mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Subway dreams

So if one were going to write an AU set in a land of flying mermaids and subway wild hunts aka Turkey, obviously it should be in Griffinverse Istanbul. But I don't know Istanbul. Maybe Neverwhere? Mh. Maybe AU Somewhere Else Entirely?

But for research purposes I took A Madness of Angels out from the library and may peruse it desultorily this weekend. I wish someone Japanese would write a Griffinverse Tokyo so I could know what the real spells and bounds are, from an insider's pov.

There's a Japanese book I picked up from the recycle-- here, not in Tokyo-- titled more or less 'Don't Sleep in the Subway.' Read a few pages a day just to keep the Japanese going because I'm too brainfried for Murakami. It's easy to see why it was in the garbage, though. The author's thesis is that subway time is your time: two hours a day or more of time to plan and reflect and read good books. For which, natch, you must be sitting down, preferably at a window seat, and clearly on some line whose trains have seats facing to the front and back and not (as in all the inner-city trains *I* knew) towards the interior. Sitting on the aisle is to be avoided. Your contemplation will be interrupted by the swaying bodies of all the peons who have to stand because Mr Me-first has grabbed the good seat and is not about to yield it to anyone aged or infirm or god-forbid pregnant. And how does one guarantee oneself a window seat every morning? Move. Move somewhere near the start of whatever line it is. In fact, move often. Moving house keeps the brain working and the heart young, he says.

Of course he also says that work hours 'are by definition from 9 to 5'. In what universe are Japanese work hours from 9 to 5, with the option of refusing to go drinking with colleagues afterwards? More amazingly, he worked in publishing. Mighty M who worked in publishing frequently slept on the floor by her desk when the magazine was on deadline, an hour or so snatched here or there if possible. And you didn't refuse to go drinking after work, keeping the hours of 7-9 pm free for yourself. Ha ha ha ha ha ha to the very notion.

(He also recommends getting up at 5 am so you have two hours of you-time at home before your two hours of you-time on the train. You can tell he's a married man talking to married men, especially in the way he blithely narrates how he took the large south-facing room in his apartment for his study, leaving the family to live and eat in some dark back area, ignoring his wife's pathetic expostulation of 'Who ever heard of using the sunniest room in the house as a study?')
Tags: japan, place, reading_12, writing

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