Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Railroad MP3: Boom! by Maia Hirasawa

March, 2011: 九州新幹線全線開業
April, 2011: 

I wanna be where you are
Not too cold, not too far
I wanna go
Home, home, home, home

While the world's getting
Smaller than small
I wanna be where you are
Though my heart is screaming
go, go, go, go, go

We Are The World
Is not a song I like to sing
I'll never do actually
Show Must Go On
Like Freddie sang
Is more like me
While my heart beats
Boom boom boom boom

My heart beats

I want to see the world
Not from distance
Not from above
I wanna join
my boy, boy, boy, bo-boy

But what about you
I'm not that strong
So we will come along
Is my heart dreamin'

Just go go go go

We Are The World
Is not a song I like to sing
I'll never do actually
Show Must Go On
Like Freddie sang
Is more like me
I see you soon
Boom boom boom boom


My heart beats

My heart beats
And my heart sings
And my heart screams

My heart beats for everyone
In every little second
And if you wanna come along
Just join the club of fortune
My heart beats for everyone
I can't just stop this feeling
My heart's won't stop beating


Lyricist:Maia Hirasawa         Composer:Maia Hirasawa

I never get tired of this particular JR CM (advertisement), and probably never will. Every once in a while, I go on Youtube and watch it for the Nth time.
The idea, and even the execution (on the part of JR at least), seems simple enough. Set up a video camera on your train, point it out the window, and let loose one of your bullet train up the entire length of your track (see the long 25min version way down below...). The difficult part is, will the people turn up? Well, they sure did, and in full force! Just check out the clip, you know what I mean:

The JR Kyushu CM was for the opening of the entire line of the Kyushu Shinkansen, linking Kagoshima-Chuo station in the south all the way to Hakata station, in the north, The filming was done in February of 2011, and the actual official first day of the service (九州新幹線全線開通) was on the 12th of the following month. Judging by the joyous scene on this CM, you could be forgiven for thinking that the March opening ceremony was a grand occasion. It wasn't. In fact it was cancelled (the ceremony, that is. The train service went as planned). The date would tell you why: 12 March 2011.
The morning after the Tohoku earthquake-tsunami.

It just wasn't right to celebrate, I guess.

Not too long ago, mascot from Zao region on the Tohoku Shinkansen line was campaigning for your vote. Kumamon was probably a 'rival'.

The following month, JR East Japan came up with another CM: つなげよう、日本, announcing the opening of the entire line of the Tohoku Shinkansen in April.

I guess it means Connecting Japan, expressing hope that the restoration of the Tohoku Shinkansen damaged during the earthquake of the previous month will once again connect up all the towns and streets of the archipelago.

Of course, that's not possible as far as the Shinkansen system is concerned. The Hokkaido Shinkansen is still being built. It's official opening would have to wait another 5 years, in 2016, and again in the month of March. On 26 March, the archipelago really was linked by the Shinkansen.

Over the weekend, this short/long (depending on the version you streamed) video clip seems to have taken on added significance: Two events seperated by 5 years. Two Shinkansen lines, connected by similar events.

The same mascot from the Tohoku area tweet his well wishes to Kumamon.

The Tohoku Shinkansen was restored in about a month.

As the voice-over of Yoshinaga Sayuri says in the JR East CM:

Mascot from Rikuzen-Takada, one of the most severely-affected area in the 2011 tsunami tweeting about fundraising campaign for the Kumamoto earthquake.

And as Maia Hirasawa sings in the JR Kyushu CM, 

We Are The World
Is not a song I like to sing
I'll never do actually
Show Must Go On
Like Freddie sang
Is more like me
While my heart beats
Boom boom boom boom

In due time, the Kyushu Shinkansen will be, too. 
The show will go on. Boom!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

