I couldn't believe the first time I went to a Japanese foodhall (in a mall) and 
the queue for McDonalds was 20 people and the traditional food places (ramen, 
okanomiyaki etc.) were empty! Still, Japan is an alternative reality for those 
of us from the West. No violence, extreme politeness (getting bowed to for 
ordering a Big Mac is still a thrill), no obesity (except for sumo wrestlers 
are seen as gods), trains that run on time *to the minute*, drinking in public 
is ok, children as young as 10 still travelling on trains at 11pm and *safe* 
etc. And the women.. oh my god, the women... Yep, won't be leaving any time 
(although I'm going to Bali, India, Nepal and Thailand this Xmas for 3 months!).


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