Thursday, June 07, 2007


We were having lunch at a Shanghai restaurant in Chinatown. Sitting at the next table was a Chinese man, dining alone, his back to us and his face buried in a newspaper.

"I just got called for jury duty," Masa, who is Japanese, said to me. "I'm not a citizen. How did they find me?"

"You have a driver's license, right?" I asked.


"That's probably it," I said. "In any case, they have ways of finding you if they really want to. It's a culture of surveillance."

At this point the man at the next table put his paper down, turned to us, smiled and said, "Culture of surveillance . . . I like that!"


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