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Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

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Hidemi's Rambling No.550

I tried some novelty that people call ‘Uber’ for the first time during my stay in California. I heard Japan also has it in the Tokyo metropolitan area, but it’s unavailable in the remote mountainous town where I live. Although I had some trouble signing up and using its app at first, I was thrilled when I saw a car actually pulled up right in front of me. I felt as if I was in a future world since I got a ride by just tapping a smartphone for a couple of times. There’s no need to call a cab company any more. No need to calculate a tip or pay to a driver either. The car was clean and the driver was courteous. And the fare for this safe, worry-free ride was incredibly low! I wondered what kind of person had devised such a remarkable service like this and admired Americans afresh. In Japan, there are too many government regulations or restrictions or vested interests that prevent new ideas and services from materializing quickly. That makes people in Japan give up easily and reluctant to try something new. They are resigned to living in patience. Compared to them, Americans are far more challenge-oriented, which always impresses me. I have had some unpleasant experiences when I used a conventional cab, but each ride of Uber was pleasant one during this trip. I used it for several times and all the drivers happened to have a positive attitude. One of the drivers immigrated with his family from Nigeria and now lives in Anaheim. He told me he had thrown away everything he achieved back in Nigeria for opportunities and possibilities in U.S. With a twinkle in his eye, he said that people could do anything here as long as they’ve got money and that he is working hard for his children’s college tuition. I gradually understood why I had to travel to U.S. by spending what little money I had and by getting over numerous troubles. Hope still exists here. When I was born in an old city Kyoto, hope had long gone. I left home for the Japanese capital city Tokyo, but it no longer remains there either. But here, I saw hope that makes people go forward. I got back to my hotel feeling it was a right decision to take this trip. I watched a twilight view out of the window. While Japan is densely populated with houses and condominiums closely line back to back, houses here had enough space between them and plenty of greenery with broad roads around. I was imagining how comfortable it would be to live here when a siren of a police car became louder and stopped right beneath the window. The police officers began to stretch yellow tape that was familiar in movies and TV shows. Many more police cars arrived and the road was blocked. Finally, a SWAT team showed up with a big black van. I turned on TV for a local evening news show, but it didn’t mention anything about this, which meant it was too small and usual to be covered. Thinking I might witness something and be murdered for it, or a ricochet might hit me, I drew the curtains and pulled away from the window…

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There's a bar/cafe inside the supermarket at the city that serves a glass of #sparklingwine at $2 as a lunch time special offer. #wine #bar #cafe #Japan There's a bar/cafe inside the supermarket at the city that serves a glass of #sparklingwine at $2 as a lunch time special offer. #wine #bar #cafe #Japan
My new #ebook is published. hidemiwoods.com #book #Japan #millennials #Japanese My new #ebook is published. hidemiwoods.com #book #Japan #millennials #Japanese
The #lunch at a family #restaurant during my latest trip. Unlike my rural town, there are many nice places in the city. #hamburger #crabcake #chicken #Japan The #lunch at a family #restaurant during my latest trip. Unlike my rural town, there are many nice places in the city. #hamburger #crabcake #chicken #Japan
The #sunset from a parking lot of the restaurant near my town. #sky #mountains #Japan The #sunset from a parking lot of the restaurant near my town. #sky #mountains #Japan
Had raw #ham #salad at the family #restaurant. #Japan Had raw #ham #salad at the family #restaurant. #Japan
#Bonito sushi at $1 for 2 pieces at the conveyor belt #sushi #restaurant. #Japan #Bonito sushi at $1 for 2 pieces at the conveyor belt #sushi #restaurant. #Japan
Luckily found and got a #bento box at half price at the convenience store. #bentobox #Japan #convenience Luckily found and got a #bento box at half price at the convenience store. #bentobox #Japan #convenience
An extra large size of #vongole #pasta is available at the same price as the regular size at the #Italian #restaurant in the city. #clam #Japan #spaghetti An extra large size of #vongole #pasta is available at the same price as the regular size at the #Italian #restaurant in the city. #clam #Japan #spaghetti

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