The sentence appeared in the second paragraph of “The Fierce Imagination of Haruki Murakami,” the cover article in today’s New York Times Magazine.
The writer has traveled to Japan and as a way of preparing himself to interview the author, he has read many of Murakami’s books. This turns out of be a bad idea; because of the imaginative nature of the books, the writer has become disoriented. And besides, Japan has turned out to be “intensely, inflexibly, unapologetically Japanese.”
Here’s the sentence:
On my first morning in Tokyo, on the way to Murakami’s office, I descended into the subway with total confidence, wearing a freshly ironed shirt — and then immediately became terribly lost and could find no English speakers to help me, and eventually (having missed trains and bought lavishly expensive wrong tickets and gestured furiously at terrified commuters) I ended up surfacing somewhere in the middle of the city, already extremely late for my interview, and then proceeded to wander aimlessly, desperately, in every wrong direction at once (there are few street signs, it turns out, in Tokyo) until finally Murakami’s assistant Yuki had to come and find me, sitting on a bench in front of a honeycombed-glass pyramid that looked, in my time of despair, like the sinister temple of some death-cult of total efficiency.
Wow… the writer is Sam Anderson.
Here’s a link to the article: