Monday, 23 August 2010

One one time... post office :o

Today I when to the mail-post to send a letter. As I'm leaving soon I put nothing in the "FROM" part of the envelop except for a joke-like 日本 (Japan) and my name. The face of the man working there, as I told I him I wouldn't have an address in Japan soon, was priceless: a mist of "oh shit" and "what can I do now" and "oooh SHIT". He talked to his college and he told him I should probably put my home-country address. By now I was enjoying the small dark box they were running in and told them I didn't want to do that. His face when from bad to worse. I'm the customer so, without one hundred and one per cent sure, he wouldn't be able to tell me I must do it. And his epic journey through bureaucracy started. He talked with the rest of his colleges, all of which looked sympathetic, waving their heads in acknowledge of the problem but, nevertheless, useless in solving the storm I've caused. Then, he when "inside" to the unknown and invisible parts of the building, the deepest offices of the Vogons in charge. After a while he was out, maybe not with a solution but at least, apparently, with a plan. The promptly when to his desk, picked up the phone dialed and ... waited. After a while a conversation had begun to surge and, as your eyes met I know the storm was coming to an end. Finally, he came to me and, with no doubts or problems or thoughts, told that I must put my home adress in the letter.

This short, truth, sightly humorist and somewhat sad story shows what I consider to be the worse part of the Japanese culture in motion. The total inability to see, analyze and go beyond the preset rules; the small through completely and utterly stuck in the small dark box of the corporate culture; the total lack of flexibility to solve, by other means and other, more suitable, ways, a specific, unpredicted problem; is what ultimately limits and shorten the views and minds of this beloved country. If, by some magical achievement, the Japanese spirit could go past this limitation and, at the same time, keeping the union, the effort and the persistence that characterizes them, Japan would go even further, reaching to the stars and beyond, like no other country does and is doing in this day and age.



O Verão japonês mata. Isso já se sabia. A surpresa é até que ponto a sua devastação se faz sentir. Por aqui está calor. Um calor abafado, suado, que se cola à roupa, que nos faz não querer sair de saca. Um calor que se sente no momento da saída ou da abertura da porta como uma onda de veneno que murcha as mais fortes flores. Um calor que seca a roupa lavada em minutos mas que nunca a deixa fresca e arejada. Um calor que aquece a água nos canos a até ela se transformar num liquido estagnado, seco e imbebível. Um calor que faz a noite ser passada entre viagens ao frio liquido mais próximo e que nos acorda com manchas de suor nos lençóis. Um calor que fazem os mosquitos, escaravelho, baratas e cigarras crescerem para tamanhos tropicais e número incontroláveis. Um calor que apodrece todo o alimento esquecido. Uma calor que, muito devagarinho, nos mata.