Monday, June 20, 2011

Beauty Sleep

I just wrote this comment to ZACL's blog, but this matters to me.  So, I edited it a little and made it also as my blog.

Last Thursday, I went to my local post office to send some used paperbacks to a friend of mine in Japan. The books were eight out of the fourteen books of “Anne of Green Gables series” that I bought at the library across the street. It was only 25 cent each. I was going to send them by sea mail. Anyway, it isn’t about packages, but the clerk who processed my package hasn’t aged at all. He looks exactly the same from 10 years ago. It’s amazing. After our greeting and handing him the package, I said to him,

"You haven't aged. What is your secret?"

He looked perplexed, holding my package.

"Let me know if you find out," a pretty female clerk chimed in from a distant away. She looked at us with her mischievous smile.

I guess he is famous of not aging. He still has black hair in a pony tail, always slim, and exactly as he used to look with his relaxed smile. I wish I were that way.

"What cream do you use?” I said after I paid twenty five dollars.

He had explained to me that sea mail has been unavailable since a few years ago. I didn’t know that. I thought I was saving a lot of money. For two dollars worth of books, I paid twenty five dollars for postage and an envelope. Things do not always work as we plan. Oh, well. Going back to the cream,

“What? What kind of cream are you talking about?”  he said squinting.

“Facial, of course.”

“No, I don’t put anything,” he said and twisted his smile.

“Do you practice yoga?”


“Well, then, what is your secret?”

“I sleep a lot,” he said.

So, I relayed this message to the other clerk there. After I returned home, I’ve been trying to catch up my sleep since then. I decided to sleep as much as I can. Then I concluded that if we slept all the time, we wouldn’t worry about aging because we are busy sleeping. So, the man’s secret to his youth could still be a solution, if we cared only ageing.

But we don’t.
Do we?

No, we don’t.


Rebb said...

Keiko, This is hilarious. What’s funny too is that even though I’m sure some men think about how they age, it seems maybe they are not as preoccupied as women can be. Look at how many creams and commercials there are for women. Also, I think the collagen in women’s skin breaks down at a much faster rate than men’s. I’ve always noticed that older men’s skin looks so nice and hydrated, whereas many older women’s skin looks a little more dry, especially when they put too much makeup on (and of course heredity, diet, ethnicity, etc. plays a role). I like my naps too. I think the whole world is preoccupied with ageing and beauty.

No worries…that probably plays an important factor.

I shipped one used book overseas once. As in your experience, the shipping was more than the book—and it never made it to the recipient. I didn’t read the “Anne of Green Gables” series, but I saw the movies and enjoyed them very much. And I only saw the movies because a friend’s dad insisted that I must see them. I’m glad I did.

keiko amano said...


Yes, our faces lose collagen faster, and gain more fat around our tummy. Even my skinny friends older than me complain about that. On those phenomena, we go downhill like rolling down on a steep hill.

About shipping books overseas, that's too bad. It happened to me, too, as you wrote. I once sent a computer manual to France. I never heard about it. This is what I think. Some people don't want to acknowledge the receipt for some reason. Perhaps, they don't want to say thank you, or that's not what they wanted or no longer needed. Has this ever occurred to you?

Rebb said...

Keiko, Reading how we go downhill made me smile. It does seem that way. So maybe rather than rolling the rock up the hill like Sisyphus, the rock is rolling down a steep hill and we can only trying to keep it from rolling too fast or jump on and enjoy the ride. :) I suppose it can be seen both ways.

Interesting thought. I don’t think that ever occurred to me about someone not wanting to acknowledge the receipt. Hmm. I do know that I see two potential short story ideas here—maybe something on the verge of the absurd.

p.s. I’ve been wanting to blog about my experiences here at the local post office. I happened to be there yesterday to pick up some mail and there is a certain attitude—not bad necessarily—but something. Maybe I’ll see if the short story format is better container. I guess it’s best that I don’t over think it.

keiko amano said...

The verge of absurd is happening real time all the time, so we have many opportunities. I don't know what it is, but what you wrote about what happened at the post office yesterday sounds interesting. We all have reasons to our behaviors and what we say things. Capturing the essense is such glorifying reward.

About mail and packages, I heard that because of the current bad economy, many people are losing them for theft. So, it's good that you go pick up your mail at the post office.

ZACL said...

