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Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

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Hidemi's Rambling No.542

These days, I’m busy preparing for a trip to the U.S. that I will visit for the first time in ten years. Although the destination is the same area as I used to live in, ten years is long enough to change everything dramatically and make my knowledge obsolete. Numerous new hotels have opened and their rooms are WiFi-ready. The transportation from the airport has changed. Since it’s now a smartphone era, check-in for the flight and the hotel is done by it. We don’t need to carry a digital camera anymore and it turned out that an app for a smartphone dispatches a hired car instead of calling for a cab, which I’ll definitely use there. I got a gizmo called an overseas SIM card that converted my cheap smartphone into an essential companion with which I could make a phone call and get data communication in the U.S. The biggest change I noticed above all was price hikes. Inflation in the U.S. and depreciation of yen has soared all the prices and I won’t feel like buying or eating out there when I think of the price converted to yen. But there are some things that haven’t changed. A copy of an itinerary of a return flight is necessary for the immigration at the airport to prove that the return flight has been booked and paid. They check an itinerary copy instead of a physical ticket, which can be forged easily if someone wants to, and is therefore meaningless. Even so that system stays unchanged, and I’m pretty sure so does an arrogant attitude of a US immigration officer. I turned to my journal of ten years ago and I had written there that I wish I could come back to the States before I die. It’s good the wish did come true. It’s even better that my motivation to go to the States no matter how costly it is didn’t disappear. People can become their different selves in ten years either by dulling themselves or by growing themselves in it. In my case, I live a life with so many changes that I wouldn’t have imagined ten years ago. But on the other hand, it remains the same that I’m cheap and desperately make ends meet every day…

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