Tag archives for culture

Going Home

I was born in Texas. It was the Seventies, Gerald Ford was president, and my father worked for an oil company. Beyond the distinct toddler memory of my crawling on the brown shag carpeting of our Houston home, I remember nothing of my birthplace. I remember leaving, though. Our family piled into our big Dodge…

I was traveling backward, the rain falling away from the final window on the train. I was sitting in the last seat on the last car of the GoldenPass, facing backward at a panoramic window that showed me all the wet green landscape I was leaving behind, the whole of it measured out in miles…

Sometimes, I forget where I am. I wake up in the morning and blink my eyes, hoping for hints. What color is the sky outside my window? What birds can I hear? The traffic might offer clues, too: in Mexico, I the wailing hydraulics of aging trucks. In Paris, I hear mopeds. Our bodies move…

Continued from Part 1 So what kind of  car does a Japanese multi-millionaire take for a Sunday morning drive? A white Toyota Prius (I gather you don’t become a millionaire in Japan by wasting money on gas). Shimotakehara-san had generously offered me a shiny black car and chauffeur for the day, but when he discovered…

I spend my first day in Hokkaido sweating with strangers. Although, honestly, I am already sweating when I arrive. The flight lands in a rainstorm of mist and scattered drip-drops on pavement so that my first glance of Japan’s northern island looks just like a Japanese watercolor—mountains in the mist—and I half-expect a vertical line…