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Re: Japan trip report

Ah, yes, I too have visited the Fujitsu plant in Kawasaki ... many years 
ago.  Much, much better than the Toshiba plant I went to a couple years 
back!  Yes, Japan is filled with contradictions ... when I was there ~10 
years ago I saw a BMW M1 _on_the_road_ several times!  Camaros seemed to 
be the most popular US car ... and they look huge on the roads in Japan.  
I don't remember seeing too many Audis on the road either, but the last 
time I was there I saw an Audi dealer while on the bus riding to Tachikawa.
It looked like it wasn't too far away from the hotel, so I decided to walk 
there on my last day [trying to tire myself out before the flight home].  
It was a very nicely done dealership ... and even though my Japanese 
doesn't extend much beyond Wa karima-sen (I don't understand) and they 
spoke no English they tried very much to help.  Finally someone thought 
to call someone who spoke English and let me talk to them on the phone.  
I told him that I was an Audi fan from the US and I just wanted to see 
if I could get some literature and such.  I gave the phone back to them, 
and eventually they came back with more literature than I have gotten in 
ALL my visits to US dealerships!  I don't think I've ever been given a 
cup of coffee at a US dealership either.  

The things I remember about Japan ...
- A good percentage of the cars are white, and most cars are very well kept
- Drivers in Japan seem to be very competent
- I remember after spending a long day in the clean room I was very 
   tired and still a bit nervous about riding in a car there.  All 
   of a sudden I hear this bell going off and I notice the speedo 
   is over 100!  I realized later that this was maybe 70MPH and got 
   a big laugh ...
- They have vending machines for just about everything (even beer!),
   and it is perfectly normal to stop on a very narrow road and pick
   up a couple boxes of iced coffee for the trip!  If that happened
   here you'd hear shots fired!
- I don't envy those folks on bicycles at all!

I think the first time I was there I saw a single Audi 80, and I don't
remember seeing any at all the second time I was there ...

Thanks for the memory jog Glen!

Steve Buchholz
San Jose, CA (USA)
 # Visited:
 # Tokyo
 # Kawasaki - Fujitsu
 # Numazu - Fujitsu
 # Content-Length: 2017
 # Automobiles observed:
 # 1x Audi
 # 1x Taurus
 # 1x MB c200
 # 1x MB with chrome wheel arches and other ultra-tacky accessories (yeech!)
 # 1x Bentley (at a body shop - no evidence of damage - already fixed?)
 # 1x Vette
 # 1x Mini