I wonder what it would be like right now if China, instead of Japan, performed something like the Meiji Restoration and Westernized more than a century ago? It might've been China that attacked Pearl Harbor to secure her position in the Pacific. China would've probably annexed Korea instead of Japan. Atomic bombs might've been dropped on China. This alternate timeline is unlikely* to have occurred since Japan Westernized in response to the Qing Empire's defeat to the European powers -- very shocking since China was the overwhelmingly dominant power in the area since recorded history. Plus, with China's historically infamous hubris, it is unlikely to happen even given that the order of events is reversed and instead Japan was the first in the area to be forcibly opened up to European powers.
Anyone experienced a moment when a familiar English word suddenly just doesn't "look right"? You question the spelling at first, then it becomes more and more 'correct' as you stare at it... I've had this happen to me often recently. I've already forgot the words that triggered this. =P
I've made note of a couple minor problems that I've observed here.
Idling. No, not the people but the cars. My extended family here is a archetypical example of this: whenever they wait for anything -- people, events, etc. -- while traveling by car, they never shut down the engine. This could go on for a couple minutes to over an hour. Sure, my cousin likes watching the LCD (an excuse they suggest) but doesn't anyone care about the environment, not to mention the yen slipping out of their pockets by the second?
Smoking. I think smoking is a major health issue in Asia. I've been to Shanghai before and it's the same: cigarette smoke taints restaurants, streets -- almost everything. I have to give credit to some of the districts in Tokyo which have implemented anti-smoking bylaws to alleviate the problem, though they do not seem to have been very effective. I still breathe second-hand smoke almost everyday from men smoking as they walk around, even in crowded areas.
*Of course, probability doesn't apply to historical events, but this is speaking with the quantum theory of multiple timelines in mind... :P