Cultural divides: travelling down from Hong Kong to Seoul I have noticed with relief (see last post re digital dependence) that I am a dilettante only. In the lift down from the umpteenth floor of the Hong Kong hotel was a man holding a large-size tablet an inch from his face, a martial arts movie playing with sound track at full volume. He strode into the lobby without lifting his eyes, a diminuendo of karate chopping and screaming trailing in his wake.
In the long queue for immigration at Seoul every single person was poking at a mobile phone. And now, looking out of the fourteenth floor window of a tiny studio apartment, where the tv screen is bigger than the bed, I can see a neon nightscape of flashing Samsung ads.
Any novelist – or creator of long-form narrative, as we have now been re-titled – would feel a twist of dismay. I certainly do…
AND another thing. The bathroom business. See picture.
I have been to Japan, therefore I have encountered this sort of thing before, but in Tokyo there were informative pictograms, even a word or two of English. But here– which button to press? What scalding jet or torrent or blast will sear the areas? Close the eyes, hope and pray for the best…..