The Other Side of Lost in Translation


The Exhibition

The scribble said "This is what they do to their dissidents in China"
No, I did not write that!

Since a few years ago,
This exhibition called "The Exhibition"
has been going on in New York,
and it seems to be popular among tourists.

Specimens exhibited there are real human bodies,
without skin. Yes, without skin.
They peeled off entire skin from real human dead bodies.
So you can see all muscles and strings
usually hidden underneath of the skin.
I think it's gross but obviously popular,
going on for a while
and I have seen the posters here and there.
But this one was the first one
featured a female body that I have seen.

I think you can tell that this is Asian
judged by the facial features.
Actually they are all Asians, but why?
Organizers of this exhibition said that
these had been donated by the individuals
who had liked to contribute their bodies to the science study.
But why only Asians??
Me and my friends speculated they had come from China.
It is well known fact that Chinese goverment sell
the organs and other body parts of executed convicts.
I do not think Asians are not particulary the people
who are willing to contribute their bodies to any purpose.

What a sad exploitation!



Chinese Food Delivery Man

Since I used to cover pop music for Japanese media,
I had visited many record companies in Midtown.
Sony, BMG, EMI, Universal, you name it.
And each time I talked to the receptionists,
they thought that I was from some Chinese restaurant
to deliver the food.
Even they did not say it,
I could tell by the way they looked at me.

So I asked some other Japanese collegues
and they said they had similar experiences.

Whenever those receptionists see Asian guys
in casual attire like jeans and T-shirt,
they think they must be from Chinese restaurants
or messengers.

The vast majority of record companies' employees were White
and I found Blacks only in a Black music department.
Asians?, they were the extreamly rare spieces there.

At one time, I had to wait at the receptionist area
for about one hour, and Asians I saw there were
three guys from Chinese restaurants.
Therefore I cannot say it was completely a prejudice.

And eventually, I had become to realize that
the majority of people everywhere,
they think I AM a Chinese food delivery person.

In New York city, there are many many
Chinese fast food restaurants.
Most of them have a small storefront
with simple decorations
and a kitchen right behind that.
Some of them look Okay, some of them look kinda shabby.
You order something from their menu
and they cook it within a few minutes.
Most of their workers speak minimum English.
And they deliver, yes they do.

For the most of non-Asian New Yorkers,
Chinese fast food restaurant workers are the Asians
that the most frequently they have a contact with.
Therefore they naturally have become Asians' stereo type
along with Korean grocery store workers
and Chinese laundromat workers.

If I walk down the street with jeans and T-shirt,
most of people that I pass by think
I am supposed to be from
some underdeveloped country of Far East,
and came to U.S. as a poor immigrant or a refugee.
No education, no cultural sofistication
that I am supposed to have.
I am supposed to work at a Chinese restaurant
or deliver Chinese food.

I am taller that average Americans, 6 feet.
I graduated from the very good college in Japan.
I have been professionally writing for a long time.
I think my taste for music, films and books is
more sofisticated than average Americans.
But they do not matter.
Because, for them, I am suppose to be
a cheap Asian food restaurant worker.

This has created a huge identity crisis in me.
And this is the reality that I am living in.

ラベル: ,


Ghosts of the Mid Day of Summer

This spring came a little earlier,
but then almost entire May was a bit cold and rainy,
which brought the gloomy feelings back to me.
Well, fortunately June has changed everything,
now suddenly we are in summer, my favorite season.
Just like the old song saying,
summer time, livin' is so easy, fish are jumpin'
and cotton is high.

Under the large large trees
where the light appeared to be bluish,
Bluebells were blooming
like they were doing a soft sweet little chorus.
Their flowers resembled Hyacinth of spring,
but all of them had pale lavender color.
It really looked like a fantasy world
as if it belonged to somehwere Ghosts and Spirits lived.

You know what,
there are many Ghosts are living
in the botanical garden.
Some of them are sitting on some branches
for a long long time, with little sad faces.
Some of them fly from one flower to another
just like honey bees do.
Sometimes they can be naughty to shake the leaves
when there is no wind.

All ghosts are young and pretty, almost like models.
Does this means only pretty people can become Ghosts,
and live beautiful place like this?
Are uglier or older ghosts living in crappy places?
Maybe so, just like humans, pretty ghosts can be lucky ones.
Does this means I cannot come to
place like this after my death?
Sigh, but it seems to be very understandable.

Look, a very cute ghost is touching
the petals of those purple flowers so softly
with her fingertips.
Bees fly from a flower to flower to seek out honey.
Then what is that ghost doing?
I like to ask,
but probably she will be startled and disappear if I do so.
Soft wind just blows.

After a while, after viewing all these,
it gradually dawned on me that
flowers are the metamorphosis of death.
Not only humans but any other living creatures bloom
as a flower when they die.
And they die again and then go to the other worlds.
Probably those ghosts are giving some instructions
to the souls who will take off to the new world soon.
Or maybe just wishing a good luck.

But then, there are so many varieties of flowers
like big ones, small ones, red ones, white ones,
gorgeous ones and simple ones.
Does it depend on what kind of flower you become
where you go after that?
I would like to ask them, but I know that's something
I should not ask, I should not.

Another soft, sweet and tender wind blows
through the petals of flowers and hair of ghosts.
Slowly breathing and closing my eyes,
it seems that all things around me are suddenly gone.
Stopping to breathe now,
I wonder whether I can be a little white flower or not.

Or maybe I want to be a leaf.
Nobody look at me, but I can be swayed
by this wind until the fall.
Where do they go after they take off of thier twigs?

Not only flowers but everything else are traveling,
on the way to become something else,
changing themselves one after another.
For something, it takes only a second.
For something else, it takes a number of years.
Even if you're not the big flower that everybody loves,
your trip continues.
So why don't you adore the wind that blows for you?

Look, at the center of that grass, where the sun hits,
there is a beautiful ghost standing.
Can't you see that?
Or am I just hallucinating
as my deppressed mind is shot up to the sky
by this bright summer light?