Tuesday, March 25, 2008

adjusting the volume II

So. The relative peace and quiet can be great. And I am, 'at the end of the day', thankful for this unique opportunity. But try to imagine living in a place where EVERYthing you hear on the radio, TV, at work, on the street, in the mall, at the grocery store, at the post office - try to imagine all of it makes no sense - it's just sounds...that eventually turn into a kind of white noise. It's isolating. At the same time, however, I try to use it for focusing on my own things, and think of my lack of understanding as a sort of immunity to some of the very things I was trying to get away from in the States. The concept of "Communication" seemed so 2-dimensional before, and now it seems to be expanding exponentially. Feeling (for the most part) "locked out" of a language allows me to evaluate existing methods and develop others as I deal with the day to day job of living.

That being said, my meager attempts at 'learning the language' are always met with such support and enthusiasm here. People may seem shy, but as I think I've mentioned before, they probably don't feel like they have anything to say to me until I mumble something in a language they understand. As I was at Huis Ten Bosch (the Dutch village north of here) the other day, I overhead these shopkeepers' frantic, nervous whispers as they tried to figure out what to say to me - and suddenly they timidly blurted out "Delicious!" I looked at the cheese to which they were pointing, and said, "Hai, chizu ga oishiiso, yo" Which actually might really mean "the map indeed looks delicious", but regardless - they were excited to try to talk to me (in Japanese). We chatted for a bit about why I was in Japan and where I lived, and then I walked away grinning at how funny - and at times misleading - our perceptions about other people can be.

I keep trying to get a point here - about why I've been posting all the music stuff here lately. Some of you probably like some of the stuff, and others, well, thanks for your patience. In the US, I was used to having music around me all the time - Dad was always playing something at home (I miss that - hint hint ;) ) or I could always turn on the house stereo or car radio (here I don't even HAVE a radio). So, now that I'm finally finding popular Japanese music that I can tolerate, I feel like another layer of communication unfolds...
So - I hope this stuff is, at the very least, educational :)

Right. So enough of the melodrama - here's a your "RSD" (random shot of the day) - it's in a washroom at Huis Ten Bosch. This divider is made up of a series of cardboard tubes - they looked like the ones you'd find on the inside of a roll of paper or carpet. Since I read somewhere that HTB was really concerned about the environment, I wouldn't be surprised if these really were recycled materials from the site! This washroom also had randomly-placed round mirrors scattered about the walls. Since the whole room was an oval shape, I figured the mirrors were supposed to look like bubbles...until I glanced in the mirror above the sink and saw that the "randomly-placed" mirrors actually worked like a 3 way mirror! Wow - I need a vacation...I'm now impressed with toilet facilities!

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