We Have Been Living in the Insane World

The gentleman is visibly astonished at my remarks, “Oh well, maybe, I’ve never been to Japan, so naturally, I don’t know exactly what Japan is like. I don’t know whether Japanese have been corrupted by advanced technology, as you explicated, but my image of Japan is pretty good though. Also I don’t know whether advance technology is a bad thing for Japanese either. In my opinion, great technology makes the world better place, don’t you agree with me?”

“Maybe, it makes it convenient to live though,” I reply contemplatively, “what I’m trying to say here is too much technology has the power to dwindle people’s mental state. Just look at how your praised technology has made people lunatic nowadays. If the purpose of advanced technology was improvement solely for human living conditions, I would say you are absolutely right to praise it. However, mad people have been using the advanced technology to make nuclear weapons to kill fellow men all over the world for decades. You can’t deny this transparent fact, can you? Moreover, because of advanced technology, a number of advanced crimes have occurred all over the world also. When people invent more advanced technology, more advanced crimes will occur all over the world simultaneously. It is inevitable, so to speak. And then more policemen will be busy chasing criminals and racking their brains to solve out intricate problems. I suppose advanced technology only makes life more complicated. We have been living in the insane world – if I think about the world conditions seriously, I will be out of my mind.”

He is awed with my intense speech and replies, “I am very impressed, but it’s very difficult for me to swallow everything you’ve said. Despite everything, I can smell the truth in your ardent discourse. However, I don’t know why you’re talking about your own country in such a defiant fashion, but I suppose you have your own reasons to be aggressive because you are obviously an intelligent young man. By the way, I don’t like America. They’ve been ruining us. Because of them, we’re suffering from destitution. Look at Obama, who has been playing with economy. He has been using the budgets to experiment with economics as if it were his own personal game. In my opinion, he is worse than Bush. He evidently doesn’t care whether we, Mexicans, have been suffering from his experiments.”

I do not quite understand what he is raving about due to my ignorance of politics. I have never been interested in politics in all my life and believe that the world would be a better place without the government. I thought that he must have his own reasons for being resentful, as I do for Japan. Consequently, I decide not to contradict him and not to ask the reason for his resentment. I simply say, “I don’t know if America has caused bad influences over Mexicans’ lives, since I don’t know about politics very well.”

Pause.

He looks at me solemnly, “Anyway, it is very pleasurable to meet the Japanese young man in Mexico, who obviously has his own vision and opinions. You have a rare quality, young man. You talk passionately about what you perceive and what you are interested in, and you are ready to admit your ignorance openly when things are beyond your knowledge and understanding. I like you, young man, welcome to Mexico! I hate Americans, but I love Japanese very much. I really hope you will have a good time here,” he walks on to a table with his food.

It Must be Wonderful to Live in Japan

It has been past 6:30 p.m. Gerardo and I are indulging in having spent an idle day since it is the twenty-fifth of December. “Shogo, I’m thinking we should go to Starbucks to just relax. Today is Christmas, so everywhere is supposed to be closed. We have only a few options. What do you think?”

“Yap, let’s go, my friend!”

When we arrive at Starbucks, it is full of people already. Maybe, they have nothing to do today and want to just relax as well. I suddenly change my mind and say, “Gerardo, we should go to Burger King to eat something and just go home to rest. Here are a lot of people, so we might not find a table.”

He consents, “Yeah, you are right. It might be a good idea to eat something there and just go home because I am too lazy today and still feel tired.”

When we enter Burger King, not too many people are eating. While we are queuing to order our food, a gentleman, who is a quite old-aged man of present mien, courteous, affable with gray hairs on his turf, suddenly advances toward me as large as life in order to commence a conversation with me, “Hola, como estas?”

I reply amiably, “Estoy bien, gracious, y tu?”

“Estoy bien, gracias por preguntar.”

“De donde eres?” he asks.

“Japon.”

He must have been thinking that I speak Spanish fluently because he suddenly starts gushing with excitement, “Oh, tu eres japones, respeto la cultura japonesa. Que te hizo venire a Mexico? Estas estudiando o trabajando?”

In order to make him understand that I cannot speak Spanish; I just pretend to speak it fluently, I fire my favorite phrase away, “No puedo hablar espanol.”

Here Gerardo rescues me, “No puedo hablar espanol. El habla ingress.”

The gentleman shifts languages and talks to me in English, “I am very much fond of Japanese. Tokyo is the most expensive city to live around the world. Japan has the best technology and has produced the most advanced technology in the world as well. I really respect Japan in every way. Also, Japan is very beautiful country. I saw on TV that exquisite skyscrapers are everywhere in Tokyo, and they are beautifully illuminated in the night. It must be wonderful to live in Japan.”

Here I feel obliged to interrupt him, “I didn’t know Tokyo is the most expensive city to live in around the world. I thought it was London. Anyway, you’re right about the technology. Yap, Japan has the most advanced technology, that I admit; however, you’d better know it has been degenerating Japanese shamelessly. If you have an opportunity to visit Japan, you will see Japanese people’s depraved behaviors, with gadgets everywhere. When I was in Japan, I couldn’t see my own countrymen’s visible depravities, without being blushed with humiliation. If Japan was the wonderful country as you said, I wouldn’t come here to start a new life in the first place. Don’t you think so?”

Life Is Just Not Earning Money; Life Is More Than That

I tell you, my fellow Japanese, losing your dignity and life over money is the worst lame excuse to defend yourselves. I know what you are. If you contemplate your hysterical daily activities seriously, you will realize that you sweat for nothing except money. And then you will have no choice, but end up in a mental asylum or commit suicide. Consequently, you keep on continuing the same daily routine blindly, without questioning anything, so that you should not happen to stumble on the truth accidentally. Your cowardly attitudes toward life make me abashed. I tell you, having money without life is nothing. Life is just not earning money; life is more than that. Life is immense and consistently full of enjoyment and surprises.

