Forward thinking

The problem with everything being automated, electronic, is that, as I have said many times before, when the power goes out, not only can you not see the toilet, but you can’t really use/flush the toilet, and you can’t even wash your hands afterward… which gets really terrible in a building filled with a thousand-ish high school girls…. even if the power is out for a short time.

But we live in Houston, Texas, where hurricanes take out power for days just about every year in the late summer and early fall.

Forward thinking, to me, doesn’t just mean going digital and automatic/electronic/whatever… it’s about actually thinking through things…

Post-a-day 2018

Colorful Medicine

Singapore has brought color to my life and tears to my eyes.  I never knew I could be so moved, touched, and inspired by fresh fruit, warm, humid air, and an incredibly varied mix of people around me.  All I had for lunch was freshly squeezed fruit juices, lychee, dragon fruit, and an avocado smoothie; I have never been more moved by a meal, I actually had tears brimming at the acquisition of each part of the meal.

Oh, and the extra-exciting part about it?  It didn’t even cost me $5.  

Add in how architecture is unreasonably, though beautifully varied, and that buildings are not only multicolored, but are any given pretty color you could imagine and in almost any direction you look, it is safe to say that this place is [insert the word that means a boatload more times] more my kind of place to spend a year than Japan.

But that’s okay.  It just gets to be my revival and medicine for the start of this last semester, and I get to appreciate it that much more for its being exactly that, in addition to its initial high ranking on the scale of my likes.  ūüôā
Post-a-day 2017

Architecture is a gray area

Walking along with a friend yesterday, I paused and backtracked along the walkway, until I reached what would have been the center of the road (I say ‘what would have been’ instead of ‘what was’ simply because we were on an elevated walkway, a couple or few stories up from ground level, so we weren’t actually in the road… plus, I’m not so sure the road actually went directly underneath us, as we were in front of a train station… anyway…). ¬†I gazed, intrigued, down the corridor of this main street. ¬†We were a few floors up on all the buildings, and so, instead of seeing the gray lower portions of each building, we saw the upward-reaching, colorful advertisements attached like little stick-on banners (although they were glass or metal or the likes) on most of the buildings. ¬†All I could think was, “Look at all the colors.”

We had earlier been talking about how gray Japan seems to me. ¬†Not as a society, but in terms of its buildings. ¬†Everything constructed just seems so gray, I can’t imagine why anyone would want such dullness? ¬†Streets, buildings, houses – everywhere you look is a shade of gray as its main color.

Now, as we looked out on this surprising mini-sea of colors, Japan seemed even more crazy to me. ¬†Why? ¬†Because who on Earth is going to see those advertisements? ¬†Sure, we just noticed them, but only just barely, and I can’t read any of them, anyway, because each individual ad is too small (assuming I¬†could read the Japanese in the first place). ¬†Even on the ground, craning up your neck, you’d hardly be able to read anything more than the first one or two signs (Yes, I have tried many-a-times). ¬†So why on Earth is 1) advertising so inaccessible to the eye of the passer-by, and 2) all the color up where no one gets to enjoy it, and all the gray down low for everyone to see?

In expressing my thoughts and sentiments on the matter, my friend shared with me the fact that Japanese law only allows buildings’ exteriors to be black, white, or gray. ¬†Why? ¬†‘So everyone is together,’ he replied.

This struck me even more odd.  Not for uniformity, as I felt it was forcing people to be, requiring them to set aside their individual personalities and self-expressions, but for togetherness, for unity.  Now perhaps this was merely how this one person worded it.  Perhaps it is the way everyone who knows about the law would word it.

Nonetheless, it really had me think about how I was viewing the situation. ¬†Perhaps it isn’t such a troublesome annoyance, so much as a team-building, unifying experience. ¬†Maybe that’s why Japanese architecture is renowned – because they have so much emphasis on lines, angles, shaping, knowing that they have limited options on color. ¬†And perhaps it isn’t. ¬†Either way, it’s a fun thought experiment to play, and it reminds me to talk more to local people about things that rub me an odd way – perhaps they have the keys to transforming my experience, simply by sharing the Why behind the event.

 

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