Thursday, October 18, 2012

Quiet Delivery

In Tokyo, practically everybody reads a newspaper. The Yomiuri Shimbun, the most popular, sells about 15 million every morning and about as many of its evening edition. (The NY Times sells 800,000 every day.)

In our neighborhood, newspapers are delivered by a rackety motorbike around four in the morning. To be as unobtrusive as possible, the boy delivering our newspaper parks his bike up the hill from the little community of five houses in our valley, and scampers down to jam the morning news into our mailboxes. For us early wakers, this is the beginning of the day. 

Lads delivering the other papers drive their rackety machines down the slope and right up to subscribers' mailboxes, and so we have come to think there are two kinds of newspapers, the noisy ones and the quiet one.

Maybe it's no coincidence that when it is raining or even if there's a prospect of rain, the quiet newspapers are delivered in a clear plastic envelope.

- V.S. Heliotrope