Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Tokyo's poster child

I saw the cutest little boy get on the train yesterday afternoon. He was about 7 years old and dressed smartly in his little navy blue short pants, white short-sleeved shirt, black loafers, navy knee socks, and a white yachting-style cap. He also had the standard Japanese private school accessory strapped on his back--an enormous and heavy-looking black leather backpack that looks more like luggage than a backpack, emblazoned with a Mercedes-Benz symbol.

He threw himself down onto an empty seat across from several small school girls dressed in their female version of the same uniform. In their case, navy skirts instead of short pants. As he sat there, more slouched than sitting, with his legs sprawled out in front of him, he held up an ice pack to his little sweaty head. His face was a picture of utter defeat at this ungodly heat.

There was a poster child for all the misery people are feeling during this dreadful month of July.

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