Riding through the subway, I was unable to ask for directions, read signs, nor understand what was said around me. I felt blind, deaf & mute. Trains stations located 6 levels underground did not obstruct riders from obtaining a cellular connection & trains ran on a schedule that could only be described as perfection. Digitals signs with time stamps indicated the arrival of the next train with such precision, it was unreal. Old fashioned work ethic ruled the country, the crowded platforms never stood still as people swiftly zipped by, always taking a second to glance at the foreigner.
My eyes looked hypnotized as I gazed at my surroundings like an alien among the natives. Eventually, I turned the key to my cubicle sized hotel room. No larger than a prison cell, it contained a toilet with more buttons than a TV remote & a tub only long enough to accommodate a pygmy. I ditched my bags & set out to explore. To experience a culture so exotic from my own & to fall in love with it so quickly was surreal. To describe Tokyo, take the grandeur of New York, mix it with the energy & lights of Las Vegas & then multiply it by a hundred, that’s Tokyo.
The city was overwhelming, there were so many lights, like Times Square on a multiplier. As I’d saunter, I’d take in my surroundings. On one corner there was a talking vending machine with a touchscreen interface, powered by a super computer powerful enough to delight any technophile; on the other, a centuries-old temple with gracefully curving roofs & its complex of three subsidiary towers. The city felt like a dream.
Eventually I met a...