Guess where I’ve been the last couple weeks. Let me give you a hint: There is virtually no litter, no profanity, no violent crime, no graffiti, and no public smoking. And I’m not talking about just those civil middle class folks (although this country claims that 90% of its people are middle class). Even the homeless people who sleep in the parks make sure to pack up their gear and move to the shadows before the businessmen and tourists pass through in the morning.
Here’s the giveaway: At this moment, I’m riding a Bullet Train (Shinkansen) zipping along at about 170 MPH.
Yes, I’m in Japan! The zoo of the Faithful Elephants, the gardens, the glitz of Ginza, the Cat Cafe, the Owl Cafe; it’s like one big theme park. And everyone is soooo nice. It’s like the Midwest on steroids, if you know what I mean.
Some of you might have been a bit offended (above) by my use of the word, “businessmen.” C’mon people; get with the 21st Century! Here in Japan, there is an order that transcends political correctness. There is beauty, more than beauty, a divinity in the structure of a functional, orderly society. Everywhere we look here in Japan, we can see quiet women enjoying their supportive roles keeping themselves attractive to their soul mates, covering their alabaster skin from the harmful rays of the sun, donning false eyelashes, minding their children and patiently awaiting their men’s return from the bars after a grueling day’s toil and labor at the office.
Even the children here adhere to a strict code of obedient cheerfulness. We found that whenever we lost our way in Tokyo’s throngs, all we need do is find a flock of teenage girls, cheerfully clad in their school uniforms. We ask them the way to such-and-such and presto, they change course from their appointed destination to lead us 10 blocks out of their way to our trivial tourist spot. They giggle as we walk along while showing off all the English vocabulary they’ve learned through rote school lessons. I swear on a stack of Geisha Memoirs this actually happened to us on our way to Sunshine City, a popular shopping mall in the heart of Tokyo. Yes, the name of the mall is “Sunshine City” where we found the Pokemon superstore. Is this a great place to raise a kid or what?!