Saturday, December 18, 2004

So this is Christmas...Saturday 18 December 2004

It doesnt feel like Christmas for a number of reasons.First and foremost for the first time in 3 years there is no sense of anticipation or I dont mean what Im going to get present-wise I mean theres no new Lord of The Rings movie or even if one wants to slum it no Harry Potter movie to look forward to this year.I remember seeing the first LOTR movie back in 2001 in New Zealand in a suburban theater..some of the locals pointing out during the screening look thats their brief movie career as an extra flashed across the screen vaguely reminding me of a meteorite shower that I saw in the early hours of one chilly midweek dawn recently.But I digress...I saw the second or the sequel in London paying nearly thrice the price I did in Christchurch and about half in Scunthorpe to see it again.If I recall the London ticket cost about 8pounds while in Scunthorpe it was about 4pounds give or take two trips to the refreshment counter.I saw the third and final chapter in Japan and in Rome as I had a couple of hours to kill before my train trip to Florence..unfortunately the movie was in Italian but still entertaining watching and hearing Gollum, Frodo and the rest speaking Italian..
The second reason it doesnt feel like Christmas is Im in Japan. Im used to hot weather at this time of the year,not the gloomy cool wintery days of grey concrete Nagoya where the sun gives up its daily struggle and packs up by 4pm not even bothering with a half-hearted dusk or polluted sunset.
The third reason it doesnt feel like Christmas is that it goes on for soooo long.Its just a 2month sales campaign as far as supermarkets and companies are concerned guilt tripping you to unload yourhard earned winter bonus buying all manner of year end and Christmas presents.theres very little evidence of the real meaning behind Christmas..really it should be relabelled Christ missed.`Do they they know its Christmas?` how can they theyre either Buddhists or practising capitalists.
Another thing thats also done to excess over here is the amount of Christmas illuminations..seems theres a competition to put on a display akin to a supernova.The main throughfares of Nagoya are literally draped with lights enough Im sure to induce an epileptic fit if one is susceptible to strobe lights.As well as this visual assault theres also the audio assault on ones ears as Christmas carols are blasted out 24/7 by all manner of shops and public institutions.
Well having spent the last month with my right leg encased in plaster I was finally relieved to have it removed yesterday..Friday.I still have to use crutches for the next 4 weeks tho as I undergo rehabilation.This involvess twice weekly visits to the hospital where a burly physio-therapist manipulates my ankle.I can move it and bend it 10degrees but need to improve that to 25degrees.Theres still a lot of swelling and bruising and the ankle is this fashionable purple-yellow color.All credit to my physio tho Hiroshi (for thats his name )speaks a clipped aplogetic English and has fingers of steel nor did he budge once as he took my withered limb and began to twist and bend it trying I think to encourage the blood flow and circulation into the gnarled limb..not a job I'd want to do.So far Ive been impressed by the professional manner and care of the medical staff here particularly considering Im a foreigner who speaks not a jot of Japanese and yet they are the ones apologising ...kinda humbling.

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