Weeks ago, I played host to a friend from Japan, a musician, one who played the saxophone so well that he got a fan base not only among his compatriots but also among long term Filipino residents in Japan. He was some kind of a celebrity.
He brought his musical instrument and he would serenade me with classical music. I felt heaven was within reach.
He spent a number of days in my place and he was instantly enamored at the sceneries and the tropical climate. He would repeatedly chime “This is paradise!” over and over again. It would likewise become a greeting whenever we find time to stretch out and visit the environs.
One day, an incident happened. My visitor almost fainted. There was no electricity and he was at that time charging his electronic devices. He never knew what black out was all about. We call it “brown out” over here, a political term to smooth the temper of the natives. Who would curse the brown race in the place?
The brown out lasted for almost five hours. We were lucky because I was informed that in some localities it went on for almost a day! My Jap friend was almost disoriented. He grew up in a country with enough energy that a failure in electric power was almost non-existent. He was inconsolable for some time. He was cursing government.
I have to mollify his sudden burst of anger. I was shocked at his demeanor more than the failure of power since it was, for me and for most locals, a normal occurrence.
After a while, he was apologetic. Whatever good impressions he may have accrued instantly vaporized with that single electrical incident. He probably realized that he was not in Japan or in any developed country. It dawned upon him that he was after all in a country with a struggling economy governed by incompetency and surprisingly, chosen by natives to fulfill their destiny, whatever it is.
It was a shortened vacation period which my Jap friend spent in my place. He knew that he could not adjust anymore considering his dependency on technology. Hampered by power failure, his gadgets would not amount to anything. He was trained in modern world amenities and to live in a place almost 50 years behind his country was an invitation to backwardness.
He was very grateful though for the accommodation I gave and was very sad to leave hastily. But of course I understand him.
A few days later, I received a note from him that he was back in harness in his home country and promised that next time he would be back; he will bring along a portable generator.
I suggested that he should take with him a group of civil and electronic engineers so that they could build towers too to increase the signals for his gadgets.
He never responded after that.