Tag Archives: Payphone

Outing: bus to passport snaps, jazz & tea

The three of us, on the road by wonderful, air conditioned, Wi-Fi enabled, Uno bus service into Okayama city for passport snaps for Ichiro. His first time on the bus and he’s really into it, waved to the driver, of course, (yup, like his papa).

Evidence of the journey as he looks at the windows to endless possibilities

Lots of fun at the photo studio, serious face and a sailor suit for two passports, two countries, two sizes… Then and outfit change (jimbei & barefeet) for a bit of a commemorative studio photo / just like my Mom used to do for us boys.

After photo studio, caught street jazz / sort of informal part “Okayama Jazz Street weekend” (Including a tenor sax, followed a car and upright bass combo, the bass played by the chief of “Live House Bird” where we hosted our “foreigner welcome party” before the wedding.

Melodica, Tenor Sax, Bass combo afternoon in Omotecho shotengai

We’d never had a chance to thank him in real life – he was grateful for all the snapshots and awareness of our pals brewed up.

Stopped for tea at a place filled with older gents playing Shogi & Go + bought Ichiro a puzzle at one of those dusty forgotten stationery shop so I dig.

You can *barely tell* that we’re even related I’m sure

Oh, also bumped into several people we know, or wife knows… Starting to be a lot more action around the city, was also a sake festival and saw a gaggle of obvious foreigners, first time in a long long time, seem to be maybe a sports team?

[update: done-ish] All above unpictured for now, mebbe i’ll grab something from R‘s phone as my camera is broken but i did take the instax for 3 snaps.

Home now in the cool dark room with the little guy snoozing next to me.

Collection: (Pay)phones (vol. 11) – assorted Japan hotel/ryokan house phones

operational classic black rotary and laser engraved QR code for wi-fi

As part of on-going documentation of various collections of payphones. this gallery features examples of phones in various states of use, captured “in the wild” around Japan, specifically featuring hotel house phones in Shimane and Ishikawa and related devices, plus a few other phone handsets of different circumstances and origins for your edification, lightly annotated.

the Ryokan’s “control center” with multiple faxes and breaker panels, switch boards…
another hotel “control centre” with phones, faxes, batteries and cc machines(?)
i seem to recall this was once a phone i used but don’t recall. can you remember?
room phone at a Ryokan in Shimane
Continue reading Collection: (Pay)phones (vol. 11) – assorted Japan hotel/ryokan house phones

Collection: Payphones (vol. 10) – assorted varieties / Varley Trail, Hong Kong, Bali, Japan

at Rice Lake cabin along the Varley Trail, Lynn Canyon, BC

Pardon any redundancies, this collection definitely includes several that just haven’t fit into previous archives but maybe one or two they already are out there, there’s too many to count anymore. In this wormhole, we range widely however from the Varley Trail in Lynn Canyon, British Columbia, to Indonesia, to Hong Kong, to points around Japan. Of course, you can find many more in various collections of payphones and related communication tools.

on the streets of Hong Kong

Hello to the people in the future,

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.

ok ok, this isn’t a telephone, its a utility meter in Indonesia
to make up for my tom-foolery above, here’s a payphone in Indonesia
i see you! a accessible size “office ready” unit at a rest/service area en route to Kyoto
Continue reading Collection: Payphones (vol. 10) – assorted varieties / Varley Trail, Hong Kong, Bali, Japan

Collection: (Pay)phones and whatnot (vol. 9) – around Nagasaki & Gunkajima

In the various collections of payphones (as well as hotel house phones and other related analogue communication tools) throughout this archive, the devices are often scattered in variety of locations. However, this installment includes items observed on a visit to Nagasaki in February 2020 and includes payphones, a few phones at restos and inns as well as a few rather destroyed artifacts from “battleship island” (an inland turned mining facility).

as seen at a restaurant, evidently still operational but did not operate
at a Kissaten Café right near the atomic bomb museum
Continue reading Collection: (Pay)phones and whatnot (vol. 9) – around Nagasaki & Gunkajima

Museum & Musings: Lafcadio Hearn (Yakumo Koizumi)’s residence etc. / Matsue, Japan, 2018

In my first era in Japan, 1992-3 in Tottori, I vaguely heard about a “western” writer who had lived in nearby Shimane prefecture, had taken on Japanese name/identity and whatnot in a time that very few foreigners were coming into Japan and those who were diplomats, business people or missionaries and generally centred around Tokyo or other big cities.

