What follows are public telephones created in a time when phones did not roam freely and in pockets.
To make a call, one would either enter a specially-created booth (or box), or simply stand close by as the receivers were tethered to the phone unit by a short cord, then insert a variety of coins depending on the location called (local, domestic or international) or in some cases, use a purpose-made phone card, or even a credit card (though doing so often exposed one to fraudulent actors).
Perhaps you have already imagined the unsanitary nature of sharing a phone handset (placed next/close to ear and mouth of course) with strangers – though perhaps this increased “herd immunity” despite being rather unpleasant. Note that oftentimes the coin return slots were checked for forgotten change but the miner was surprised to find discarded chewing gum, or even-less-savoury items, instead.
This gallery is primarily Japan phone – both current working payphones, hotel house phones, house landlines, antique non-working artifacts and one from Indonesia, captured “in the wild”.
What follow is documentation of the Honorary Canadian Consulate in Osaka, located basically in the parking lot of a pre-cut wood shop with lumber imported from BC.
I was the first person to sign the guest register this year
Walls were adorned with newspaper clippings from a decade or so ago
Signs encouraging “More fish and wood”
Several beautiful canoes (unused)
(Somewhat oddly) wooden pig roaster in the lobby
The location, as you likely as assumed considering it’s a lumberyard, is in an industrial park area (photo of street included) and required a variety of transportation schemes to get there including the “new tram”.
While the experience was a little bit surprising (I have a whole riff about the underutilization of consulates and embassies I’ll save for another time), I’m glad it exists as it saved us from a much longer (and more expensive and more hectic trip) to Tokyo.
By the way, the required paperwork was an official affidavit to say that I am free to marry 藤田良子 which we then present at the City Hall on 19th (assuming the certified version arrives by registered mail in due course — update: arrived in Tsuda Lumber Company envelope) to formally register our marriage on April 19th before Shinto ceremony on 20th then party and another ceremony on 21st.
Wishing safe and happy travels to all day international diplomatic renegades who are bringing their beautiful energy to this pleasant corner of Japan. Also, sending my very finest thanks for all the good wishes coming in from so many wonderful people throughout my life. So grateful you have stuck with me through these turbulent years and are able to witness this life reinvention from wherever you abide.
So much more to say, but the to do list still has many small but important details and my delicate body needs rest to recoil some energy for the next several days of festivities and showing off my new hometown to miraculous pals. In the meanwhile, note that every smoke signal is most welcome, well noted and will be reciprocated in due course.
Yours very fondly and fortunately, daveo/UW
Poster by Joanna / Gamamo Creative PS She is seeking her next gig. #HireHer#Tip#DRO420
The poster art for the party was one of the first things on our “we want to have” list for the wedding celebration. We both love music, especially live, and the posters which go along with the gigs.
So we asked the lovely Joanna and huggable Kenji who together have Gamomo Creative (a Chamorro warrior from Guam where Dave used to live for just another connection) to design up something special.
Joanna and I did many projects together at Hootsuite so she is familiar with my “here’s a big crazy idea with vague details, make something magical by reading my mind” way of working and Kenji being hafu-Japanese and an eccentric creative, is also uniquely qualified for input. They also made 2 lovely kiddos! Oh and Kenji is featured in one of my barber round-up posts getting a mullet from guitar hero/barber Rich Hope.
Anyhow, I sent JoBot (coz she’s a robot who designs with love) 6 pages of notes and a folder of “inspiration” – way toooo much of course (i’m a maximalist when it comes to design) and she asked appropriate questions to whittle it down and see what it is i liked about each piece of inspiration.
With this in mind, i’ve compiled various images and notes in a rather stream of consciousness manner to share for-the-record how we collaborated to make something truly special which will be the central design element for the goat farm party.
