2014/10/12

Fax machine: Now and Then

Arg.. I gotta buy a new toner for Fax…

It sounds like a joke in this internet era, but Facsimile communication IS still quite active in Japan. Even though they have email address printed on the name card, I often hear “Fax me the details” or “please don’t send any documents via email, use Fax number” (this happens when you deal with traditional companies or public offices). So often that I actually bought a new Fax machine a couple of years ago. Yes, shops are still selling many models, and new machine got “Save As JPG” features addition to Preview (check before printout) features…


Speaking of Fax, I used to exchange Fax letters with my friend every day. That was several months after we entered high school, and through some conversation my classmate and I discovered that we both have Fax machine at home. We didn’t know each other so well at that point, but somehow we are excited about it and decided to send Fax to each other.

But since we both use the Fax machine installed in our parents’ home office, we needed some good excuses (we’re good girls) So we decided to send each other some problems from the study guide or textbook we have. And it was great for me because she was very smart and extremely good at every subject (but she did all effortlessly) and I thought I could learn from her…

I think we both imagined that this Fax exchange thing would be over after 2 to 3 times. But it was just so fun. First we started as “A-student letter” – lots of questions/problems and 2-3 lines of personal message. But as we went on, we added some drawing around the problems, change layouts, and message part got bigger and bigger :) It was like an exchanging diary, we wrote what we like and think, the music we’re listening, and what we want to do after highschool… etc etc and naturally, this message part is the most fun part… :)

We continued after the first grade is over, and when we realized, we continued till graduation. In these 3 years, that “received" beep sound from the fax machine was something I looked forward to the most in everyday life.

18 years later, now she’s a doctor and a mother of two, I’m single and still studying English (wow, no progress on my end..:D) we occasionally exchange emails instead of Fax letters… But I still relate her voice to her handwriting... I dearly miss them.


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