Japanese style extravangaza
During these 70 days in the most technologically developed country of the planet, we've seen many amazing things. At some level, after some time of being here, one feels that the Japanese are really beyond everything. Let me explain it. The reality of this country is so so different than that of the rest of the planet, especially the one in the third world, that at some point it almost feels like science fiction. The activities, the problems, the preoccupations that seem to occupy the mind of the Japanese are so radically different from those that me and the people around me lived with that I sometimes feel like I'm in Disneyland. Tokyo never stops and life happens at full speed. The famous crossing of Shibuya,, sees 100.000 people crossing it per hour during rush hour. With its squandering of light and yelling advertisements, it is the icon that sums up the frantic pace of life in Tokyo. In each of its corners, when the traffic light is green for the cars, people start accumulating like drops of rain in a water tank, when the traffic light turns red it bursts, and people run like ants going in every direction as when one steps on an anthill.
Now I will ask you to have a look at the photo above and I invite you to guess what it is. I will go on a limb and guess that you are thinking it's the lobby of a quite expensive hotel. Well, it's not. What you are looking at it's just the reception floor of a 6 stories-high animal hospital that includes state-of-the-art operation rooms, hairdressing rooms, washing rooms, pedicure, canteen and whatever the hell your pet needs. In this aspect, Japan is the exact opposite of the third world, when in the latter humans are treated like dogs, here they are treated like humans. So humanly, that sometimes seems like mockery. I present you
Montjiro is an elegant dog that walks about the streets of Tokyo with his proud master. Even though dog boutiques abound in Japan, Montjiro is more of an exquisite dog for he only dresses clothing specially designed for him by his master's mother. More than a dog, Montjiro is a gentleman and he will kindly shake your hand as soon as you ask for it.
You'll probably think that Montjiro is an exception but is not. There are more dogs like Montjiro that you can count going around the streets of Tokyo. However, Montjiro is indeed an example because he actually walks. In Japan, many dogs, don't even walk when they go out, they are taken around town like dukes sitting on strollers specifically designed for them. They sit on them comfortably, dressing elegantly, watching the shop windows.
Some are obviously more privileged and they are taken on motorized strollers with 4x4 wheels. You can actually plug in an electric blanket so that your dog dressing like a Japanese emperor and wearing John Lenon's sunglasses don't feel cold during those bitterly cold winter afternoons.
Some dress more casually for an afternoon's walk though, especially when they have to actually walk. A pair of jean shorts or pink corduroy and an animal print T-shirt are good enough for Fukuoka's pleasant autumn.
And no better than the evening for some bitches to go out wearing their kimonos. Every single sort of clothing can be found in dog's boutiques and you can even buy dog's and cat's toothbrushes and pastes. I ain't joking, people do seriously brush their pet's teeth here.
I cannot help but wonder how many people in Latin America, Africa and Asia would love to be treated like dogs in Japan...