Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Hidemi’s Rambling No.537

The snows reached eight feet high on the ground in a mountainous town where I live, which is customary every winter here. I began to feel suffocated and decided to get away for a few days. As I came across the bargain price for a moderate hotel adjacent to Tokyo Disney Resort, I took a trip there with my partner. Only after a couple of tunnels on the bullet train, snow disappeared and a blue sky spread out. It was already another world. We arrived at Tokyo station and found people there weren’t bundled up, some of them were even without coats. We, on the other hand, were wearing hooded down coats and I additionally had long winter boots on. Winter in Tokyo was warm and it felt hot to us whose bodies have been adjusted to the cold of our town. We were sweaty, and I was walking around with my folding fan flapping. When you stay away from a city life in a remote town and go back to the city after a while, you notice a change in the world clearly. It happened to me this time and I was surprised at the speed of changes. I saw many large strollers inside the train that were obstacles to other passengers. It was frequently a man who pushed a stroller. People wore mean, rough clothes. I used to be annoyed so much every time at an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant by swarms of housewives and their shrieking children, but not a single kid was spotted when I had lunch at one of those restaurants. All those things were uncommon when I lived in the city. Although women’s positions in Japanese society had stayed lowly no matter how long and loudly clamored for improvement, the number of housewives in Japan dramatically decreased so easily once the economy continued to decline. It’s merely four years since I moved out of the city, but with many things I had never seen before, I realized Japan has changed. At a hotel where we stayed, there were many elegant guests from Asian countries and less Japanese. It was supposed to be a decent hotel, but a group of the guests staying in the rooms around ours were noisy at the hallway. My partner had to call the front desk for complaint. I tried to enjoy the stay at least for the value for what we had paid that wasn’t a small amount to me. At the end of the trip, I was exhausted by my own effort to get the trip pay our money. On our way home, we waited in line for the train to Tokyo. When we got on, young men cut in and snatched the seats. I was convinced Japan has become a poor country…

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.536

As a two-year contract on my smartphone expires soon, I decided to switch to a low-cost plan of a new phone company and to get a new smartphone that can be used both in Japan and US. I had been looking into the market for about six months and learned that choosing a plan and a phone was really cumbersome nowadays. The price is changing almost every week, the new feature is being added all the time, and the new model is coming up one after the other. To keep up with that speed was so hard for me. It would have been a lot easier if I hadn’t been a cheap person. I would have just sat at the counter in a phone shop and gotten whatever a salesperson recommended. Unfortunately I don’t trust a salesperson and I’m not rich. I simply can’t satisfy myself unless I find the best buy on my own and get it during a special promotion. That required an enormous amount of research, patience, and energy, not to mention time. After all, I got a satisfactory model and signed up for a low-cost plan. The phone came with a USB charger, but I needed one more for travel. The phone maker’s website told that its charger is exclusively made and a mass-market charger can’t be used. I bought the relatively-high-in-price charger that I still can’t see the difference from a common charger, which makes me feel that I lost money. I started using my new smartphone full of glee anyway. It’s bigger than my old one and has a better view on the screen while I’m afraid if I don’t get a good grip and drop it. I needed a case but couldn’t find one that perfectly fits because it’s not a major model. Cool cases for iPhone are everywhere and I now realized how popular it is. I settled on a pouch-type iPhone case that had a bargain price, and squeezed my phone into it. I mustered all my ideas and devices to get and use a new phone at the lowest price. Looking back the long, troublesome process, I’m not so sure if I saved money or it was costly in various ways…

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