Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Roads to Somewhere...

In the midst of a third go round with Alan Booth's classic "The Roads to Sata."  I read it for the first time about six months after arriving in Japan, and didn't care for it much.  I was still in my honeymoon period as a newcomer to the country, and found Booth to be a grumpy drunk.  

I read it again a few months before leaving.  This time I found it brilliant.  I'd had the prerequisite experience to relate to most of what he depicts, especially as I too had walked into similar situations  and locales.  More than this, my particular mindset at the time was as one well out of love with Japan.  Booth's cynicism found a staunch supporter in me.

This time I'm once again six-months into a life here, yet have found that I'm quite even tempered about things.  I'm still enamored with that which appeals, yet much more tolerant of that which rankles.  The biggest difference in perspective in my reading this time relates to a different writer altogether.  

Back in the spring, I spent a little time with Mary King, who had just published her own book about walking Japan.  In our conversation, she told me that she found affinity in the fact that both she and Booth were adopted.  She was further delighted when I mentioned that I too am adopted.  We speculated on whether this lack of cultural blood identity feeds a sort of wanderlust, if being of unknown origins makes us natural seekers, yet able to adapt and find home wherever we are.  

On the turntable: 'Til Tuesday, "Voices Carry"
On the nighttable: Sheila Nickerson, "Disappearance:  A Map"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll have to read that one, Tedo. I guess because I am not adopted, this is why I like to sit on my ass most of the time.