Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Will Miss #226 - English, right where you need it

 A mailbox has English information (and braille) about collection times and what sort of mail goes into respective mail slots. Click to see a larger version that can be read.

When I first came to Japan, kanji (Chinese characters) were everywhere and I couldn't understand a thing. In fact, I once went into a panic in Ikebukuro station during the early days when I worked in that area because I got turned around and couldn't read the signs to figure out which train to take. These days, Tokyo has turned into a relative paradise for those who are not fluent in Japanese. Most of the time, you can find simultaneous English language translations in important places. Our local government office distributes guides in English and offers free translation services one or two days a week for those who need it. In the U.S. right now, there is a lot of complaining about accommodating Spanish speakers by offering bilingual services (and talk of making English an "official language"), and it makes me feel sad because I think that it's not about catering to a specific group, but rather about recognizing that the world is becoming a smaller place. Note that a Japanese person has never told me that they resent the presence of English in their culture, though I know that such a thing probably wouldn't be relayed to me even is it were felt (because it would seem insulting to me as a foreigner).

Even when I don't need the English, I appreciate seeing it (and recognize the effort being made and the expense of it) because it shows a willingness on the part of the Japanese to accommodate tourists and foreign residents, and I will miss that.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Won't Miss #226 - "why are you here?"

As I've mentioned before, I have talked to literally thousands of Japanese people due to the types of jobs I have done and the one question that I am thoroughly tired of answering is why I'm here. I get asked this question both in terms of why I came in the first place and why I keep living here after 20 years. One of the things you don't appreciate about living in your home country is that no one ever asks you why you exist where you do. You just live and no one questions your purpose in being wherever you are. Now, I am not saying in any way that the question is unreasonable or that the motivation behind asking it is in any way a bad one. I don't blame people for asking the question, but I really am tired of answering it. It's not only because it's the same question being repeated so often, but also because it frames my life as one of an outsider in this land who has to somehow offer an explanation for continuing my life as I have lead it for quite a long time. It's yet another reminder that I don't belong and that my presence is one that should be questioned.

I'm thoroughly sick of being asked why I came to Japan, and I won't miss being answering this question over and over and over again.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Will Miss #225 - Beverly Hills 90210, the documentary

When I talk about high school in America, before I can complete a sentence, Japanese people tend to blurt out something to the effect of, "Oh, I know all about high school in America. I've seen Beverly Hills 90210." At first, I labored to explain that American kids do not live like the ones that you see on that T.V. program, but frankly, I don't think that anything will dissuade them from their belief that that show is a reflection of American teen life. And yes, old as the show is, it is re-ran on different networks all of the time. I don't think it has been off the air for more than 6 months during the duration of my two decades in Japan. It's just that important to the education of Japanese people about American culture.*

I'll miss this notion that you can rely on a television show about rich kids living in a specialized area to inform you about real life in the United States.

*That's a joke.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Won't Miss #225 - tiny office chairs

The chair on the right would make an airplane seat seem roomy by comparison. For reference, even the chair on the left was small by Western standards (and no, these aren't kid's furniture!).

About a year ago, my venerable American office chair that I bought at Costco about a decade ago blew out a caster and I had to get a new one. Unfortunately, Costco no longer carries Western furniture so I had to turn to Japanese shops. Here is the thing about most Japanese office chairs; they come in two types: too damn expensive and average in size, and too damn small. The more reasonably priced (cheaper) ones seem to be designed for people the size of a child, or a tiny, tiny Japanese woman. They are so small because of the size of the offices and homes, not because of the size of the people. The chairs aren't for comfort or ergonomics, but rather to cram as many people into small, expensive-to-rent spaces as possible.

I won't miss having to choose between chairs that cost far too much and ones that are too small for long-term comfort.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Will Miss #224 - adult tricycles

About once a week, sometimes more often than that, I see an adult riding around on what is essentially a big tricycle. Most of the time, though not always, the bicycle is being used by someone on the older side. I never saw such bikes back home, but I think they're a good idea not only for people who have problems keeping a two-wheeled bicycle stable, but also for those who take their bikes shopping and want to use a larger rear basket for groceries. Frankly, I think they're a great idea and wouldn't mind using one back home.

