Pico in Lockdown


Start by checking in with friend of the show author Pico to hear how he's faring during this pandemic summer Pico was raised in England in southern California by parents who were both philosophers and religious scholars we caught up with him in Santa Barbara Pico welcome back travel with Rick Steves Real Delight. It's always. Highlight, to talk to you. Thank you know people used your life between California and Japan tell us how you are dealing with this crisis. Well I spent the first half of the pandemic in Japan and I'm almost embarrassed to say that things are quite beautiful and the sense that things look very much the same as normal as you know from your many trips, the people wear masks much of the time in. Japan anyway literally and figuratively to protect others. If you were in a bus in Japan in November, usually, there'll be forty percents of the people wearing masks. So that part was not different and as you also know, Japan has managed to avoid the west of the virus. So even in the middle of April I was playing Ping Pong every day with my neighbors eight year old men were diving across the hard floor of the wooden Jim to hit back at forehands and really looking around everything seems same as usual except, of course, no foreign tourists. And I think the other thing about Japan which is one reason I moved. There is as you know, they're very STOIC uncomplaining and resilient, and so they've been dealing with challenges for fourteen hundred years there, and they don't see these kind of crises is shocked sore in the south. So aberrations they think of them almost as the way life always is they used to earthquakes some Salamis forest five. So in that way to it was quite a complex to be. and. Then I flew back in the middle of the pandemic to Santa Barbara where I am now because my mother who's now eighty nine just come out of the hospital and I knew I had to have and California did look very different from usual but in certain ways, people seem thoughtful and focused and reflective kind and. In some ways. Conversations I had with people here on the telephone if I in is in the supermarket with Michio the they might be otherwise I'm lucky again in both places because I'm in. The small town of not as affected as big cities and. Towns of privileged. So everybody was most concerned about those without a roof over the heads with family nearby jobs I had a pretty lucky I. Think you know, Pico, you mentioned in Japan people are to wearing masks both literally and figuratively and I cringed at that because I don't want to have a world where we wear literal masks I would want even less to have where we all have figurative masks and maybe we'll have more literal masks in our future. But what you're saying is when you got back to California, people might have been wearing masks but they were being a little more honest and open with each other's is that right? Yes. That is right. I'm I think in Japan the FIGURATIVE MOSQUES Seen as a form of social duty I think you know as you know, the Japanese define themselves by the the whole unit, the neighborhood or the country or the company, and they feel everybody around me is suffering, and so my job is to make people feel better. I don't want to inflict my own suffering on people who already going through a lot. I want to offer them what I can in the way of help Williamson. And support, and so actually I like that quality about Japan essentially positive and and also they're not rattled by things sometimes very small things will come along and and other places. I'll see people get very shocked and caught up in the fight of the moment and Japan has much more level suffix, which makes it in some ways a calm place you're right that they're not good at facing up to some of the DACA places. The, dogs spots in history. But as a win a sort of social lubricant, I think it makes for at least a cheerful atmosphere and it's sort of related to being considered socially. Exactly, it's. It's. It's. It's a matter of thinking about the other person before yourself and then recalling if remember in the Nami two, thousand eleven, eighteen, thousand, five, hundred people died and when people watch the footage on TV they were surprised the Japanese was so quiet uncomplaining and I think that's because even though one person that loves to people right here at the house, she knew that everybody around her had losses also and so she didn't want to compound that. Grief

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