Tag Archives: reality

Saturday at Stoplights

I drove to a shopping center 35 km away today (about 20 miles); it takes about an hour to get there.

On the way I took photos of things that caught my attention while I waited at stoplights.

This is what I saw and what I thought.

That’s … a stupid name for a car.

I looked on the ground to see if a “K” or an “E” had fallen off the sign. A “K” would have been a good thing (if the staff were not men): an “E” wouldn’t be so good.

I also wished there had been a stoplight outside of the “Goo” hair salon I passed earlier.

This big hedge got me singing “Stairway to Heaven” for some reason: “If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow/ Don’t be alarmed now, it’s just a spring clean for the May queen“.

Sure … I’ll just be getting back to reality now. Thanks for flying by.

Without any other music in my van to distract me, this was a bad thing for the next 40 minutes.

Flat Tony doing his “dog in a car” routine amused me for a few moments. I’ll take him around for a proper tour de force tomorrow. You can read all about his adventure in Japan in the near future. Check out his other adventures over at Tony’s Place.

Isn’t that the name of a shoe?

No Loan” loan company. At least they tell you up front.

A “bigi” air-conditioner!

This one was no “bigi”.

Is there anything more depressing than an empty cigarette machine?
Maybe an empty beer machine. It’s a close call. 
I think this machine is operated by those “No Loan” people. 
(What! No beer machines where you live? That must suck!)

Damn! I left my big pin at home!

My other car’s a “Hagen”!    or   I’m just Copen!

What’s the problem?  It’s the Kompressor again!


This is what I saw without really looking. Next time I’ll try harder.


note: If you are looking for a job in Japan, you can apply here:




In Situ/Out Situ



Sometimes I catch myself looking at someone and saying, “I know that person, but I don’t know where from.”.

And then it hits me; they are my dentist, a local store clerk, a parking lot attendant, a bank teller, …

I’ve never seen them outside of where they work before. 

I’ve never realized that they had a life and are not always wearing a uniform or hanging around in one place 24 hours a day.

It’s a strange feeling when this happens: they are out of place and out of context. I’ve labeled and tucked these people into a certain category in my mind and they have messed with my reality by appearing where I don’t expect them to.

I was 22 before I saw my best friend’s mother in any other location besides her house. It freaked me out!!

Other people could pop up anywhere and that would seem as completely natural to me as seeing my face when I look in a mirror.

I’ve mentally categorized these people as nomads and wouldn’t blink an eye if I saw them shopping for a carpet in Istanbul,  riding a bike along a street in Buenos Aires, or waiting in line for “It’s a Small World” at Disneyland. 

In my mind, these latter people are bigger than their surroundings. 

I’m sure a lot of people think the same about me: I’m just a backdrop or part of the scenery in their lives.

I’ll try to be “out of place” more often from now on.









note: I tell some of my students that I live at work and sleep on the table at night.