I'll miss seeing these adult tricycles.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Won't Miss #224 - (s)Mothers and kyoiku mamas

Disclaimer (aka, please do not sue me): I'm not saying this lovely woman with her daughter is a kyoiku mama or overprotective because she's holding her little girl close. This is just a picture taken at a shrine on New Year's of a parent and seemed to fit the very general theme and is not meant to imply anything about this fine woman's character.

Though I have never been held hostage as part of a captive audience by an overenthusiastic parent, there are some problems with mothers in Japan, particularly if you are a teacher. Some mothers are over-involved with their children's lives to an unhealthy extent, particularly their education and any aspect related to their academic careers (like club activities). There's a term for women who relentlessly push their children to study, kyoiku mamas, and there are also women who simply insert themselves where they don't belong as part of their kid's education. Some mothers insist on standing at the back of the classroom during every lesson and interfere with lessons. Some of them dictate every little action to the teachers or bully or intimidate them. I once taught a mother who clearly dragged her son along to her English lessons and then dominated the lesson by translating for him and even incorrectly "correcting" his English instead of allowing me to do my job.

I won't miss these women who are so controlling with their children that they push them and me around.

Will Miss #223 - modesty about children

One of my students was looking for some English blogs to read to gain experience with "real" English. I chose a blog written by a foreign woman married to a Japanese man who who is currently living in Japan. I made this choice so she could relate to the experiences and perhaps understand the subjects being discussed more easily. When she looked at the blog, she was shocked by the way the woman had pictures of her children plastered all over it. She found it boastful and immodest and said that a Japanese mother, generally speaking, wouldn't be so over the top in promoting her children. I have noticed in my many years in Japan, that Japanese people don't bore people by going on and on about their kids. This is part of a culture which values modesty, but also I've noticed that Japanese people tend to be more sensitive to the interests of the person who is being spoken to. If you're not a parent, they are aware of the fact that you may not be enthralled listening to how wonderful potty training has been going.

I will miss this sort of modesty and restraint when it comes to parents and talking about their children.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Won't Miss #223 - multi-stage dental work

The last time my husband and I went in for a dental check-up and teeth cleaning, he paid in cash and I used the Japanese national health insurance. For him, he got a good chat with the dentist and a full cleaning all at once for about 500 yen (about $5) more than I paid once the deductible was paid. For me, I got a (literally) 10 second glance in my mouth and my cleaning split into two appointments (one cleaning for upper teeth and one for lower). If you use national health insurance, your dental work takes on the longevity of deep psychotherapy. Once you start your relationship, it will take many, many appointments to complete the procedures and sometimes it seems as if they will never finish.

Because of the billing loopholes in the national health insurance and the uncertain nature of dental work and when it is actually done such that a patient can't know what is really happening, dentists string out procedures so that you have to make multiple appointments, sometimes over a series of months, and I won't miss it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Will Miss #222 - a little bit of everything

The Japanese have a belief that healthy eating requires that you eat 30 different foods every day. You don't have to eat a ton of any one food, but the general presentation of food in Japan is one which incorporates variety. In the U.S., unless there is a special occasion, there are usually three parts to a meal, four at most. We have a meat, starch, and vegetable component that are sometimes followed by a dessert. In Japan, there are usually a lot of little parts to every meal. It's part of the reason you see the addition of one or two strawberries to a bento. It's added for color, but also variety. That makes meals in Japan not only more interesting, but more nutritious.

I'll miss this focus on variety in meals.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Won't Miss #222 - outrageous oatmeal prices

Oatmeal is one of those utilitarian grains which you can buy relatively cheaply back home. In fact, besides the health benefits, one of the main reasons for choosing plain oatmeal as your breakfast grain of choice is how economical it is. A small box of (bulk, plain) oatmeal (300 grams/10.6 oz.) is nearly $4.00 (U.S.) in Japan. That's over $5 a pound and you can buy the same thing for under a dollar a pound in most parts of America. I regularly use oatmeal for baking, and these small boxes are something I can burn through pretty quickly.

