Lauren In Tokyo

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Spitting in the airport

I just got back from a 3 week trip to Taiwan. I really enjoy my time over there. The people are great to work with, and the food is always delicious. I'm looking forward to going back again soon.

But sometimes I am taken a little aback at little things. Today after passing through immigration and into the boarding terminal, I heard an old guy hock a loogie. Not out a window or into a plant or in the bathroom. Rather, he spat out a lungful of phlegm right in front of the Mont Blanc store.

7 years ago when I first got to Japan, this kind of thing really annoyed me. Everywhere I went, people were spitting on the sidewalks. It was a veritable wading pool of tobacco tar, saliva, and snot everywhere you went. But this type of behavior, while still occasionally popping up, has been pretty much eradicated from Tokyo.

But as bad as it ever was in Japan, I don't think I ever saw someone spit inside a building onto the floor.



Friday, January 09, 2009

Car immobilizer at Narita airport

Before you can drive up to the airport terminal in Narita, you need to stop for a brief inspection to make sure you aren't carrying any bombs or other dangerous items into the airport. The officer typically asks to see some ID and then if it is okay to open the trunk. They do a brief inspection with a mirror to check for items underneath the car and then send you on your way.

What I noticed this time, though, was that after they let me go, my car's engine was off. The key was still in the ignition in the ON position, and the car was still in gear.

The only thing I can think is that they've installed a car immobilizer to kill each car as it passes through inspection. I suppose so that you wouldn't be able to get away if they did catch you with something.

I'm curious as to the possible detrimental impact of getting the circuits fried like this.

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