This book is a collection of true-to-life essays which offers the reader various ways to view the socio-cultural state of the modern world as seen through the eyes of the author - a somewhat cynical but ethical Japanese professor. Through journeys in various cultures, these stories break numerous stereotypes, from the failure of higher education in Japan to the mysteries of using various types of toilets in Mediterranean Europe. The author narrates brief encounters with all aspects of society, from radical students to conservative academicians, from old-style street merchants to modern business people, from government agencies to independent artists. These stories also include lessons which, the author believes, people and society as a whole can and should learn from such encounters. The episodes highlight what is rapidly being lost across cultures in an era of globalization and the shrinking number of differences that once made every culture independent of the others.The book will captivate those who enjoy seeing another's view of the world, observing many unique `windows' from which to view global change on a personal level. Also of interest will be the cynical but ethical assessment of the future of Japanese universities which have lost their educational principles at this critical time of survival, and the approaching IT society.