I was in Japan in 1965 on an exhausting tour of recent volcanism. I learned that when a Japanese turned to me and said "Don't worry." if I wasn't worried, I should be. I did have a 300 word vocabulary at the time but (a) this wasn't enough to know what was going on and (b) they spoke to fast for me to know.When I first started riding the subway in Tokyo, a voice would call out the stations. At first it sound just like ha we ha, but after a while I slowly understood they were saying things like Tok-yo It was a great day when I finally understood them to say O-cha-ni-misu, which was my station. It is also the name of a river - River of Tea Water - to be exact (cha is tea and misu is water). It used to be that the river water was so pure that you could use it for tea water. Not is 1965 when you could see all sorts of trash floating down the river. By 1975 when I returned, the river was pretty well cleaned up because of a program by the government, but I still wouldn't want to drink it for tea.brucedoe
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