January 11, 2008
Getting geared up for a March trip to Japan! But man, I am such crap at planning trips. I'm also not such a brave tourist. On the one hand, I try to avoid the most blatantly tourist-friendly ways of seeing countries, I want to see the real life of a place. On the other hand, the prospect of being stuck somewhere and not speaking the language so much makes me really anxious. Usually my solution for this is having a friend in the other country to play host, but still I'm going to need to make some sidetrips on my own and I find that a bit intimidating.

Article of the Moment
Slate on Ghost Malls - coming soon to a commercial district near you?

They always freak me out, to see a strip mall (or one of those hybrids that's like a strip mall but has an interior to walk around in) with closed store after closed store.

Some of that might be the centralization, with Wal*Marts, Best Buys, and Targets attracting business that would otherwise be more distributed, but still.