Monday, 30 January 2012

Are we in Japan?

As others have done I keep asking what features of Japan distinguish it from North America. Due to ever present earthquakes electric wires are usually seen above ruining many a photographic view, but that is not unusual. Then I realized that their rain water and waste water runs through unique square channels cut down about 30cm at the side of almost every public road I have seen and frequently on both sides. These channels are usually covered with concrete blocks or grating in the city allowing pedestrians to walk on them, but on mountain roads they are not covered and drivers hope they never drop their tires into it. I am not sure whether other Asian countries use something similar, but I would suspect I was in japan if I observed these channels. And to make things even more obnoxious some astute bureaucrat decided to place concrete pillars in the street. Actually this sort of thing happens because houses are built and later someone decides to squeeze a street between the buildings.
On our first or second trip to Japan I was standing on the deck of a cousin's son (same age as me) when his boss happened to drive by. He did a "double take" when he saw me on his employee's porch and his car slammed into one of these concrete pillars knocking off the front wheel. I still feel guilty about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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