Friday, October 12, 2012

Japan: おたんじようび おめでとう; Happy Birthday, day 2

The second day of my birthday festivities (technically my birthday in the US) I went to Mori Tower with my friend and his sister who was visiting from Hungary. The tower is about 55 stories with an open-air observation deck, as well as an art gallery and several restaurants in the underlying floors. The galleries were holding exhibits on the Egyptian Book of the Dead as well as an extensive one delving into Arabic culture's conflicts, perceptions of individuality and selves and the misrepresentations rampant in foreign cultures. Both were interesting, though the Arabic exhibition was far more enlightening to me due to how much of the material was presented in English. I had previous exposure to the Egyptian material at the London Natural History Museum in 2005, but I will always be curious about Egyptology.

Japan: おたんじょうび おめでとう; Happy Birthday, day 1

a normal shopping scene en route to Solamachi
     Birthday's are a weird thing; it's the anniversary of coming into this life, this reality we share...each candle we earn is our tally for essentially beating the odds; another year without getting hit by a bus, developing a fatal illness, tripping in front of a train, getting trampled by a rogue cow...these things happen every day (well, maybe not the cow attacks)... Another year of life is a victory, yet many people bitterly remark, "another year closer to death!"...which is true, of course. Every year is another step away from childhood and closer to being elderly, with all the problems that come along with it; but the way I see it, we could all die tomorrow; a comet could smash into the planet, obliterating life as we know why dwell on the inevitability of mortality during what should otherwise be a celebration of survival?