Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Will Miss #486 - no leaf blowers

Oddly, leaves in Japan look much like those in any other country, though the drawing on the ground does have that simple look that Japanese drawing often has.

Perhaps I cannot say "no" leaf blowers as I lived mainly in Tokyo and traveled to various suburbs as well as tourist areas. There may indeed be small armies of people who get up every single day and loudly blow dust and errant dead flora around the streets in other parts of Japan. However, I can say that, in 23 years of living, traveling, and experiencing, I never once heard a leaf blower. I can also say that in the months since I've come home, I've heard them early and often. As someone who enjoys taking walks, there is nothing more irritating than strolling down the street and being overwhelming not only by noise, but by the dust and flotsam that is stirred up. Note that I am currently staying in a "nice" suburban area, not the countryside, in the U.S. Even if they stop their motors when you pass by, the dust does not settle until long after you've moved along. The vile operator of the blower is wearing a mask to protect his respiratory system. You're just going to have to hustle by and hold your breath.

I miss the fact that I never encountered leaf blowers in Tokyo, both because of the noise and the dust (especially the latter).