I won't miss the absurdly high price of oatmeal.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Will Miss #221 - Western celebrities ads

This is a face which inspires you to buy tires and to believe that you are changing the world in doing so.

Now that the internet has made it difficult for any celebrity to hide the fact that he or she has chosen a fat paycheck to shill in Japan, it's not quite so novel seeing certain ads. That being said, it's still interesting seeing them firsthand, especially when the celebrities involved are A-list actors who wouldn't be caught dead in commercials or ads in their home countries.

I'll miss seeing these ads.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Won't Miss #221 - "dirt" parks

Tokyo is a big city comprised of 23 main wards. Each ward is like a city itself. In fact, many students will say, "I live in (name of ward) city." Within each ward are other large neighborhoods. Most neighborhoods have one or two parks, sometimes more, within their boundaries. The vast majority of such parks are nothing more than stretches of dirt surrounded by trees and cultivated bins of flowers or plots of bushes. There are some "real" parks with green grass in Tokyo, but they're relatively few and far between and far afield. You have to travel to reach them and pay to enter some of them. Locally, we're essentially greeted with hard-packed dirt. I'm not sure why most of the parks are plots of dirt, but I'm guessing it has to do with either the fact that grass takes more effort to maintain or people who use those parks abuse the grass and the caretakers give up on keeping the grass alive.

Whatever the reason, I won't miss my local parks being closer to parking lots than to nature.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Will Miss #220 - finding a communication key

One of the things that invariably happens when you live in a country where you do not speak the native language is that some things come up which you don't know the proper word for. This happens because some language is specialized, and you don't tend to learn it, or you learned it once, rarely used it, and simply forgot it. When this happens, you have to puzzle out a non-language-based way to make yourself understood and it's an awesome feeling when you find the key that opens the communication lock outside of the use of words. Sometimes it's gestures. Sometimes it's pictures. And sometimes it's a common education link that is apart from language. One of my favorite experiences was being able to convey the meaning of the element "lead" by writing it's abbreviation (Pb) on the periodic table for a student.

I'll miss the satisfaction and challenge of finding one of these non-linguistic keys to communication.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Won't Miss #220 - paying for holiday ATM access

In the U.S., if you use the ATM of a bank other than your own, you have to pay a fee. This makes a little bit of sense because it's likely that there is some sort of special handling of electronic funds transferring between banks when you use a bank other than the one you keep an account in. In Japan, if you use an ATM of your own bank and it is a holiday or weekend, you have to pay a fee of 100 yen ($1.08). To me, this makes no sense at all because it's not like the machines have extra little men working behind them on weekends and holidays who need to be paid on those days. These fees are merely a way of gouging customers even when there is no extra cost to the bank for holiday access to the machines as compared to weekday access.

I won't miss being charged to use my own bank's ATM's based on the date or time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Will Miss #219 - stockholders last

 There are a plethora of ways in which the Japanese do business differently than the rest of the world. This often causes problems for foreign partners, and for the Japanese branches of Western businesses in Japan, but certain choices are better for Japanese people. One of these differences is the order of priority when making decisions. The Japanese place customers first, employees second, and stockholders last whereas Americans tend to place stockholders first, customers second, and employees last. In the U.S., stockholders profit at the expense of workers, even if it means cutting health insurance, poor working conditions, and low wages. The Japanese have more of a sense of a social contract between companies and citizens. That's not to say that Japanese employees live in some sort of dream land when it comes to working conditions (nor that great sacrifices are made for them), but just that their interests are a higher priority than in Western companies.

I'll miss this way of doing business, and the effect it tends to have on the quality of life for employees in Japan.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Won't Miss #219 - panty thieves

There used to be a commercial for video on demand services that showed a man who realizes as he's settling into bed that he forgot to return a rental DVD to the shop. He undergoes a series of difficulties as he finds a street blocked and he can't ride his bicycle except down a series of stone steps (which demolish his bicycle) and he has to run to the rental shop before midnight or pay an overdue fee. As he's running down the street, a pair of panties flies off a hook it is hanging to dry from and flies onto him. He takes it in his hand and looks at it just as the police see him and they start to chase him thinking he's a panty thief. This joke works because there are men who will steal womens underwear if they hang it on their first floor balconies and the idea that police would suspect a man of pilfering panties he's holding has verisimilitude in Japanese society. Because of this type of theft, you can't hang your underwear out to dry from first floor apartments (and many women won't hang theirs out at all, as you'll notice if you look at the type of laundry people hang outside their homes).