I tell you, my fellow Japanese, the meaning of life is not working five days a week until you become decrepit, nor keeping on earning money till death, nor pretending to be someone else for the sake of earning money till the dying day. In my humble opinion, the meaning of life is realizing who you truly are, doing every day what your heart desires, and enjoying just being alive. Above all, making friends is the most essential one. Even though I have still been seeking for the meaning of life myself, I ought to force even you to comprehend that I am close to the truth. If you will not start enjoying your life and will not try to figure out who you truly are, you are dangerously wasting your limited time on this delightful earth.

If you still have ears, listen to me, my fellow Japanese, if you still have ounce of pride left, you ought to start examining whether your hectic daily activities produce any joy and whether your attitudes toward life produce any enthusiasms every day. If you do, you will understand what I am trying to say here. I give you a clue of how to start changing your life. Try to find what your inner voice tells you, try to find what you want to do for the rest of your life, and try to believe in your unique personality. Enjoying your life every day is the starting point for you. If you do not know how to enjoy life, just halt your meaningless daily activities and take a vacation to visit Mexico. Mighty sunshine will welcome you, and you will find a peace at your heart. Mexicans are experts at enjoying life since it is in their blood. In addition, they are willing to teach you how to enjoy life. Do not be shy, just come to Mexico to learn how to enjoy life from them, my fellow Japanese.

Don’t They Have Any Shame For Themselves?

Maybe, Japan is a rich country, and everything is organized perfectly more than in Mexico; however, it does not matter whether the trains always come on time; it does not matter whether streets are constructed smoothly and gracefully; it does not matter whether the skyscrapers proudly stand everywhere, etc. Those things are nugatory. These kinds of material successes only show us cold feelings without enthusiasm for life. Japanese work every day like machines without questioning anything for the sake of earning money. Maybe, they can earn enough money to support their family; maybe, Japan offers more job opportunities, and Japanese can find a job easily more than Mexicans in Mexico; maybe, Japanese way of life is more secure than Mexicans, but what a price they have to pay!

They have no pride to show their true emotions, but they always bow down to their boss, like a good trained dog offering its head to be patted, so that they can get monthly salary. They think that obeying their boss blindly without any questions is a virtue. Whenever they see a Japanese young man who listens to his boss obediently and bows to him with several polite words, they praise him to the heaven, “The young man knows how to behave correctly in Japanese society, he must know his own place, his future is bright, he’ll be a successful businessman,” and so on and so forth. What a sheer delusion! Don’t they have any shame for themselves? Don’t they realize what nonsense they are talking about? What a resigned attitude this seems to me. They had better contemplate their involuntary resignation way of life seriously before it is too late. Making money might be more important than anything else for them, but losing their dignity for the sake of earning money and calling it the correct behavior for a mature person are the worst crimes that human beings have invented under the sun. What is the meaning of money? Is money everything for human life? I do not think so.

 

What An Admirable Human Gesture Indeed!

After the present exchange, we went to Chiluca, where the house of Leticia’s sister is located. There were almost forty relatives of Gerardo’s family there. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and enjoyed playing games.

In the garden they had prepared piñatas for the children. Gerardo forced me to hit a piñata. Therefore, I decided to show my skill at brandishing a stick – I was hitting it like a furious samurai. Everyone was laughing and shouting at me due to my unduly violent performance.

The pictures of each family member were adorned on homemade paper boards in the corner of the garden. Leticia’s sister showed me where my picture was, saying, “There is handsome Japanese. I have only a few pictures of you, but it doesn’t matter because you are good looking always.”

Gerardo had just happened to listen to her compliments of me and smiled at me with a slight hint of mockery. I said to him exuberantly, “Gerardo, did you hear what she said to me just now. Oh my God, why? Please tell me in the name of Almighty, why must my attraction be universal? Give me a rest, man!”

“I knew it, man! I knew exactly what you were going to say! That’s why I didn’t say anything. Happy son of bitch! She just wants to be nice to you. But I’ll say no more, ha-ha-ha,” he was laughing.

To my great surprise, they prepared the game called “Cien Mexicanos Dijeron” which is an imitation of the famous Mexican quiz show. They prepared a big screen, a whiteboard, microphones, tables, switches, and so on and so forth in the garden. They made teams segregated according to the each family, and I belonged to Gerardo’s family.

Of course, Jorgito was the one who enjoyed and became animated during the game the most. He was dancing around like a nigger, shaking his Mexican brown ass jubilantly like a contented donkey, and shouting at the top of his lungs with perspiration on his brow although the night was cold with chilly wind. Needless to say, stupid Leticia was delighted beyond human understanding and was capering around the garden like an exuberant pig.

I did not know what was going on accurately because the game was played in Spanish. Anyway, I participated in the game attentively and tried to understand it with all my zeal. And finally, the game was over. Jorgito announced to me as proud as a god, “Shogo, we won! You saw with your own eyes how quickly I answered the questions, like a flash. My shrewdness is a gift from heaven, you know, ha-ha-ha. We won because of me, me, me. Stupid Gerardo constantly gave wrong answers, but I covered his ass with my unearthly remarkable knowledge, heh-heh-heh-heh!”

Before we left, Leticia’s sister gave me the picture of every family member with names on it. She was generous enough to include me on this picture as well. What an admirable human gesture indeed!