I made it to Japan!!! Already the differences are apparent. For example, it took me about ten minutes or so just to find the link that would allow me to post on this silly thing because all of the characters are in Japanese. And yet, there are random english words sprinkled here and there. TV commercials, store names. I guess most of it centers on commerce. And then there is MTVJapan. Redman and 50 Cent videos interspersed with local artists.
More fun TV stuff. Knight Rider and Columbo with Japanese voices dubbed over. I'm sorry, but they just didn't pick the right voice for Kit. However, Columbo had the classic gravelly quality that we all know and love. Then the animated cartoons actually look as if they are saying the sounds that you here.
Another interesting aspect of Japan are the "Love Hotels". Let's see how can I put this delicately... They have variable rates, depending upon how long you want to spend there. Apparently this fills an important social need, since many people in their still live with their parents, or have a house full of extended family. You don't necessarily want to be getting it on while aunt Akiko is in the next room doing laundry. Why do I bring this up? There was one across the street from the hotel we stayed at last night. The name? Christmas Chapel Hotel, complete with Santa's all over it and great big Christmas tree. Don't worry, pictures will follow shortly.