I won't miss these creepy, fetishistic panty thieves.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Will Miss #218 - Luna Vanilla Yogurt

Japan is a country which loves yogurt, and you can find a lot of varieties in the milk section of every market. Some of it is designed for health, and some for pure pleasure. For me, the most pleasurable of all is Luna Vanilla Yogurt. Frankly, it's so creamy, sweet and flavorful that I'd choose it over ice cream as a treat. The only thing I can't say about it is that it's particularly healthy or low calorie. The deliciousness of this yogurt comes from cream and sugar, but as an occasional treat, it's so worth the nutritional cost.

I'll miss easy access to this delicious yogurt.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Won't Miss #218 - train seat pariah

One of the earliest indications that you are regarded as unappealing in the eyes of some Japanese people is the fact that they will get up and leave their seat if you (a foreigner) sit next to them. There's also the fact that people will choose not to sit next to you if you are a foreigner. Some foreigners believe that this is somehow the result of foreign folks doing something "wrong". They excuse this behavior saying the foreign person must smell bad, be too fat and take up too much seat space, or make eye contact and therefore make the Japanese person nervous. That's a crock concocted by apologists. Japanese people get up if you sit next to them or refuse to sit next to you because foreign people make some of them nervous or uncomfortable simply because they are foreign, not because there's anything wrong with them. It has nothing to do with us personally and is just another manifestation of prejudice and ignorance.

I'm not going to miss these overt gestures that show that I'm somehow less appealing merely because I don't look Japanese.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Will Miss #217 - koma inu

In front of some homes, and most temples in Japan, you see a pair of statues or figures of stylized dogs called "koma inu". They are meant as guardians and are related to Chinese guardian lions ("fu lions"). One of them always has its mouth open and the other has its mouth closed. They are like this because one makes the sound "ah" and the other "hum" (or "um"). I'm always interested in the different presentations of these dogs and the art behind them. Some are clay, others stone, and some plastic. Some are very Chinese in appearance and others rather simplified and "cute".

I'll miss seeing these figures "guarding" people's homes.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Won't Miss #217 - cherry blossom viewing (the bad)

Many foreigners who have never been to Japan or who have only been here as tourists love to wax poetic about how zen and peaceful the cherry blossom viewing season is. They talk about the appreciation of nature and how it's a time to get together with family or friends and meditate. These are people who don't know what the vast majority of people engage in cherry blossom viewing for. It's really all about a bunch of people getting together, sitting on plastic tarps, eating snacks, and getting hammered. I'm sure there are small numbers of people who are looking at it from a meditative viewpoint, but the vast, vast majority are looking to party. If you're interested in a peaceful experience, the drunken revelers can ruin the atmosphere for you. It's such an issue that some of the larger parks charge admission to cut down on the number of drunken louts.

I won't miss the people who see cherry blossom viewing as an excuse to be loud and be drunk in large groups in public.

Will Miss #216 - cherry blossoms (the good)

The cherry blossoms in Japan are undeniably beautiful, and in the right spots, you can see the sort of thing that you dream of as a part of Japanese culture and life here. The blossoms fall gently from the trees like snow that has been tinted pink.

Walking through a nice park during the cherry blossom season can be a very peaceful and sublime experience, and I will miss it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Won't Miss #216 - super narrow streets

I don't drive a car, so you'd think that narrow streets wouldn't be a problem for me. You'd be wrong. There are several narrow connecting streets around my apartment. All of them are so small that a small truck can barely pass by them and when there is an electric or telephone pole, they have to slow to a crawl and cautiously creep by these slightly narrower spaces. Of course, trucks that do deliveries, pick up trash, or provide services love nothing more than to park right at the areas with these poles. Much of the time, the space around the truck is so narrow that even a child would be hard-pressed to squeak through and an adult (particularly one with a bicycle) simply cannot get through. I've had to actually walk around my block on occasion because of phone or electrical service people who have camped out with their trucks and left no room to walk around their vehicles.

