Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Get the Smoke Out!

This is my silent scream. I know that second-hand smoking is quite a killer but I've been wondering the past 24 hours if the smell of cigarette is any harm.

Since several years ago, one by one the 23 wards of Tokyo have started banning cigarette smoking in public (=on the streets) but it seems like the policies have barely any effect for I see and suffer from smoke coming from those illegal smokers smoking on the streets. I remember that when the policy started there were staffs from the ward office walking around to check on people's smoking manners and I've seen several times when some of the unlucky ones getting fined Y2,000 but hey, where are all those checkers!? I need them cuz I'm so super sensitive about cigarette smoke and even the smell. I get so upset when people passing by on the street have cigarette in their hands.

As I travel and observe every once in a while, I notice that the public policies on smoking on the streets vary widely across the world. In some countries smoking is no big deal since more than half of the population smokes, and on the other hand some places are extremely strict about public smoking and have serious punishments. As being one of the people who're extremely sensitive on smoke and the smell of cigarettes, I wish that at least this city if not the whole country would become totally smoke-free. Tokyo to me right now, is sometimes a very resident-unfriendly place.

Speaking of resident-unfriendliness, I almost got my bike towed while I was stopping by to grab some lunch at a local convenience store. Can't I even get around my local neighborhood with my bike!? Crazy. Driving too has become hard. Well... as for driving, I don't know which stance to take. It's not the driving regulations but the parking regulations that have become strict. You're basically not allowed to park on the street unless its officially a parking space. That part is understandable. The regulation aims to reduce severe traffic jam. That too is understandable. But the watchers look into the narrowest streets in residential neighborhoods and point out "illegal" parking in front of your house, or a 2-min-parking of delivery services (inc. mail deliverers).

Why have our society become such a place where its people have to live in mental and physical suffering whereas the policies should be improving it?

..Well, so that was my scream that I can't really let it out loud in office. Guess why...

Today's Update on
Japan Mode: Kanji Names - "5 Most Popular Names for Babies born in Japan in 2006"
We've had non-Japanese names converted and displayed on our website for a while, and I've talked about Japanese baby names in the past entries for this blog, but I'm pretty sure this is the first time to feature Japanese names on the website. See what Japanese names are like!

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