A man fell into my lap in the subway yesterday - just another day in the life of a salarygirl. Unfotunately he didn't look like Ken Watanabe or Kim Taku. My shins hurt after taking a hit from his foot and his wheelie bag. Nothing was said, no apology, no nothing. It was almost as if the whole debacle never happened. He must be one of those millions of uber polite Japanese people that the tourists write postcards home about.
It was actually a human pile-up if I am going to get specific. Shinbashi station has got to be one of the more hellish stations on the fair Ginza line and today the shoving got particularly violent when three men fell over and into each other, resulting in said man falling into my lap. I just adore the nothing-happened technique. You know when something embarrassing happens when you're alone with no one to mock you, so you just keep on trucking, pretending nothing happened? Like farting in a yoga class. I have recently employed the nothing-happened technique when my heel got so stuck in the pavement crack that I literally couldn't move and had to extricate my foot from the shoe and wrench it out by hand. Or when I walked up to someone I thought was a colleague in the elevator hall and gave him a loud "Hey!" only to discover it wasn't him but someone I had never seen before. Luckily the man was gracious and asked how I was, but I was too stunned to say "Sorry I thought you were someone else" like a normal person. So yesterday in true polite Japanese form, the salaryman who fell in my lap said absolutely nothing, he didn't even make a sound on impact. He and the other two in the human pile-up just stood up, adjusted their suit jackets and pretended that absolutely nothing had happened! Someone got the shit eye let me tell you.
Writing about Shinbashi station reminded me of this clip that was going around back when I was on exchange at university here. I managed to find it attached to an old email and for the first few minutes wasn't so impressed but by the end I was laughing on the inside. If this doesn't have you holding your nose and announcing the stations along the Yamanote line with a nasally voice in a repeated and obnoxious way that annoys whoever you're with, I don't know what will. As for me, I have a "pop and prep" party to attend in Shibuya tonight so I'll just say the stations to myself in the quiet apartment as I don my pearls and argyle mini skirt.