They are only a few inches long yet give pleasure to so many. No I am not talking about the male anatomy!! In fact I am referring to iPods as I have finally jumped on this bandwagon by buying the iPod nano 1GB yesterday.
I was going to buy the big 60GB iPod a couple of months ago but instead bought a laptop as I found out that you have to use the same computer for all iPod updates. There was me thinking I could just go round peoples houses storing their best tunes on to my iPod!
However, once I got the computer and set up iTunes I discovered that I didn’t have time to listen to everything including all the new tracks and podcasts that I downloaded. The inevitable outcome was to join the Tokyo masses and get an iPod.
I don’t usually listen to anything while commuting to work but on the longer day trips I get a little embarrassed to be seen using a walkman or discman which are so last century!!
The downside of these things is the anti-socialness of them and switching off a very important sense. At times it does seem to me like some people, and not just the Japanese, wake up and put in their earphones and don’t take them out till bedtime thereby going the whole day without any social interaction which I find a little sad. Will have to see if I become one of them over the coming weeks!
I think its nice for people to escape from life for a bit, particularly in such an overcrowded city like Tokyo, but there is a time and a place for this surely. I saw a foreigner walking around the Tokyo National Musem recently with his music on which was a first for me! It did seem strange to me but given that you don’t converse in museums and that they are usually quiet then maybe its not such a bad idea after all! Overall, it seems very rude though and I hope I don’t become one of those who keeps their earplugs in when they are buying something from a convenience store for example.
Another less serious problem could be listening to some of these podcasts in public and trying to control my laughter so as to not draw more attention. I think us foreigners get enough of that without making it any worse!