I won't miss the super narrow streets that are abundant in Tokyo and the problems they cause.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Will Miss #215 - discretion

There are vending machines everywhere in Japan, but I've noticed that certain types of machines (e.g., condom machines, marital aids dispensers) are discretely placed while others are out in the open (e.g., rice, soda). They're either behind barriers or in places where there isn't much foot traffic. I can't say for sure, but I think the positioning as well as the fact that these types of items are sold in machines where you don't have to hand over your purchase to a human and reveal your intent is a way of offering privacy to customers. Similarly, and somewhat in opposition to the openness about discussing menstruation that I encounter, shops always put feminine hygiene products in a paper bag so that they can't be viewed through transparent or translucent plastic shopping bags. Clinics for potentially embarrassing treatment like proctologists also have discrete entrances and exits to help people hide the fact that they are having certain types of procedures done.

There is a lot of subtle, quiet discretion exercised in the interests of customers, and I'm going to miss that.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Won't Miss #215 - shopping in Shibuya

Shibuya is one of the biggest shopping districts in Tokyo, and it is favored by young people. There are a lot of interesting places there including a wide variety of department and clothing stores, restaurants and the Apple Store nearest my home. While I like the places you can go to in Shibuya, I hate actually being there because of the crowds. Shibuya feels like it is too small for its commerce, unlike Shinjuku which (aside from the station) feels like it better has the street capacity to handle the foot traffic. The sidewalks are too narrow to accommodate the number of pedestrians and seas of people cross the crosswalks when the lights change. It's noisy, busy, and just too much to handle. Unfortunately, there are some shops and establishments that can best be accessed in Shibuya so it's necessary to go there on occasion.

I won't miss shopping in Shibuya.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Will Miss #214 - neighborly introductions

A towel I was given as a gift by a new neighbor when he introduced himself.

In Japan, there is a custom in which neighbors go door-to-door and introduce themselves when they first move into an apartment building. While this custom is not followed by every single Japanese person, it is done about 80% of the time in my experience. Usually, the new neighbor introduces himself or herself with some sort of small gift, such as a towel, soap, or food. Of course, when one moves, one is expected to carry out this ritual as well, even if one is a foreigner (but you are forgiven if you're not aware of the custom).

This is a nice custom which helps you recognize the new neighbors in your building and increases the chances of a friendly relationship with them and I will miss it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Won't Miss #214 - so many trash bins

I'm all for recycling, and I don't mind making the effort to sort my trash (though I'm less keen on the inefficient and troublesome washing of that trash). There is, unfortunately, an inevitable side effect to trash sorting and that's having to have a lot of different bins to place different trash in (or, in lieu of that, going through your garbage and separating it later which is disgusting and time consuming). Since Tokyo apartments are so small, having to keep so many bins around is very difficult. In fact, I have had to cram 7 separate trash bins into my tiny place: burnable items, "pura" (plastic recyclable), Styrofoam trays, paper, raw trash (kitchen scraps), cans and glass, and PET bottles.

It's a huge problem keeping so many of them in such a small kitchen and I won't miss the considerable floor and cabinet space I have to give up just for trash cans.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Will Miss #213 - shopping in the rain

Shopping in Tokyo has always been stressful for me. I'm a person who is prone to feeling overstimulated. It's not something I can control. Some people have nervous systems which make lots of noise, crowds, lights, etc. overbearing, and I'm one of them. The shopping itself is often interesting, but the oppressive sense I get from being surrounded by oblivious, noisy crowds makes it an odious task... except when it rains. When it rains in Tokyo, the streets and shops are much emptier, especially in my neighborhood which is full of old folks.

