Today was a national holiday in Japan: the respect-for-the-Aged Day, established in 1966 as a day to respect the elderly and celebrate long life. I did my bit to honor our senior citizens by lounging around the house in my pipe and slippers, whilst lambasting the youth of today and refusing to regard the past as anything other than a utopian delight, where the streets were literally paved with gold, and any significant socioeconomic problems could be overcome with a little elbow grease. I’m not entirely sure if this pastiche was in keeping with the other frivolities of the day, but I felt as though I did enough to earn my keep, so to speak.
One of the aspects of life in Tokyo that differs dramatically from that in England is the concept of the weekly shop, as here in Tokyo it’s just not the done thing. A combination of people’s busy workloads and high prices (brought about by a lack of competition between established hypermarkets), mean that people seem to shop only for what they need in regards to that evening’s meal. This means that one is denied the usual pleasures of planning a menu for the week ahead, whilst such behavior inevitably means that you end up spending more than you normally would. On the flipside there is never that awful rush on the supermarkets on a Friday evening or Saturday morning that one experiences in England, meaning that a trip to get a carton of milk at these times is at least feasible. Still, there’s something to be said about queuing in Morrison’s for half an hour on a Saturday morning whilst the elderly gentleman in front of you decides that now is absolutely the correct time to regale the check-out girl with his long cherished war stories.