Translator: Sarah McNally
From Canada, Sarah has been in Japan for almost 5 years. If you are interested in a Japanese to English translation, please feel free to contact her at

Sarah. 来日五年目のカナダ人。日本の高校では英語の教師して教壇に立つ一 方、日本語検定一級の資格も活かし翻訳も行う。問い合わせは上記アドレスへ。

After Word: Day 9
If you plan to smoke, make sure you bring a portable ashtray. Cleaning up is not easy for caretakers.

This is off topic, but no matter how much experience you get, the tube maps that are sold at stations are incredibly difficult to comprehend.
I can't say if it's because I've become accustomed to the Metro maps in Japan, or if it's because Japan's maps are simply better, but I really had to make a considerable effort to get used to the maps made for locals in England.
In any case, I think pocket type maps are best. If you have a large map, you can't look at it quickly when you need it, and what's more trying to spread it out is a real pain. A pocket map actually does fit nicely into your pocket, so you can pull it out and take a quick look whenever it's needed. Getting lost in Japan can be quite exciting and enjoyable, but when overseas it's best to avoid such situations altogether.

In comparison to Japan, London is not such a safe place. The myth of safety in Japan is said to have been collapsing some time now, but even so one must take extra care when overseas.
I'd like everyone to be careful and to avoid problems before they arise, especially in localities where you are unaccustomed with the language.

Here you'll find some personal notes I took during my trip.
I didn't really write this to be read by others, but you can take a look if you like. This is about what happened in London during the week or so I was there.
*Diary written between September and October of 2000

    London Diary: Day 9 - One Last Meeting with Bolan

    Today is the 9th day of my trip and almost the last day.
    Although I was sorry that I would have to part with London soon, I went to Russell Square station to buy a Zone 1-2 Day Travelcard.

    After buying my Travelcard, I had planned to get on the bus and go to the British Museum again, but suddenly found myself getting on the Underground. While on the tube, I decided I would go to the bank. There I found my spending money to be at rock bottom and in a sorry state, so I set out for Finsbury Circus.

    There was a station called Finsbury Park (rather than Finsbury Circus) so I headed there by tube. This was rather deceiving, as Finsbury Circus and Finsbury Park are actually completely different places. I had wanted to go to the former, but ended up at the later and was unable to stretch my legs.
    Just then, a bus pulled up. It was the bus to Golders Green! Figuring there was nothing else to do, and perhaps showing signs of going a little crazy, I jumped on for the nearly one hour ride to Golders Green.

    Of course, being at Golders Green, there was no choice but to visit Bolan's grave. Thinking I wouldn't likely be able to visit again this year, I went to see him once more.

    Although just one week had passed, the scenery at the park was considerably different. Things such as the green of the trees hadn't changed much, but the apples had ripened nicely and were plunking to the ground and ash coloured squirrels were eating mushrooms. Overall it was very tranquil and serene.

    Next, something quite mysterious happened. Even though it had been cloudy up until that moment, the sun suddenly came out. The climate around London is unusual, with the weather often changing unexpectedly over the course of a day.

    I spent over an hour at Golders Green, just taking it easy. As I took in the fall breeze and watched London's characteristic low clouds, I looked back on many things. Tomorrow I'll return to Tokyo, and when I return my regular everyday life will begin again.

    However, now is different. I feel as though I am in a mysterious space and time that no one but me can comprehend.

    This is a bit of a confusing explanation, but here is what I was thinking. Firstly, time is the common property of all people. Irrespective of wealth, sex, and race, and without any form of discrimination, time is distributed impartially. We use our time for different things, such as school, work, and family. Time at work, time at school, time with family, in this way there exists time for different situations and places. The reason I went on this escapade in London was to create time not shared with anyone, time all to myself, absolutely all my own, and to use these 9 days lavishly, I reflected.

    The moment of departure was decided, but other than that there really weren't any restrictions on my time. I didn't have anything that had to be done or any deadlines, so I could use all of this time for myself and in my own way.

    Entities such as companies buy away individual employee's precious time at quite a low rate I think. In particular, Japanese companies do this. We often have to work on Saturdays and also Sundays. Although we claim to have a five day work week, in reality there's an atmosphere that makes us feel that we often must be at the office on the weekend. On top of which, if we try to go home at 6 we'll be treated as slackers. All of this is a little senseless. (Of course there are companies in Japan that aren't like this, and there are probably a few lunatic companies like the one I just described in the West as well.)

    What I want to emphasize here is that the valuable private time we each own should be treated with greater care by individuals.

    With this in mind, I really enjoyed 10 days of extravagance. I treated myself to so much time that I was quite satisfied. I set out for far off England for neither work nor study. I was there simply for my own sake and to satiate myself.

    Without a doubt, the cigarette that I smoked in front of Bolan's grave was the best cigarette I've ever had in my life.