I learned more about this character named left Lafcadio Hearn (Patrick Lafcadio Hearn / Πατρίκιος Λευκάδιος Χερν, later Koizumi Yakumo) and was completely intrigued. I couldn’t imagine how he chose this wonderful yet far-flung location, and the logistics of getting out there and getting settled.

Learning more about his life realized his fantastically interesting life with checkpoints in Greece, Ireland, the Caribbean, New Orleans, the American midwest west (with a then-shocking *mixed race* abandoned marriage), coming to Japan on assignment for a magazine, quitting the magazine and going rogue, later teaching at a university where his position was usurped by noted Japanese novelist Natsume Soseki.

So when I returned to Japan in 2018, top of my list (besides hanging out at Mac Kobayashi’s goat farm) was to go to his museum. As it goes, I arrived to treacherous weather, typhoons, rain storms, flooding, landslides follow by a heat wave – all of which made my illness a little bit rough but, along came a girl, the girl.

Ryoko met me in Matsue, (i’ll always remember her walking down the steps of the station with her floppy straw hat and me saying “how about a picnic?”) and indeed, we rolled by bus out to the two museums: one was his former house and the next-door was a museum which was not photo friendly.

But first, a picnic on the banks of the moat around the castle that he would have looked at every day, waving to the tourists going past in boats, taking snapshots of the statues, payphones, and post boxes before going into the house and museum (2 different places).

Lafcadio Hearn Former Residence: https://goo.gl/maps/NSDc1wHnShU3D1Pq5

Lafcadio’s own writing desk! This was a wonderful feeling

First off, the house was very pleasant to explore with his custom made writing desk which was surprisingly on tatami mats, and raised to accommodate his eyesight challenges. Around, the garden was well kept and in splendid bloom along with other pieces of his artwork, calligraphy and artefacts he collected and a friendly staff with a comment box.

Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, Matsue, Shimane, Japan: https://goo.gl/maps/zu8MZtdP6uXDpMXW7

Continue reading Museum & Musings: Lafcadio Hearn (Yakumo Koizumi)’s residence etc. / Matsue, Japan, 2018

Postboxes (and related items): mostly in/around Okayama, Japan

postal coin banks, envelope-esque pencil / pen holder, paintings of post boxes in Vaticane and Olympia, Greece as seen at Tsuchida Cottage

As will no doubt be *not shocking* I have quite-literally hundreds of photos of post boxes around the world, as well as other postal type artefacts – from “still lifes” of writing letters, to random global stamps, to paintings of post boxes etc. etc.

postboxes in a magazine seen at, yup, the Shinogoze post office

While I made a book out of some of the artifacts {Post’d: Letters to Elsewhere}, most don’t have a “permanent home” here in this creative life archive and well, it’s a bit of a daunting task to do *all of this all at once* so sometimes a collection just sort of falls together around a theme and says (metaphorically, i hope) “hey, this seems nice” and here is one of those times.

postal code mark as seen painted onto the street

In this case, a few post boxes – both for sending and receiving – in and around my Tsuchida neighbourhood and Okayama at large, and a few other snaps that friends here sent me (i think, sometimes i don’t know if took the photo or someone else did, no offence intended if i mistook).

No doubt this post could go on and on but instead I’ll say, “Here are some postal items, please enjoy (and remix as desired)”.

simple, rustic delivery box in the neighbourhood

Note: i have meant to start participating in #postboxsaturday Twitter activity, maybe this’ll help me start.

