Sunday, March 13, 2005

Hay Fever

I'm a little bit under the weather right now myself, but I'm not suffering from what so many others have fallen prey to. Hay Fever is the big nasty around here. Pollen from Japanese Cedar tress ('sugi') bathe the Tokyo metropolitan area each spring. The result is about one in five people wearing a surgical mask every time they leave the house, and lots of puffy, watering, bloodshot eyes.

The government did a decent job of replacing all the trees that were felled in the name of industry. They found a tree that grows quite quickly, and is quite friendly to the construction sector. Unfortunately, that very same tree plunges the masses into fits of sneezing and whining. The government has now come up with a replacement for the Hay Fever tree from hell, but we won't be able to enjoy lower pollen-counts for a couple of decades.

Meanwhile, Matsumoto Kiyoshi (one of the larger drug store chains in the Kanto area) continues to chime in the new year with ominous sales on masks, medicine and goggles.

I have a cold, by the way, and my bottle of imitation NyQuil seems to be doing the trick.


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