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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Reflections on Japan -- Toronto comics retailer/activist Christopher Butcher shares his thoughts on his 2007 trip to Japan. Different from his excellent series of photo essays, in this post Chris kind of wraps it up with his views on why he enjoyed his stay in Japan as much as he did, and many of his points -- ease of public transit, the scale and design of the urban areas -- rub elbows with what James Howard Kunstler talked about in his book The Geography of Nowhere.

Having spent a few hours in Toronto with Chris and some of his friends (and pal Jay Marcy), it's interesting to me to note that Chris feels about Japan like I feel about Canada; everything seemed cleaner, safer and saner that it does here in Los Estados Unidos. I have thought of our Canada trip (over three years ago, now) and how much we enjoyed it nearly every day since we came back, and I would love to go back, but it doesn't seem to fit in my family's financial picture any time soon.

We're lucky Chris is such a gifted and thoughtful tour guide. If you've not seen his Japan photos, click over and read his new piece, then dig into his archives and check out the amazing pictures he took while he and his husband were there.



Blogger Roger Green said...

I have a question: do you have a household budget? How much is dedicated to the non-mortgage/food/fuel/clothing categories. (I'm avoiding the term "non-essential; it's not for me to say what is essential for someone else.) I ask this in term of your oral sojourn (or more correctly, your spending in anticipation of same), whether $125 comic-related books are too much (I say yes) and that you don't have enough to go to Canada.
I happen to suck at dealing with money. My wife, fortunately, is not. We actually have savings, no thanks to me. My initial though: you should save to go to Canada again if it gave you such joy. Where that $$ comes from, I can't say, but it may come from existing spending. How would that play out?

06 August, 2008 09:58  
Blogger Alan David Doane said...

Household budget, yeah, there's an issue. I'd say there is one in practical reality but it has more to do with an awareness of regular expenses and planning for same rather than a spreadsheet that exists, is monitored, and tweaked where needed.

The money for our 2005 Canada trip came out of an extraordinary set of (not altogether lucky) circumstances, an accident, almost, you could say. I don't know that I have the discipline to save up for the trip in the manner you describe, but I surely admire people who do.

06 August, 2008 10:03  

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