Continue reading Postboxes (and related items): mostly in/around Okayama, Japan

Collection: (Pay)phones (vol. 8) – junk shop in Okayama + typewriter

(Pay)phones (vol. 8) – junk shop in Okayama

In the various collections of payphones (as well as hotel house phones and other related analogue communication tools) throughout this archive, generally the devices are in current use and from a variety of locations. However, this installment includes items observed in a single used artifacts shop in my *new home town* of Okayama.

(Pay)phones (vol. 8) – junk shop in Okayama

As for these various phones, most I suppose were used in businesses or public settings, while some maybe were for home use, i dunno. The eras certainly range from early days of telephony, to some classic golden age design, to the rugged utility of 1970s.

(Pay)phones (vol. 8) – junk shop in Okayama

You’ll notice various states of disrepair and jumbled-up-ness of display *and* there’s also a typewriter snuck in here. Carry on as usual, remix as desired.

Continue reading Collection: (Pay)phones (vol. 8) – junk shop in Okayama + typewriter

Postboxes and Payphones, etc (mosty) in Phitsanulok, Thailand

While assembling diaries about hospitals and massages in Phitsanulok Thailand, as well as general “field notes“, sorta rounded-up a variety of documentary images of post boxes (both outgoing and incoming), a few payphones, parking ticket dispensers, and other oddities. So, here they are for historical record, with little/no further annotation although the payphone may be included in existing archives.

Note: to be clear, some *may not* be in Phitsanulok (Chiang Mai?) and i may add some more later as i come across, as such, consider this a “Thai bucket” so to speak. Oh snapped with iPhone 4/5 and Lomo Sardine can camera for the most part. Lousy photos, interesting items.

Continue reading Postboxes and Payphones, etc (mosty) in Phitsanulok, Thailand

Portals, etc: 4 (more) views of Olympia, Greece /

Four portals of various kinds in Olympia Greece, 2017

(since I’m here), here’s me at the original running track of the historic Olympics, nearby the portals documented above

Post’d: Payphones (and what i think about…)

While I’m here >> while in bed I did scribble & stampify a batch of lovely postcards. This month’s offerings features payphones around the world. Each unique capturing variations of pinnacle of practical utility & design

Aside from the payphone postcard series, were a few other incidentals that went out in this last batch. Note: When I decide to send a postcard to someone, I consider which postcard (theme, paper, metaphor) would be *just right*, kind of my way of doing Tarot cards I guess.

Including New Year’s cards, sent out about 500+ last year (includes my “postcards as a service“ members, art dossiers, packets, presents etc.) but it never feels like *enough* >> I always have a stack half finished i’m meaning to finish & send, especially to kids.

Related: my friend Cathy Browne (now on CBC) sent me this in replay to my payphone snaps – its a beauty!

I replied thusly:

"Oh that’s a beauty! I see hopes, waiting, being lost, being found, unidentified bacteria, debris never to be collected, a pin on a map at a maintenance shed no one looks at, pockets full of coins that’s never quite enough, figuring time zones & what to say when it’s been so long."

By the way, my adorable wife mailed me a postcard from a museum she visited recently for work. Such a treat to receive! And my friend @atomicpoet mailed me a cassette mix tape with custom J sleeve. two items of quality indeed!

While I am sharing postcards, this New Year’s card was on its way to a Tzouras player in Greece but Greece & Japan’s postal systems arent getting along right now so it came back. Pretty though.

However: Re-considering my little slacker “postcard shop” as @buymeacoffee changed their payment options/workflow and my meagre little funds are captured in limbo. Admin hassles kind of takes the fun out of it :(

So my choices as I see it are:

1) Set up a “proper” shop with Shopify or Woo #hassle

2) Set up a cheap and cheerful Etsy shop #cheesy

3) Move to Patreon #Patronizing & pressure

4) Shut it and go back to sending postcards ad hoc for no reason in particular Thoughts/advice?

Ok, one more envelope to address *and* this month’s “postcard as a service” postcards are printed! Gotta figure another/different/better system than current though.