It’s been more than five years since I’ve been in Canada. A lot can change in five years. The biggest changes would include technology and urban development.
The area I live in right now has seen many new houses built. But Japan in general has seen smartphones becoming the norm, video screens appearing in even more places, and the expansion of free wi-fi. The busses in my area now have LCD screens for bus stop information. More trains are also getting that. You can use smartphones to show coupons in stores.
I wonder how different things are in Canada. I know that downtown Edmonton is undergoing huge changes in development: the Ice District with the Oilers new home and the tallest building in western Canada under construction, the new Royal Alberta Museum, and many condo buildings.
What else is new in Canada? I’ll find out soon.
Living in Japan, I see so many people looking down at their cell phones. In the train, in the park, in the restaurant, even while walking. Their world has been reduced to a glowing LCD screen in their hands. They aren’t living in reality.
What people need to do, especially while walking, is to look around. Reconnect with their environment. Writers can definitely benefit from this. They need to observe and take mental notes about places and things they see.
Something I like doing is going for a walk by myself to just look around. Sometimes take pictures. It clears my mind, and I often get ideas from what I see. Sometimes I don’t think about that at all, just enjoy the atmosphere and scenery. This picture is what I took while starting to write this post.
It’s a train station in Machida, Tokyo. I go through it every week. But I often go on autopilot and don’t notice everything. I like to snap myself out of that.
Are you one of those people with their eyes glued to a cell phone screen? Or do you observe your surroundings?