It’s true, you really do have to be careful what you think about, as I discovered on the train home tonight from Hanno. The chap who sat opposite me for about 15 minutes as doing exactly what was mentioned in Tito’s comment on this Mumble, for the duration of his ride. The worst bit was the way he subtly opened his mouth now and then and pretended to yawn…

Mind you, something far more memorable happened on the journey to Hanno this morning. I wrote the following moments after the character I describe got off the train.

I’m on a train on the Seibu Ikebukuro line, heading out into the countryside to see my friend David, who I’ve not seen for some time.
It’s been quite an interesting journey, thanks to the salary man sitting next to me. I didn’t pay him any attention until he got his thermos flask out, and started to pour his tea. He held his cup as close to the ground as possible, and his flask as high as possible, as if he was some kind of cocktail expert. It was actually quite impressive as he didn’t spill a drop, despite the fact that the train was rocking about as only trains know how. I guessed he’d been practicing for years, and wondered whether I should throw a coin at his feet.

As he started to sip his chilled tea, so I went back to my email, until something happened that everyone managed to ignore superbly, as only the Japanese know how. He’d unscrewed the top of his thermos flask, and seemingly under the impression that it was virtually empty, tipped it right up to get the last few drops out.

It seems he’d completely misjudged the amount of tea remaining in his flask, as when he tipped, about three cupfuls of fluid gushed out, going all over his trousers and all over the floor. As the train braked so we watched a river of tea head downstream.

Well, accidents happen, …but it was what he did next that really surprised me.

With Japan being the land of nothing-to-dry-ones-hands-on when-using-a-public-toilet, most people (myself included) carry a little handkerchief-sized towel in their pockets, which doubles as a forehead mopper. This salary man was no different, and thus he was able to use this to mop up the big puddle at his feet. Hmm, that’s very good of him I thought…

…then my draw dropped as he put half of the towel that he’d just used to mop the floor with in his mouth, and started to suck! Satisfied that he’d got as much tea out of it as he could he repeated the process, mopping the floor and then sucking the towel dry!

Picking your nose is one thing, but mopping the floor and sucking the cloth dry….?!!!

I think the funniest thing though was the manner in which everyone else pretended not to notice what was going on, heads partially turned away in a bid to give the impression that they weren’t all staring at the spectacle!

I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself!

Had a great day in the countryside with David and his wife. What a nice couple. Thank you both. I really enjoyed being out in the open, with not a man-made sound within ear shot.

We went for a lovely walk through the woods, and met a few friends along the way, one of whom had had an accident with a snake…

I’m not entirely sure why, but when I saw this snake, I asked,

“Is it still alive?”

I think I was having one of those soap-dispenser days.

John-John’s peace flags flutter in the mountain breeze