoughts about Japan but actually it was visiting Singapore and Hong Kong that triggered some thinking：
＊This is a unique culture in Asia and the world. The way they do things is just different. Sometimes it‘s interesting, sometimes maddening. Usually there is some logic to it maddening. Usually there is some logic to it. Italians will carry on about how they are all different fromeach other, and French and Italians will carry on about how different they are from each other, but they`re more like distant relatives. They just think they`re different. The Japanese actually are different from just about every Ｏｔｈｅｒ nation out there. As one of the guys on one of the JapanBall trips said; “Hey, you know, Japan, it`s like a whole other country”.
*It`s easy to understand how the stereotypes prevalent in and among different societies in Asia come from.
*Our role in this region is changing. Our place in their minds is changing, and the influence we think we have is not where and in the manner we think it is．
A simple week outside of Japan, in two other places which I know pretty well, has made it clear to me why I`ve always been drawn to Japan and why these days I feel at ease in this place. Without going into great detail here, who I am and what I am works well in the Japanese scheme of things. And these days, even my minimal abilities in the Japanese language is something akin to meeting the Japanese halfway.
Many more thoughts are rushing around my head right now, but I`ll leave this entry as it is. Stay tuned. Lots more writing about Japan from back home in Los Angeles. And besides, Narita has an observation deck.