$25 for postage for 2 cents worth of books is enough to give you furrows in your brow. We'll all need brow fillers to hide the deep lines, if it continues!!!

What happened to sea mail? It still exists...I use it from the UK sometimes. The main change is that for some packages from the UK it can take longer to arrive and not cost a great deal of difference to airmail. For some posting, it is the best route and can work out a lot cheaper.

keiko amano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
keiko amano said...


About sea mail, I wonder if only the US quit using it. I learned my lesson. I guess I won't be sending packages anymore.

I wonder if this is related to the issue that the state government wants to tax amazon and other online retailers when they ship outside the country. I guess the amount of their businesses became pretty big. Oh, I didn't think of this until now. If I were a book seller and sea mail was available, I can see profitable businesses.

ZACL said...

On the question of taxation, we pay whatever the going rate is in the UK for stuff bought from Amazon, electronically. That is, books are not taxed here, but electronic book downloads are. Some people here discovered it was more expensive to have a book downloaded onto a Kindle than to buy the paper version of a title. That was the reason for it.

Amazon has book depots in the UK not many are imported from the USA. I wonder if that's how the company operates globally.

Back to wrinkle-less faces: many more concerns like these and we'll all age by at least five minutes!

keiko amano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
keiko amano said...


"more expensive to have a book downloaded onto a Kindle than to buy the paper version of a title."
Thank you for this information. It was worth 5 min. aging to get to a truth. I'm behind and out of sync, but most things don't remain cheap. Everything is getting expensive.

ZACL said...

It is surprising that tax is added to a kindle download, it's because of the taxation rules in the UK. It even happens with the very cheap out-of-copyright downloads. As they are so cheap anyway, a couple of pence (cents) isn't likely to 'break the bank', as we say. It becomes much more noticeable on the more recently published purchases.

I like the feel of a book, I haven't yet been hooked onto electronic readers. We have one at home and it was great when someone was ill.

An elderly relative bought a second Kindle because he dropped the first one. He is over 90 years old and disabled. He cannot go out to bookshops or libraries. It is understandable why a person like him would benefit so much from an e-reader.

We digress from post office tellers with youthful skins. That's how the cookie can crumble sometimes. :)

keiko amano said...

90 years old and disabled and reading Kindle. I see. That's a great technology. He must be sharp, too. I wonder if American Kindle can download Japanese books. Maybe, my aunt can use it.

The other day, I heard some classes require Kindle, and students must download their own textbooks. Textbooks are expensive, but even if I save money, I can't easily mark and write my comments on Kindle. All this probably depends only on our habits, and habits can change, but I like my habits. I'm sure I'm using some part of my brain writing my comments and highlighting most important points...although I don't remember them. smiles.

Talking of cookie, somethng is wrong with my cookie. I have to sign in and out of Google quite often. But I don't mind it. I feel more secure that way.

ZACL said...

If you contact Amazon or Sony (Sony are the other big e-reader seller in the UK) you can ask if they have books in Japanese to download in Japan or elsewhere. Students of the language living in other countries might be able to do so, my guess is therefore, it is likely to be an option for you.

You can highlight elements of interest with an e-reader I think, I do not know if you can make notations, I must ask the owner of one in this household.

Another furrow in the brow to fill!!

keiko amano said...


In this area of technology, Japan must be very behind. The laws, infrastructure, the way people think, and so on tend to create chaos. I heard that because the Japanese government is too slow to act, many retail stores opened to offer book-copying services.

Like computer and mobile phone, I wish I can have just one that works anywhere. Computers became tolerable because the double byte related issues were mostly solved, so now I can use just one laptop which I bought in Japan with less complaints. My hope has been that I just own one computer, phone, and perhaps later on Kindle and pay one bill for each, no premium or roaming charges.

ZACL said...

A single item with multiple technological roaming abilities is a whole other subject. I'm sure someone is working on it somewhere.

Regarding copying books, there are companies is many places and countries that do it. The copying is done, I think with laser scanning technology, which is fast.

Laser technology is used for many things, including beauty skin treatments.

keiko amano said...


Thank you. You're my channel to new technologies. You gave me an idea.

If one laser device can copy everything plus beautify my skin, that will be great!

ZACL said...

Not laser workings all at the same time Keiko... the programme might get mixed up.

keiko amano said...

And you might be able to read a page of some book on my forehead!

ZACL said...

Keiko, that would be novel.