Today in school we discussed the usage of colour in everyday language. So, as well as finding out that the Koreans refer to themselves as ‘The White Race’ (there is something terribly Third Reichian about that statement), we were also informed that to have a ‘very white head’ in Japanese means to have forgotten everything. I explained some of the nuances of colour usage in the English language to the rest of the class, and somehow got onto the topic of Stannah Stairlifts. Or, as Emily and I described them, ‘electric chairs for old people’. It’s fair to say that some of our classmates were shocked to find out the draconian way in which UK pensioners are treated.
One of the many things that I am yet to fully get my head around in Japan is the issue of vending machines. These soft drink vomiting symbols of capitalism are literally on every street corner, often crammed in next to five or six other such machines, and whilst I often see them being refilled by the ever-diligent vendor salesmen, I am yet to see a single Japanese person buy a drink from them, and then actually go on to drink it. I have reason to believe that the great Asian economic crisis of the 90s was in fact started by this vending machine surplus, and that much like European Potato Farmers and the Common Agricultural Policy, the only way to explain they’re continued existence is by means of some bizarre piece of legislation. Mark my words; if things continue unchecked, then we are entering murky waters, very murky waters indeed.