Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Click, click, scrape

Some things to get out the way:

1. The Inland Revenue is full of incompetent twats who don't have a clue what they're doing.
2. I have PMS and am feeling murderous.
3. The weather is too hot, too wet, too hot, too wet.... GAH!

Okay, that's that. Click, click, scrape. Timorous Beastie beat me to blogging about this, but it's not going to stop me. Click, click, scrape. This is the sound the average Japanese girl makes as she shuffles along the pavement. Click, click, bloody sodding scrape. I wouldn't want to describe the shoes of the average Japanese girl as silly but... well, I have PMS so I'm tempted. Many Japanese girls wear either ill-fitting heeled strappy sandals or not so ill-fitting strappy sandals. Of course some people carry this look off very well. Others though, should be steering well clear. When they actually fit the wearer (maybe 50% of the time toes aren't dangling off the sides), you still see, as Beastie points out too, the straps not being worn around the ankle, but crushed under the heel. School boys do this too. Er, that's with the backs of their shoes/trainers and NOT with their strappy heeled sandals.

Another thing I want to get off my chest, and I would love to say I'm generalizing, but I'm not, is the Japanese and spatial awareness. Put simply, they don't have any. Every day I see people walking or cycling into each other and dithering across the pavement from side to side, eyes glued to their keitai (cell/mobile) texting/emailing/playing games or listening to their IPOD (Ipod? IPod? oh, who cares?) with oversized headphones. Looking at the ground, trying to not fall off their little heels... Put simply - it's infuriating. AND cyclists here NEVER EVER use hand signals to indicate if or where they are turning. In my nine months of being here, I have never seen this anyway.

Of course, (I'm on a roll here), as so many days are either wet or hot at the moment, people are out all the time with umbrellas (people, mainly women, use umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun). With umbrellas up, they take even less notice of where they are walking. Yesterday, for example, picture a pavement (sidewalk - see, I'm becoming bilingual!) that is wide. Wide enough for maybe 6 or 8 people to walk abreast. In theory. Okay, so I walk the side furthest from the road. Amount of space to my side to be passed? A lot. Amount of people who bashed my umbrella with theirs? A lot. Of course the cyclists with their umbrellas and keitai's are THE worst.

Maybe it's good my Japanese isn't good enough to start screaming abuse yet?

Talking of silly strappy heeled sandals and rain: I saw one girl outside my local station dressed head to foot in thick yellow waterproofs. No prize for guessing what was on her feet! Did she look silly? Hell, yes.

I mentioned the umbrellas that are used in the sun. Two more things you see are flannels (towelling squares) that people carry to mop up sweat. I carry two - one for sweaty me, and one for wet bike seat. And fans. People here carry fans and use them in the streets, on the trains, in lifts, and so on. I do too. And no, it doesn't have Kitty Chan on it, although I did see a Kitty Chan one that lit up if you turned it on. I've never seen anyone with a fan in England. Well, apart from the silly little battery operated handheld ones.

Completely unrelated (like that'll stop me), I normally see them at inconvenient times, but it seems people set up tables outside their houses and sell off fruit and veg from their allotments. Now, I've seen this in the countryside in England, but never in a city. Shame I'm never passing them at a time where I can buy things.

And finally, I went shopping today and actually managed to get a couple of pairs of trousers! As I'm a big Gaijin this IS quite amazing and worthy of a brief comment. I also bought a USB cable so I can take photos off my phone now and, as my camera is nearly full, I'll have to do something about that too. Photos may be around the corner. Some corner.

Whilst getting my cable, I overhead a conversation:
Caring parent: Shut ya face.

A most touching scene. Bet the customers in the restaurant they were about to go into loved it too. Japanese kids seem so much better behaved. Or maybe it's just that they always get what they want...

And on the subject of food: I almost always eat with chopsticks - at home as well as my bento lunches and when I'm out. But I still can't manage to eat noodles without splashing myself. *sigh*.

P.S. Is it only me who is amused that Bloggers spellcheck doesn't recognise the word 'blogging'?


Blogger machiruda said...

Those pictures would be about time! How long has it been since we got you your digital camera...? ;) Did you manage to get the SDcard this afternoon?

10:28 pm

Blogger Jo said...

no. for my phone they said to get a USB cable. i'll take it out of it's packaging one day soon!

11:42 pm

Blogger muser said...

I had three weeks of PMS recently. I felt very much like you (albeit not being annoyed by too big sandals on Japanese girls).

6:28 am

Blogger muser said...

its liz by the way - why does it say muser???

6:29 am

Blogger Jo said...

it always says muser. even your own blog says muser now.

10:35 am

Blogger darth said...

yeah, the spatial thing..wtf? i really noticed it in public spaces, i.e. outside and in crowded stores, concerts, etc...lack or disregard of personal space boundaries..

i think its in response to the careful definition of space/extreme levels of politeness they have in semi-public/private areas (given the tight living/working spaces)..or something.

4:07 pm


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