March 28, 2007

It was the biggest bicycle a Japanese department store carried and it's still too small for me.

I imagine that scene in Lost in Translation where Bill Murray struggles to deal with the low shower head. Although we can clearly see that the head can be raised to a height comfortable even to Bill Murray, the joke still works cause we all know that the Japanese are shorter than us, right?

I'm of average height in the West. I never had problems with low shower heads, and I comfortably rode my bike around Tokyo—experiences that contradict the Japanese-are-short stereotype much like the LA Times' author's experience with the stolen bike contradict the Tokyo-is-perfectly-safe stereotype. Maybe the author is just innocently looking to profit from the popularity of that movie with those three or so short comments, or maybe he's so nauseatingly tall that he's never experienced a situation where his height was not an issue.

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A web designer/developer by trade, Brian lived in Japan for 5 years and likes to think he knows something about that. He's most recently into talking about design, culture, typography, and web technology.