Worth noting that originally we planned to just us the poster at the party and then in the gift bags but it was so wonderful (not surprisingly but still surprising), we created a number of home-done print runs on various stock to send in announcement dossiers to folks all around the world. About 300 went out in this form and we then pro-printed 150 for giftbags and another 6 BIG versions on foamboard to display at key locations at the party and another rollable 4 for other commemorative purposes. Thanks Joanna and Kenji for your huge hearts and exceptional work.
Of course, we’ll need a guest book and a photo album for the artifacts and sentiments from lovely attendee. In our case, we’ll combine the two (written and photo messages) into one mighty tome with the help of self-service insta-camera (we have 200+ films on the ready!) with snaps added to the book on the spot, then personalized with their written messages.
The book itself is a classic Japanese lacquered artifact, heavy and handbuilt – btw these types of scrapbook are my favourite to make (loads of them usually using recycled board game and calendar paper) – purchased from urban history explorer Jason Vanderhill with assist from Laura Bzowy and hauled over by my kinfolk.
Look forward to settling in on the following Monday to see the photo treats and scribbled missives duly noted by lovely attendees.
My pals from Hootsuite – which obv was a such a big part of my life and something i never go to “say goodbye” to – made the most remarkably kind dispatch.
The intrepid Cameron Uganec nonchalantly dropped a note that he and Ryan Holmes had a wrangled a little something and sent me this link which features the sweetest words a fellow ever deserves to hear from colleagues > friends > family spread around the world.
This is rather personal to say the least and my first instinct is to keep it this way but i also know that many other people will truly be edified by watching/hearing this outpouring of agape. As such, no holding back.
PS I would do that thing where you tag all appropriate people but lots of “cool kids” aren’t hanging out here and this is a bit too sensitive to the schoolyard fo Twitter and def not Snapchattable so just going to send it out as-is, with all the hugs.
I will however include a reply to the participants who extended such a gracious effort to this drifting poet who is no longer drifting, ergo:
I am so wonderfully filled with all the emotions and so incredibly grateful to each of you for your words and vibes. I explained to Ryoko (who loved seeing all of you and was answering back to your charming Japanese) who each of you are, and how we came into each other’s world, and also how i never go to say “goodbye” … i didn’t want to leave, one day my body/life/world changed and was never able to return – this was *so* hard and as i collapsed and drifted for so long. So many times, just when i needed it most, one of you wonderful beings would appear with a helping hand, a kind word, a check in, a rescue I’ve forgotten a lot of things but not those #realtalk.
Now this wonderful video creates something far better than “closure”, rather helps me open this wonderful new reinvention of life. Truly thrilled and so completely surprised to see face after beautiful face (my goodness you are all so fabulously good looking!) – hearing your sincere words is something i will treasure this week and forever. This goes in the vault and in my heart.
Please accept my fondest thanks for letting me part of your lives and i hope to be a worthy friend until we are all olden and grey. Oh also, was so cool to see everyone spread all over the world on various career (is that what you call them?) and adventures. Of course, please make sure i have current postal address so i can send you random cards and treats and make sure i introduce myself to your kiddos (where applicable).
In prep for a barrage of international renegade diplomats descending upon Okayama, I cobbled together another decidedly mediocre video to share a few ways of getting around the city – streetcars, busses, taxis, and bicycles – as well as a finding those said ways and other information about information, ya know for tourists.
Another dispatch coming soon with specifics about getting to shrine (ceremony), resto (fancy lunch) and goat farm (party). In the meantime, please accept my humble offering.
This dispatch shares wayfinding tips to get from the main train station, down a covered shopping arcade, over a canal, a stop for coffee (optional) and then to Koraku Hotel (conveniently embedded with a post office and convenience store). Then passing statues and bars, to the Okayama View Hotel – located across from the Birkenstock store ¥100 shop – and over to the Tenmaya shopping area and transit hub as needed.
A lil video in which i mispronounce various words, stumble through “advice”, share poorly made photos, and in general, provide semi-useful instructions for riding trains – specifically the various Shinkansen “bullet” trains to get from KIX to Okayama for various wedding festivities.