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  1. #1
    suprunp's Avatar
    suprunp is offline Senior Member
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    Default beyond the oncoming lanes

    Japan. Aomame is stuck in a cab in a traffic jam. The driver says:
    “Look over there. See that turnout just ahead?” [...] Near that Esso sign.”

    It is not clear yet whether this turnout is on this or the other side of the road, but, presumably (later on Aomame gets to that turnout and she didn't have to cross the road), it is on this side.

    On top of a building beyond the oncoming lanes there was a big billboard advertising Esso gasoline with a smiling tiger holding a gas hose.
    (H. Murakami; 1Q84)

    I can't understand if there were an Ecco sign near the turnout and a big billboard on top of a building, or the author refers to one and the same sign. If this is the latter case I can't quite work out how it can be 'beyond the oncoming lanes', assuming that 'oncoming lanes' are on the other side (on the right, as we are in Japan).

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    JohnParis's Avatar
    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: beyond the oncoming lanes

    I've read Murakami's 1Q84, and there are several problems with the English translation. We say turnoff, not turnout.
    The Esso sign is a big billboard on top of a building at the turnout (turnoff). It would have been on the left side of the road as the oncoming lanes would be to the right (as you said) but since the building was behind the oncoming lanes there must have been distance involved and the road could have curved.
    One sign, on top of the building, near the turnoff.
    At least, that is how I interpreted it.

    John

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