Enough already with pink. It's time to return to quirky shrines and offbeat temples, but while I'm researching a dozen or so, I offer a list of ten (plus) things I don't understand about Japan.
I'm puzzled by many conundrums, such as the preference for white rather than brown rice and students who describe their hobby as "sleeping", but I can still kinda figure it out.
This list, however ... Japan, I love you to bits, but why?!
- Cyclists on sidewalks
- Mobile phones as a security blanket
- Dragging heels and shuffling feet – all genders, all ages, all social strata
- Unbelievably cluttered homes, regardless of size
- Do we really, absolutely and unequivocally need so many vending machines?
- Sniffing. I know it's cultural – I know – but wouldn't it be better to blow instead of swallow? (Egad, it sounds as if I'm talking about Kabukichō.)
- A tendency to sexualise young girls and infantilize adult women. This could be linked to three more specific things I don't understand either: AKB48, Hello Kitty and an obsession with Disneyland. What I understand least of all is why I've bought Hello Kitty phone charms. I can't even use the excuse that it's merely post-modern ironic-sardonic sociobiological deconstructionist meta-symbolic derealisation. (Can I throw around liberal arts psychobabble or what?) No. I bought it (with a groan) because I liked it.
- Yes, I know I'm way beyond ten, but this is my blog, so I get to count any which way. Number eleven is mother fixation.
- Let's make it a round dozen. I don't understand why Japan doesn't tell all its critics, including bloggers who write silly lists, to go jump off a cliff.
It's a remarkably short list. If I had to do an equivalent list for South Africa, it would be even shorter:
My list for the whole word is succinct:
- The tenacity of stupidity