Sunday, June 04, 2006

Eyes Wide Open (Tokyo)

Traveling is a wonderful thing for training the eyes to see. Really see. Be wide awake. Every sight, taste, smell, sound and touch is new. Even when it's strangely familiar, the strangeness of its familiarity makes the experience novel. That's why vacations are so nice -- it's a great break from everyday monotony.

But as you make traveling your lifestyle, and new encounters, new experiences become more ordinary, day to day, you find that you're looking at the world differently from before. Because you expect the unusual, your eyes are searching it out.

I'm in Tokyo now. A place I used to call home, boring, home. A place I couldn't wait to get out of. But now, I am seeing my former home through different eyes -- searching for the unexpected, amusing, curious. And they are all around me. How could I have missed it all before? Everything is noteworthy. Nothing, absolutely nothing is boring.

I have developed Traveler Eyes.

Here's a photo from a recent subway ride. Look at how relaxed people are in Japan! But then, how relaxed could it be if they need a "women only" car? (To protect us from probing hands and other body parts.) And finally, the person on the right. Man or woman? Both?


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