Mar. 7th, 2008

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For the third time this winter, Uryu is undergoing snow removal. Nobody seems to tire of the spectacle around here, perhaps because it only happens a few times in a winter; this morning I got to watch my fully-grown coworkers all pressing up to the glass of the office windows to see the hulking green machines trundle by.

Snow removal? those of you from unlettered warmer climes (like myself) may ask. And all I can really do is nod, and reply, Yes. Snow removal.

It's amazing what a snowbound society like Hokkaido can dream up to keep to a semblance of normal function with several feet of snow falling every week. Coming into this place as an outsider, these ingenuities have been revealed to me piece by piece, forming new pictures week by week.

For example, when I first came to Uryu, I was a bit perplexed by the number of empty lots adjacent to the street. They were fairly well-maintained, not overgrown with weeds or anything, but they were just...lots. Scattered regularly throughout the town. Nobody used them for parking. Nothing seemed planned to be built on them. They gave the town a curiously open feel, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out their true purpose.

But as Sondheim put it, I know things now, many marvelous things, that I hadn't known before... )

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December 2011

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