Saturday, September 11, 2004

Japanese Observation #3

In public places such as on the street and in shopping malls, the majority of Japanese people have no sense of spatial awareness. Old ladies in particular have an annoying habit of wandering in front of you, often pushing shopping carts laden with strange delights, not for a second noticing that they have caused you to come to a shuddering halt. The most vivid example I can think of happened at the train station last week. An elderly gentleman was at the head of a large throng of people scurrying towards the stairway down to street level. As he reached the top step, he casually stopped in his tracks, arched his back and flung his arms out to stretch, causing a human version of a motorway pile up. Sucking his gums (see observation #4) he then proceeded down the stairs in a lazy arc before scuffing his feet (see observation #5) all the way to the convenience store...


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