By ◆ Juppie on Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 3:28 PM

The inspiration for this post came from what I heard on the radio. I think the station was PBS (stands for Public Broadcasting Station), but I'm not quite sure. On the radio, the topic was Japan, and how it has kind of "swept the world" and become known as "cool". The Hayao Miyazaki films, such as Spirited Away, were mentioned. (I was pleased with that, seeing as I am very fond of those films.)

A man went to Japan, and was guided by a woman called Lisa (or Risa, if you want it to be more Japanese :o ). Lisa showed the man a place that was totally filled with photo booths. Photo booths are not that common in the USA. I've only seen them in two places - in Chuck E. Cheese (I know because I have a picture taken with my dad from there. It was fairly simple, though, we didn't get to decorate it or anything like that) and at a local mall (there is a place with a couple of photo booths. The place is called Angel Pix, I think). There were a few people trying out a photo booth, actually.

Well, Lisa told the man that he wouldn't have been able to go inside the photo booth place unless he was accompanied by a girl. Apparently guys aren't supposed to go into the establishments. On the radio, they even said that "If a guy asks to see a girl's photo booth sticker collection, that's very offensive. It's like asking to see someone's underwear." (I don't really know if it's true, but I'll go with the flow) The man and Lisa picked a photo booth that would make you into a Beautiful Girl. The man was given the chose of being a Sweet and Pretty Beautiful Girl or a Colorful Beautiful Girl, and he chose the former. They had to make a certain pose for the picture (not sure what the pose was, since this was on the radio, not on TV). Then they could decorate it, adding bees, and butterflies, or whatever things you can add. And then some sheets came out of the machine, with many identical little stickers of the decorated photo. (I heard that it cost 400 yen. That's like $4 in the USA.) Thus, the man had become a Beautiful Girl. XD

Afterwards the man said that he had seen girls in schoolgirl outfits just like the ones in the manga his daughter read. I thought this was interesting since when I had been in Japan, I had seen some students, but their outfits were black, and not like those sailor-style seifuku (uniforms) that you'll see often in anime. I wonder if I just didn't go to the right place. I'd like to go to Japan again, and go to Hokkaido so I can see the Sapporo Snow Festival, but unfortunately the Snow Festival is in January, so I'll be in school and I can't go.

There are other things I think about besides just things that are impossible are highly unlikely to happen, though. I think many of my peers are still caterpillars. They are young and restless and still innocent. They're still gold, like that poem by Robert Frost...

"Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay."

I saw this poem in the book The Outsiders. The meaning of the poem could be said to mean that nothing perfect can remain; something will go wrong and ruin it, because that's part of human nature. And it can also mean that you might be young and innocent, but you won't always be.

Some people strive for things, like getting all A's or becoming a doctor or making a million dollars or finding a cure for cancer. I've been wondering why they have such goals. If you want to be a doctor, is it because you truly think you can save lives? (If you're a veterinarian, you'll have to be prepared for killing animals, too, because sometimes you must euthanize them.) Or is it because your parents wanted you to? Because it was a respected career or for the money? Or for the title of Doctor? (Ashamedly, if I wanted to be a doctor, I would probably want it for the title.) I hope that my fellow people understand what their motives are for doing things. If you want good grades, is it to better yourself? To feel that you have improved and are striving for your limits? Or is it to keep your parents from hitting you and from taking away your privileges? It'd be good if everyone would take a little time to look at what they want to achieve, how they will achieve it, and why they want it. If they can't answer the why, a very important part, then probably they're truly a part of the rat race. I heard the rat race being described as, "We keep going and going even though we don't know why we do."

It's when you know yourself and your dreams and are fighting to achieve them that you truly turn into a butterfly.

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