Sunday, September 12, 2004

Riddle me this

Riddle Me This: When I finish using the ATM machine, I see an animated picture of a man and a woman (dressed in bank uniforms) bowing to me. When I make a purchase in a shop or convenience store, the clerks always fold their hands over at their waistline and make a polite bow. If I give my seat up to an elderly person on the train, they smile and bow with deepest appreciation. So, the puzzle is this: why is it that Japanese people will let a door slam right in your face and make no offer to hold it open until you can either get through it or grab the door yourself? Why is it that they will bang into you while walking without the slightest attempt to apologize? And another thing, why is it that they walk all over the sidewalk or street without making any attempt to stay on "their" side? It reminds me of an ant hill with people walking everywhere, in every direction, with no thought to an organized flow of traffic. For people who are so super-organized about almost everything, I find it very perplexing that trying to walk anywhere is a contact sport and requires me to bob and weave in every direction to stay out of the line of fire.

Legwarmers: These were popular in the early 80s I think, but I'm seeing them on teenage girls now. Usually they're thick white cotton and go up to the knees. The girls are wearing them even on exceedingly hot, muggy days! How can they stand it? Are these a revival of the style worn in Flashdance?

Den-Entoshi Train: Is there some reason why this particular train line doesn't use the AC at all, or only on low? I can't tell you the number of times now that I've had to ride it in the sweltering heat with little or no AC!

Modesty: I find it refreshing that Japanese women are somewhat modest about their summer fashions. In hotter parts of the U.S. women seem to think they're entitled to appear almost nude in public. They wear the shortest shorts and the most revealing tank tops or camisoles imaginable! This summer, despite record-breaking heat, I've rarely seen any Japanese females in shorts, and those that I have seen wear only a more modest version. Usually women here wear slacks, jeans, or long skirts. There's also the fashionable jeans or leggings worn under summer dresses accessorized by the requisite tall, spikey heels.

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