So where have I been since I got lost in reflections ...busy ... classes, grading, social events ... but still pondering. A few days after I wrote my last entry, Shoko introduced me to the local library. I found a book by an author we had talked about, Last Run, and pulled it off the shelf. It was an autobiographical novel by the author who, at the age of 70, had hopped on her motorcycle and journeyed back to her home town. Thought I'd look it. Much to my surprise, when I opened it, I could read the Japanese on the flyleaf, which was: 残ってされた人生でやっておきたいこと. Translated it means, "What do you want to do with the rest of your life?" I guess I needed to see it in black and white. Not that I have any answers ... but still asking the questions. Still reflecting, as seen in this selfie with 3D glasses.
Meanwhile there have been no big adventures. Last weekend was terribly hot so Shoko and I were "mall rats" on Sunday. Did some shopping, made a stop at Starbuck's, Uniqlo and the HyakuEn shop, then went to a movie. I love movies in Japan, even if I can't understand them. The theaters are clean. The audience is quiet and respectful. There's no one jabbering away on their cell phone or rustling the packaging on the their candy. The movie we saw, Shoplifters, won the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year. It's a story about an unconventional "family" group. Makes you wonder about "family". What defines a family ,,, is it only the genetics?
This Saturday, we made a trip to Odaiba, a man made island in Tokyo Bay with modern buildings, a huge shopping mall and amusement park. We went to a place called "未来館” ー Miraikan, National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. It was a fascinating look at the evolution of science and technology and where it was going.
One of the exhibits was a perpetual motion gizmo that mimicked volcanoes, typhoons, earthquakes, pollution, carbon dioxide emissions, and people. I could have watched it for hours.
We got tickets to see the 3D experience of the birth of the cosmos. Unfortunately, you put those glasses on me, in a dark room, in a seat that reclines, ... I woke up when it was over.
The eeriest exhibit was the android. He had multi-jointed arms that made the movement life-like ... sort of. But what was freakiest was that if you stood right in front of him/it, he/it would stop, look at you, bow (after all, he is a Japanese Android), and mumble a few words. He/It hadn't developed language yet. Thank heavens. That was the job of the less mobile female droid sitting in the booth next door.
Actually, the scariest part of the visit might have been lunch. As a Philadelphian, I had to try it. It looked like a soft pretzel. But it sure didn't taste like any soft pretzel I've every had. Think chewy bread with a surprise inside ... it was stuffed with butter. Interesting. But not a Philly experience. And yes, that is a hot dog beside it ... in a loaf of bread. Sometimes Japanese food is all too familiar.