Thursday, 4 September 2008

Doin' It Mountain Style

In Canada the start of September means the end of summer. Over the Labour Day long-weekend, families with cabins will go up for one last weekend and then close the place up for the winter, and others will have bbqs on the beach or picnics in the park. It is the last great hurrah before the new school year starts and the entire land turns into a frozen wastland covered in metres of snow - alright, so perhaps not quite thaaat bad, but you get the idea. In Tokyo, on the otherhand, the new school year starts in April, with various levels of schooling having different lengths of summer vacations. The younger kids are all back in school now, but us older kids have a few weeks left. With the pace of my summer so far, I am VERY glad that I still have a few weeks before classes start up.

No matter what the calendar might try to tell you, September is still most definitely summer. The weather is still hot and muggy (although we've been having a lot of torrential rain recently), but there are hints of cooler weather to come. I'm finding the evenings are cooling off, if just a little. The cicadas are still noisy, but they are gradually decreasing in both number and pure volume. Fall is just around the corner - a gorgeous season in this country, with trees a blaze of colour and hordes of people out to enjoy them...

The start of September in Tokyo brigs something else - the newest enstallement of the Metro's monthly manners poster.

Japanese mountain climbers and hikers are world famous (infamous?) for their attention to gear - often brand-new and of top quality. The young couple, presumably on their way to/from a hike, may not be decked out in famous brand-name gear, but they certainly have enough to make up for it! Green Eyed Geisha remarks on the woman's footwear and the increasing creepiness of the older guy in glasses. I've got to admit, however, that I'm beginning to feel more and more sorry for the guy. While those around him are enjoying themselves - going on a date in the mountains, or practicing their surfing moves, or listening to tunes - glasses guy is standing there in the background, reliable and terribly dull. I feel sorry for him, is he too much of a robot not to have things that he enjoys and thereby inconvenience and/or annoy the people around him on the train?

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