Andrew’s world in Japan

Untitled Document

Andrew Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring the creative process & connecting with other creative people.

Unidentified Convenience

The differences between you and me, well…, that’s probably an infi nitesimal feat, seeing as we are worlds apart. The internet can only do so much to bridge the numerous gaps between the fantastic time space continuum. Fortunately, when in Japan, the complexities of understanding this and more can melt away if you just let yourself. Wait…, I had to double check, but you know what, I’m not gonna take that back. It’s only a matter of medium fl ow. Organization, recognition of a system and embracing that systems rules is why so many people love to play board games. A way of life. Let’s take ordering some food as our central and primary example. There are numerous possible options and outcomes. Resting squarely on the specifi c situation. A nice highend izakaya may only have menus printed on fi ne rice paper and read in a beautifully scripted calligraphed kanji. Don’t know how to read kanji? No worries. Rattle off what foods you may know, look deeply in their eyes and hope with all your heart it won’t cost you all the cash you have in your pocket at that very moment. Undoubtedly, they refuse any card of credit, let alone your offer to wash their dishes. On the other end of the spectrum is a fast food joint, tons of pictures, probably some romanji and a price that would fi t the skinniest of shoestring budgets. Let’s get off the bus somewhere in the middle. Here we are, it’s a strange land you say? You just don’t get this? Well, it is time to order our eats, the menu is… a machine? A vending machine? No, no, I wanna talk to someone. But they won’t understand me anyway. Oh, you mean I won’t understand them. Without a recommendation, how can I decide? And here we are, this land of convenience and save face. At least they have pictures. Many places only have the kanji, and you’re playing “go fi sh.” Emotional attachments can now be sidestepped, they cold world simplifi ed and an unsatisfi ed tummy conveniently fulfi lled just a quick button push away. Somehow, it seems I am unable to escape ramen. Even dealing with a vending machine menu is an experience I look forward to if ramen is somehow in the picture. Of course it would be easier to just ask a worker to recommend something to me. Adventure people, come on. Anticipation is what makes many things unforgettable. Let go, be lists, don’t try to interrupt. Just live the moment.