Friday, 2 October 2009

Three reflections

Yesterday as I cycled from here down Meiji Dori to Takadanobaba, about 5km away, to exchange books with a friend, three things about Japan struck me.

1. Japan is a very orderly country.  The previous afternoon I was a good citizen and  I put out the recycling garbage boxes out -  cans, glass, and PET bottles - in the rubbish collection space in front of the apartment building.  I looked over the balcony next morning to find them rearrange - neat, tidy, lined up in a straight line against the brickwork with the crow net neatly and completely covering the bags of burnable rubbish.

Cycling back from Takadanobaba, along Meiji dori the ordered lines of people waiting to board the buses also struck me as being very ordered.  A closer inspection of the bus lines brought on the next reflection.

2. Some Japanese people are very, very, very slim  - not all, not necessarily even most, but some.  Yesterday I passed two women who were so slim (not anorexic, just naturally, healthily slim) who would still weigh less than I would if I were to die of starvation.  I mean that quite literally. The upside of that is that I would probably last longer than them if trapped under a building for a week after an earthquake.

3. There are so many old people in Tokyo.  It is great people can get out and are mobile despite age and infirmity however I think in the foreseeable future there will no longer be 'silver seats' set aside for the aged and infirm on public transport.  The whole train will be  'silver seat'.