Shopping becomes a much nicer and liberating experience in Tokyo when it rains, and I'll miss it.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Won't Miss #213 - The Daily Yomiuri

The Daily Yomiuri is the English language paper with the most subscribers in Japan. It's a pretty good newspaper at an economical price for those who want to enjoy a hard copy and keep up on the news in Japan. In fact, my husband and I subscribed to the Daily Yomiuri for quite some time. Eventually though, our status as subscribers was taken for granted, and the agency that delivered it decided that they didn't need to bother to deliver to us on Mondays. We'd call and nag them to give us the paper we had paid for and they would cough up a copy on occasion, but usually, they'd shrug their shoulders and said, "sorry, we don't have anymore." They didn't refund or credit us for the undelivered papers either. Later, they decided not only that we didn't need it on Mondays, but we also didn't need it until several hours later than the usual early morning delivery time and on the occasional Tuesday. The service we got from the Daily Yomiuri was abysmal, and I  have had a bad taste in my mouth about that publication ever since.

I won't miss seeing the Daily Yomiuri on newsstands and remembering just how poorly we were treated as paying customers.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Will Miss #212 - mikoshi

Summers in Japan are marked by local festivals. My earliest memories of summer in Japan include seeing men dressed in happi coats noisily (and joyously in most cases) hauling a portable shrine or mikoshi through the streets. This is not only a very "Japanese" thing, but also represents people from the same neighborhood coming together. It builds community spirit and keeps bonds strong.

I'll miss seeing mikoshi carried through the streets at local summer festivals.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Won't Miss #212 - English warnings

The Japanese sales ethic is all about copious amounts of courtesy. You would be hard-pressed to find a written warning or caution for customers in Japanese which was written in rude language. On the other hand, it is quite easy to find rude or outright profane messages for customers written in English. You also find that many security-related messages are written only in English. In particular, you find that messages stating that an establishment is being watched by security cameras are written only in English. The underlying messages are clear in both cases; it's okay to be rude to non-Japanese customers and only non-Japanese customers may commit crimes so security messages need to be delivered in a language other than Japanese. The fact that not every message in Japan is offered bilingually underscores this viewpoint.

I won't miss these little reminders that foreigners are to regarded with suspicion and deserve less courtesy than the natives.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Will Miss #211 - Super Heart Chiple

Cherry blossom viewers with a red bag of "Super Heart Chiple" (left) as part of their snack assortment (and, of course, the ever present mayonnaise).

Sometimes there are incredibly enjoyable treats lurking in the kid's snacks and cheap food bins of your local markets and convenience stores. Since they are made by less well-known (at least among foreigners) companies and can be had for less than 30 yen, it's easy to overlook them as substandard fare. Fortunately, I have given such things a try as part of my other blog, and found some really good treats. One of my favorites is "Super Heart Chiple" rice snacks. They are immensely garlicky, come in single portion servings and aren't too caloric.

I'll miss popping down to the local convenience store and buying bags of "Super Heart Chiple" for a mere 25 yen (26 cents).

Monday, August 2, 2010

Won't Miss #211 - archaic notions about gay men

A T-shirt worn by a young man serving food at a summer festival in Tokyo.

Many Japanese people have outdated ideas about what gay men want or are like. Many of them believe that gay men want to be women, and that they dress up and act like women. They think that some of them hate women because they view them as "competition" and that you can discern a gay man from his movements, speaking style and passive nature. The idea that they're just normal people who happen to be attracted to people of the same gender is not very prevalent.

I'm not asserting that there are enlightened and modern notions of what gay men are like among all people in Western countries, nor that there are only unenlightened and old-fashioned ones among all Japanese people, but on the whole, the understanding of what it means to be gay is more akin to ideas held in the 1950's in other parts of the world, and I won't miss it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Will Miss #210 - the longer intestines theory

This is okonomiyaki, a type of pancake filled with junk. It only resembles intestines. Japanese people can digest this just fine as it is indigenous cuisine.

The overwhelming majority of Japanese people who I meet believe that they have special digestive tracts. In particular, they believe that Japanese people "as a race" (their concept, not mine) have longer intestines than people from other parts of the world. I've heard this theory, which has no basis whatsoever in fact yet remains widely believed, used to provide reasons for a variety of cross-cultural differences. They say it explains the propensity for slimness among the native population, a preference for Japanese beef (as their longer intestines supposedly can't digest American beef well), and the high incidence of stomach cancer in Japan.

There is little this old saw can't be trotted out to explain and it always gives me a chuckle when it pops up as an explanation. I'll miss that.