Saturday, October 27, 2007
就是個甚麼都沒有發生的一天。起床、賴床、烤土司、倒牛奶、在電腦前check email, delete junk email, 思考著要寫甚麼、回甚麼信、然後甚麼都沒有寫、甚麼沒有回。因為要趕作業、要查ふりがな、要在快和指導老師的會面遲到的路上出著大汗地奔跑著。
有 meeting, 有要 impress 要 sound smart 要表現自己很精明能幹很專業的場合；有少許學術交流討論和腦力激盪。有表格要填寫要遞交，有辦公室要來來回回跑去交涉加雜事處理。有手機短訊要回，手機短訓要查，手機簡訊要寫；寫之餘還得選擇適當的笑臉或苦臉或驚奇臉的小圓圖片，否則對方可能不能憑文字訊息完全地瞭解我的心情、幽默和想法。
還算忙碌，但終究是個甚麼也沒有發生的一天。 像那種有著很多聲光效果、電腦動畫，及灑狗血情節的斥資電影。似乎讓人一時間目不暇給，無法喘息。但是當電影結束時，你走出電影院，和身旁的友人說: "I think something is missing ..."
然後一個大雨小雨或綿綿細雨下個不停的天氣 just doesn't make it better.
儘管, life really isn't about a bed of roses each day.
Not possible, it seems like.
Just like most films remain to be those that are or imitate after trashy Hollywood production.
Even though we think that it's not supposed to be this way.
There's gotta be something wrong, if more than half of my days go by as such.
Still, until that knowledge begins to make an impact on those around me, on the world in which they live - even in the slightest way - it is nothing but self-gain, self-fulfillment.
Even the grand, trashy Hollywood production could at least bring 2-3 hours of entertainment to people, as fleeing as it may be.
Still, something is missing, something incredibly important is missing:
The ability to move people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.
Without such ability - everything else, 等同虛無。
Not the kind of life that I want, nor the prototype of the majority of the days that go by.
Now, what next? To where does this sense of awareness lead me?
梅ちゃん at 10:59:00 AM
有的時候是因為我居住的城市或國家，沒有為貧窮的研究生提供可以負擔得起的手機月租費服務。 有的時候是因為我居住的城市或國家的網路公司提供不良上網服務，以致於我幾乎無法使用MSN Messenger，或是用Skype聲訊不到一分鐘，電腦就會當機，或是訊號會每三秒就斷掉。
這個情況持續有很久，非常久了。從大學畢業在中國兩年到哈佛三年到現在日本東京三個月，情況一直沒有改善。Yes, from a so-called third-world developing country to a top-notch university back to the capital of a first-world nation. The situation remains.
But I have one conclusion, lately, that is - the world is NOT flat, and globalization in its name or progress, at least at this very moment, cannot make the world flat.
Perhaps it is only flat seen from the viewpoint of those who have the power and affluence to make it flat, seemingly accessible and reachable from whichever point of origin they are from, for their own sake.
For me, I continue to see much barrier・阻礙・かべ.
梅ちゃん at 2:59:00 AM
Monday, October 22, 2007
No Perfection, Just HumanHaving completely left this blog for 2 months, it's almost more frightening to write a new entry than to continue to leave it deserted. But the Generals Exam has long been over and the mental self-confinement has too ended with the lifting of the burden of the exam, I guess this blog needs a new start as well.
It's been 3 weeks since I came back to Tokyo. While long ago I thought all the inevitable physical transitions have been complete, I did not realize that the mental transition is yet to begin. It's not my first time living in Japan, but dealing with still a new environment, new group of people and hence a whole new world of culture, habits, and ways of thinking, it's just like starting all over again.
The other day I first learned how to buy movie tickets at convenient store after tediously filling out 7 pieces of paper with the same information written 7 times over.
The other day I first realized that after 6 pm, Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Bank charges me a $1 handling fee even at its OWN ATM machines (whereas the postal savings ATM closes at 5 pm, at least for the one closest to my house).
Each month I have to wait in a line of 20 people at the bank, for 30 minutes, in order to pay for my rent. No credit card except, no online payment heard of, and I've never seen or used a check in this country.
Yesterday the Internet provider replied back to me for the 3rd time, asking me to describe in GREATER detail what kind of connection problems I am encountering - "for instance, my dear customer, is it just too slow of a connection? or does the page not open up? or does it not connect at all? ..." and bla bla, and bla bla, and bla bla. Is it too much to ask to simply use hotmail, MSN, blogger, or log into Japan's own JR online ticketing system if I'm paying for the Internet service?
This morning I realized that all my Japanese email sent out of Apple Mail becomes unreadable, garbage language. Interestingly, only to those whose email addresses end with "ne.jp" or "co.jp" would my messages become garbage texts.
However, given the very decently affordable national health insurance system ($88 a year!), the extremely convenient house-delivery system, the awesome Tsutaya DVD/CD rental shops, the 100-yen shops, the first-rate customer service/care (even if their polite attitude couldn't get me too far in resolving the Internet issues that I have), the unbeatable public transportation system in this country, and all the good food, cheap eats, bustling beer houses, and explosive number of cultural and arts and film events and activities offered in this city, I'm still managing to survive here in this country, if not thriving well on some of the days.
A friend once told me to compile a list of all the pros and cons for all of the countries that I've lived in.
"And then what should I do with the list?" I asked.
"Well, maybe one day if you become the president of a country, then you can take a look at the list and then gather the best experiences/wisdom/design from each place to make your own country a greater place, while avoiding the pitfalls of each system, of course."
"How about if I just gather all the global travelers in one room and propose making a democratic state of our own and live happily ever after together as citizens of that state, given all the experiences that we've seen and gained along the way?" I suggested otherwise.
A laughable dream that will never be realized, for sure, b/c even in that fantasy world there's bound to be issues and problems and faults and pitfalls. The more I travel and move, the more I come to realize that, as long as there are gatherings of people and the development of a system, there's gotta be blindspots and issues b/c human beings simply aren't perfect.
But maybe that's the beauty of the human world, thought from a different angle. And maybe that, ultimately, is the reason why I continue to travel, and move, and complain, and get frustrated, and - in the meantime - continue to be amazed, awed, surprised, if not mesmerized by some of the differences and especially different ways of thinking that I encounter along the way.
At least now I've found a way to send out this blogger entry (rather than sitting in my room sending another complaint letter to the Internet provider), and it's much easier than going to Shibuya Apple Store and attempting to steal their free, wireless connection.
Next stop - the bank, the convenient store, the district office, and the immigration office + 5 more forms to fill out.
梅ちゃん at 12:54:00 PM