Monday, May 24, 2010

May, 24th, 2035 AD, Kyoto, Japan

Alighting from the train, he felt, Kyoto was hot, but soon consoled himself as it was cooler than his “hot-and-humid” home town. He thought that the Japanese would recognize him as a South Asian; thanks to the programs of Indian in NHK most of the Japanese recognized him as an “Indojin”, meaning “Indian”. And when they did, the pride for his mother-land just showed up.

Carefully following his colleagues advice, he handed over his hotel’s address that he had printed as part of his travel-preparations, to the taxi driver. The Taxi driver took only a couple of seconds to read-understand-acknowledge back to his customer. This guy murmured, “Japanese! Aren’t they fast ~”.

He loaded his 3 hand-carry luggage, in the back-seat, suit-case in the trunk, and made himself comfortable in the front seat. Inside the solar-electric-taxi, everything looked cool. The seats were more comfortable than the best he had seen back home. He thought, unlike the taxi drivers back home, this Taxi driver was wearing a suit that would match his marriage suit, never mind, the politeness … He could hear some pre-recorded lady’s voice from a speaker near the driver seat, that stopped once he put on the seat belt and the veered into the busy lane. The driver was courteous enough to tell him, “30 meenits” with a smile. He smiled back and thanked the driver with his mind trying to figure out the fare for a 30 minutes ride in a solar-electric-super-comfortable car.

He was fascinated at most of the things he saw, working traffic lights that were mostly LED, people respecting traffic lights and traffic rules, cars without side-dents, clean roads, pavements with no homeless, and much more… It was his first trip abroad, and his mind was fascinated with everything foreign. The taxi was now in a broad road, where the inter-car distance was so large, that he thought that he had seen such a formation, only during a Presidents visit to his home town.

Having lost in the thick of things that was happening around him, he started focusing on a car that his taxi was following. It was a red colored Toyota, he could read “Noribito” inscribed at its trunk, he chucked, “Noribito, … a nick name is it!”. His boy-scout eyes would swear that the red-Toyota maintained a perfect inter-car distance. And it was exactly in the center of the road. He thought he wished that he could stop the red-Toyota, and measure the distance, and confirm it. He was awe-struck and murmured to himself, “Japanese perfection” … He tried to spot the driver through the transparent rear-glass of the red-Toyota and could see few heads in the back-set, but not the driver, and to this he murmured, “Short Japanese” …

The red-Toyota would respect yellow-signals to perfection, and was into ideal-driving. The taxi driver was getting irritated, and signed, “Noribitto”, the Indian asked, “Whaaat?!*” for which the driver replied, a “Tis-a drovibingu robotto, no doraiba-” …