Monday, May 3, 2010

Will Miss #164 - the mundane becomes special

Recently, a cake shop near my house put up a display which included one of those hollow chocolate Easter bunnies that I used to receive every year in my Easter basket as a child. I was momentarily mesmerized by the unexpected appearance of this slice of culture from home as I hadn't seen one of these in 20 years. The most mundane aspects of life back home, things that you see everywhere and are relegated to bargain bins in cheap shops, are rendered special by their scarcity in Japan. I once had a coworker who said that seeing the first appearance of Dr. Pepper in a vending machine in Japan brought a tear to her eye because it was a fond memory of something she enjoyed on a regular basis back home.

You view such things differently and the scarcity of such Western cultural artifacts frame even the spawn of mass production in a favorable manner, and I'll miss that perspective.