24 June 2005


i just mailed my boss/supervisor, wako (not his real name) who is one cool dude and an absolute sweetheart. wako lived in melb for about 7 years so his english is great and is a terrific translator. anyhoo, i mailed to tell him that i'd just finished working on some god-awful, boring, marxian economic theory type document (all 10 tedious pages of it) and requested more work. he mailed back telling me to browse the internet and write emails to my friends as it is quiet at the moment.

this job is GOLD JERRY. GOLD!!!

i'm slowly mastering peak hour in tokyo. the train ride is an experience as i (and literally millions of others) make our way to our respective places of employment. i catch a subway and then the overground yamanote line which is basically like a HUGE city loop train. the stations are easily the the length of a city block and some of the stations remind me of airport terminals due to their enormity. there's little aggression considering how many people are jostling to make their way to the train. when the train comes in, it's almost as if Everybody gets off, but then the carriage fills up again. i haven't yet seen the guys who wear white gloves who are employed to push u onto the train, effectively cramming u in like sardines.

there was quite the drama this morning as some (white-gloved) men came onto the train and there was lots of shouting and yelling. i couldn't see what was happening as i had 100 crotches at eye level so i chose to keep my eyes on my book (re-reading 'about a boy', v embarrassing to be laughing aloud in peak hour train) but eventually made out the prostrate figure of an elderly man being carried off the train. he was gingerly set down upon the platform and we sped off to make up the 60 seconds that the train was now behind schedule. the strange thing is, no one said a word! people just don't chat with each other. in melb, the old lady next to u would be giving a running commentary. i can just hear it, 'oh u know pet, i had a heart problem meself once, it was the damndest thing, gave me incontinence and all...'.

having said that, i offered my seat to an old man in the train the other day, but he motioned me to sit down by waving his walking stick at me. i felt like a right heel. turns out he spoke english and wanted to know if i was american. u can just imagine my indignation. upon hearing that i'm aussie, he broke into 'gidday mates' etc which was highly entertaining for me and broke the monotony of the train ride. just as i got out of the train, i noticed the emblem on his was the Blue Mountains, NSW. most unusual.

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