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No, that’s not a typo, and no, this site hasn’t been infected with malware (as it was last year, when some shady character used malware to insert links to buy industrial-strength animal tranquillisers into every page and post). No, T LX DZCCJ is the title of November’s 12STORIES entry, and I hope you enjoy it.

Here’s a brief primer, that will also explain why there have been no updates here for most of the last month. At the beginning of November, my wife and I went travelling. We visited Japan – a trip that had originally been booked for my 50th birthday in November 2020, but which was cancelled because of the pandemic. As it happened, we actually ended up flying home on my 53rd birthday.

Way back in 2019 when we first booked the trip, I started trying to learn a little Japanese every day. Nothing grand, just a few DUOLINGO exercises that I hoped would give me a basic understanding of the language. Because of the delays, I actually kept it up for over four years until the day before we flew out, missing only a few days along the way. Though by no means fluent, it was helpful being able to read the signs and understand announcements at the 30+ places we visited.

So where does T LX DZCCJ come in?

We took a cruise for the second half of our trip. Midway through, we spent a day in South Korea (Busan, zombie fans!). When we went ashore, it immediately struck me how different the language was (an obvious observation, I know, but bear with me). It made me wonder how you’d react if you were suddenly unable to understand ANYTHING that was being said to you or that was written down. One thought led to another, and the end result was this strange little tale.

I’m not going to subject you to the hour long home movie of our trip that I’ve just finished editing, but I do want to talk some more about my experiences in Japan. I’ll post about it next week. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy (and understand) T LX DZCCJ.