04 April 2006

Tokyo is just, well, grey today.

I'm spending the week in Tokyo on business. And you know, I am just not that wild about this place. Granted, so far, all I've seen is city and more city. And, rain and more rain. There is something very sobering, as a manager of localization, walking around in a city with really, poorly translated signage. English is hip, as far as I can tell, but the combo of words used for naming just leaves me with a big fat question mark in my head. For instance, I just went to a monstrosity of a shopping mall (14 stories) and the sign outside the door is "Creative Life, Toku Hands". Now, that sorta makes you think of, umm, something made by hand, creativity, etc... Inside, it was a Tokyo-Target with widgets and gidgets that are flashy and overpriced. I am humbled as I walk around and hour after hour and do not hear one word of a language I know. And, anything I say is not understood. All Americans should have this experience at least 10 times in their life. It might create a tsunami of understanding and patience in the culture.

I have all day Saturday to myself, and maybe I'll feel something different by then. At least, maybe I'll find a little Japanese yarn!

The good news is the cherry blossoms are in full flower. Here is a photo shot early this morning (in the grey rain) from my hotel:

Tokyo Cherry Blossoms!

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