Monday, 16 April 2012

3 Commuter Letters

Dear iPad User,

I deeply appreciate your hushed voice whileD you enthusiastically showed your friend/girlfriend/wife/?? various apps and webpages on your iPad.  Your concern and consideration for your fellow commuters is admirable and I can assure you that there is no higher praise than us all falling asleep around you.  Allow me to point out, however, an unfortunate oversight on your part.  While your outfit was likely the height of fashion and your electronics undeniably top-notch, I regret to inform you that your scent was also the height of… well something.  Your BO was so overpoweringly bad that I, sitting right beside you, found myself sleeping with my head turned around to the young woman beside me (who thankfully smelt neither badly nor strongly of some expensive perfume).  So while I was able to sleep peacefully on my commute, the effect was rather negated by the kink in my neck that I still have not been able to get rid of.  I realize men’s deodorant is still a relatively unknown product in Japan, and while the swarms of scantily-clad gorgeous women swarming you as promised in the commercials for some brands may be a tad over-exaggerated, I can promise you that if you were to start using such a product your fellow commuters would thank you for it.


A sore-necked commuter


Dear Morning Sprinter,

I understand your need to rush to the train.  I do it most mornings too.  But then I tend to walk pretty quickly generally.  I think it has to do with the fact that my legs reach your arm pits.  This is no slight to you, short people can move fast too, as you amply demonstrated.  It does mean, however, that my average step is at least twice yours.  So when you raced past me only to slam on the brakes and go from full-on stiletto-heeled dash to baby-step shuffle in the blink of an eye, you’ll have to forgive me for bumping into you.  I wasn’t expecting you to suddenly appear in front of me and I most definitely wasn’t expecting you to go from 100 to 5 so immediately.  I hope I didn’t cause you any lasting harm (beyond perhaps the realization that cutting in front of somebody and then stopping is not a smart idea).

Yours truly,

A long-legged foreign barbarian


Dear Sleepy Foreigner,

I know it was Monday morning and Mondays are always tough.  I know it was early and many people aren’t at their best early in the morning.  I know how confusing it can be to live in a foreign country sometimes.  I’m guessing you hadn’t yet had your morning coffee and were looking ahead to your morning nap on the long commute to work.  But for crying out loud, did you really need to hold up all those people while you tried THREE times with your wallet before you remembered that you had moved your Suica pass out of your wallet to the cute pink card case that U’s mother gave you for your birthday?  Here’s a hint, if your Suica is not in your wallet, swiping the wallet when you go through the gate isn’t going to do anything besides making the gates give a warning flash of lights and close on you.  Perhaps not the greatest way to start your commute, hey?

Best wishes,

Your embarrassed self


  1. Haha oops! Sounds like something I'd do :)

  2. Dear Sleepy Foreigner
    You're expected to Not Know How Things Work. You would only confuse everybody if you did things more smoothly than local commuters. You didn't disappoint. Good job!
    The other zombie commuter

  3. Me again. One of my pet puzzles is commuters who RUN past you and then stop dead in the queue in front of the escalator, while you continue WALKING up the stairs and eventually reach the top before they do. Sigh.

    Your letters made me nod happily (or unhappily?) in recognition. The last one made me chortle. ^^

    1. Why?! Why?! Whyyyyy do they run only to stand on the escalator?! I really don't get it! Recently my pet peeve has been people getting off the escalator and stopping... Then they look surprised when you crash into them. Ummmm?! You were expecting me to vault over you?! Gahhhh!

  4. D'oh! Now, how to attach that cute pink card case to your wallet... hugs, Cath

    1. The pink card case is attached to my bag - looped around the shoulder strap and just tucked into my bag. In theory it should be easier to get out and even if half asleep I can't drop it. I just have to remember that I have it in the first place... ;)