30 (Fri) September 2016
at Golden Magic
Mission to Japan, Day 6 (see previously 7.268 Small Portions).
In Tokyo. Here to attend/facilitate a workshop on childhood obesity, Tuesday thru today. Arrived Sunday morning. Flying back to Manila tomorrow.
The food was good.
I can’t recall ever eating something in Japan that hasn’t been good, solid even if unremarkable.
For the first time that I can recall, certainly in the history of GMTD, food was not the priority on an overseas trip. I did try to optimize whatever eating opportunities that came my way, but I didn’t go out of my way to create opportunities.
This time, it was all about music. On our last evening, I couldn’t wait to pay the bill, exchange hugs and goodbyes, and get downtown, so that I could squeeze in another record run.
The Japanese, or at least Tokyoites, as I discovered this trip, seem to appreciate their cultural content in tangible form. That is, they like music on vinyl, movies on DVD, games on disc, comics on paper. Neighborhood multimedia rental stores still thrive (in Seoul, I haven’t seen one in well over a decade). Tower Records, a branch in every major district, are lined with customers (in Seoul, I can’t think of where CDs are sold). When I asked a local colleague, she confirmed, explaining that they feel that physicality enhances reality. I’m wondering if this is also why the Japanese, in the culinary context, are so into dishware.
Music was my first obsession, long before food. At its peak, my collection held nearly 2,000 items.
However, I’d fallen out of touch, literally. At the dawn of the new millennium, it started with the acquisition of a CD recorder. But turning songs into files, then burning those files into blank CDRs, the music was stripped of identity. Then, Napster. I didn’t have to pay for it anymore, it was rendered valueless. Mp3. Sacrificing quality for storage space. iTunes. No thrill of the hunt. iPods. All of it, everywhere with me. Portable Bluetooth speakers. Hardware equivalent of mp3s. Ultimately, by escaping the physical limitations of the music, I’d lost contact with the music’s soul.