[1 May 2007]
This is getaway week. The time when just about everyone in the country in which I live goes off to explore, experience, exploit, and exhume the esoteric and exotic, moving into and through places they normally don’t traverse. Perhaps it really ought to be called “X Time”, but it’s not.
Instead, it goes by the moniker “Golden Week” and golden it is—as it is a period in which 4 national holidays are strategically linked with a couple of weekends to form nearly 10 days of free time. And if one displays a little moxie, has accrued some on-the-job brownie points, and is in possession of an understanding boss, then a strategic sick day or two can transform this fortnight into a truly golden time, indeed.
If so, and strung together as an undivided whole, Golden Week enables Japanese to reconnect with the idea that they might actually be alive. Imagine that. Something more than automatons who are accorded a mere 18 paid days off per year—but hey: enough to rank them ahead of the paltry entitlements of fellow Asian work-a-holics residing in Hong Kong (7 days), Singapore (7 days), Taiwan (7 days), and South Korea (10 working days).
Be thankful for small favors. Count your blessings. Luck to the fortunate. Whatever works.
On the other hand, the Japanese are still weeks well behind progressive malingerers such as Spain (30 calendar days), Tunisia (30 work days), Italy (32 days), Finland (35 days), Germany (4 weeks plus extras), and France (5-7 weeks, depending [well after all, theyare
But me—not being French, and nominally Japanese—I get to partake as a full, equal, paid-up ReDot delegate. It’s either that or sit home alone while everyone else vacates the premises. leaving me, in my solitude, with the constant reminder (borne of sudden solitude) that everyone else has a life.
And what a wonderful state of consciousnessthat
can be, right? Negation by association—who all’s for it?
And so it is that I am spurred to get on with my golden time. So is it that I go about inventing something out of nothing. So it is that I offer a reponse to in lieu of the fear-inspiring presence of absence. So it is that I also hit the vacation trail.
What I do is purchase a ticket. A little dear, because the idea comes a tad late, as most of my good ideas do. And where do I head? Well, would but it could be ELO‘s Xanadu purchased with Eddie Money‘s “Two Tickets to Paradise”—but no . . . in fact, the port of disembarcation turns out to be much less sublime, a place all too plebian. But the terminus is far less important than the goal of simply getting away.
Or so they say.
Could it be? And where could it be? Well, in fact . . . here’s an idea: what if I didn’t say? At least not quite yet. For reasons that are only just dawning on me.
Because—here’s another idea—from the fertile (?) fields of the overlord of the realm of signs (that being ME!): I wonder, were I to provide you with enough clues (and good clues at that!), would you be able to guess? In 7 days or less. What if we try it that way? Would you? Could you?
Well, doing it that way might even prove a philosophical proof, of sorts - I mean, assuming that I did this just right (me being an overlord, of sorts, it ought to turn out just right!).
Given the right combination of words and images and conjured cues, we together might even be able to demonstate that the parts sum up to be even greater than the current whole. A sort of meta-physical impossibility, perhaps, but one worthy of any moment dubbed “Golden Week”.
So, all that is left to ask is . . . are you game to play?
If so, then why not tune in next day.
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/golden-time/