続 宝岛X环岛X跳岛: 2016年1月 臺北始发, 高雄到着, 台东经由

台东: 籣&绿

澎湖在西边台湾海峡, 绿岛在東边太平洋。 一前一后, 碰到了相似的经验。

The Xmas tree on Green Island is purple in color

当地居民看着我走在路上, 机车停靠在身边:
“你要去哪里, 我载你过去...”
然后我跳上机车后座, 就免费的被载到目的地。

绿岛有鹿, 好多土特产店都卖肉干。 不是猪肉也不是牛肉, 是鹿肉肉干。

籣屿街上有羊在闲逛, 像是很平常的事。

羊肉炉的看板是有, 倒是沒看见羊肉肉干。

続 宝岛X环岛X跳岛: 2016年1月 臺北始发, 高雄到着, 台东经由

臺北: 蓝vs绿...and a little orange

2015年的宝岛跳岛+铁路环岛, 高雄至臺北, 太平洋沿岸的草草了事, 促成了这一次的宝岛X环岛X跳岛。 也正好碰上了总统大选, 乘此机会把这一段补上。
台湾大选有没有Cooling Off Day? 答案是Yes and No.

No, 因为选前之夜是整个竞选活动的高潮。 从扫街拜票, 到造势晚会, 这一day根本容不下候选人或支持者的cooling off。The only thing cool about the day was the weather.

Yes, 因为根据当地的选举罢免法, 一切的竞选活动都得在晚间10點结束。这之后就得借助社交媒体的力量了。 候选人不忘要求支持者在FB上帖出对他们的支持。

同时也呼吁户籍不在臺北的, 快快搭火车, 飞机, 客运, 车子, 机车趕回家乡投票。
只是, 当天我人在臺北火车站, 发现火车票都没了。

不知道是不是大家都很听话, 响应以下竞选广告的呼吁。

Friday, 6 November 2015

Nov 2015: 马尔代夫

马尔代夫: 铁路0KM

如果你是一匹马, 你在馬累绝对不会累。 马尔代夫首都馬累岛, 从其东北角到西南角(发音要凖哦), 用走的一个小时轻轻松松就能完成。
上帝像是给了马尔代夫人一块馬累岛让他们玩一玩SIM CITY。 馬累虽然小, 但是该有的建设基本都有了。 我不知道岛上有没有室内泳池(在陆地少,海面廣的马尔代夫, 这样的建设似乎太奢侈), 但漂浮在海上的倒是有的。 但是这不是甚麼infinity pool(assuming such things are physically possible), 印度洋再大, 它还是有尽头的, 太平洋和大西洋开始的地方, 它就得结束。

旅游業者們(客栈老板, 旅游指南作者等等等)似乎聯成一气, 奉劝游客們把时间(和金钱)都花在度假村上, 没有去馬累的必要。 其实馬累是个有趣的小地方。

去看一场沙地球场上的手球比赛, 到只有男人的餐厅吃个小点, 听空气中的诵经声, 看当地妇女不穿比基尼(这里是指她们都身着衣裤加头巾, 不是光着屁股, 像话吗)也能在海滩中戏水自得其乐。

Nov 2015: 马尔代夫

马尔代夫: 铁路0KM

Maafushi岛之于马尔代夫, 就如Alcatraz之于旧金山。 岛上有一座监狱看守所。 岛的東边是客栈加海上活动设施, 往西走便是被篱笆隔开的看守所。

闸门内立了个牌坊, 写着WELCOME。 讽刺的是, 竟然还用上了迪斯尼乐园的WALTOGRAPH 字体。 感觉像是纳粹集中营入口处写着的那一句Arbeit macht frei(WORK SHALL SET YOU FREE)。

篱笆里是好几棟小平房、 应该就是牢房吧。 格局像是Pulau Tekong的营房。我当年当兵时沒有闲工夫欣赏岛上风光、 我想这里的囚犯对着牢房外的碧海蓝天应该也不是滋味吧。真是一念天堂、 一念地狱。

都说马尔代夫是paradise、 那这里应该没有监狱存在的必要吧? 马尔代夫虽然是(又或者正因为是)个小地方、 却充满了political intrigue。这里几年前有位前总统锒铛入狱、 不久前是个副总统被拘留。 在接近离开这个“天堂”时、 为了防止大选前的可能事故、政府颁布国家进入紧急状态。

不过、 这是个很马尔代夫式的紧急状态、 因为政府保证这里对游客还是很安全的、 欢迎大家继续到访。