Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Please do it at the athletic club


I've been thinking, perhaps the reason the much-anticipated chikan poster hasn't made a debut yet is because you can't very well say "please do it at the playground" or "please do it at the athletic club" to chester the molester now can you? These manner posters are all about positive language and if you flick back through the series, I believe the construction "please don't" is only used once (and in small print too). These posters don't ask commuters not to do anything but instead to do it elsewhere, using positive language every single time. For an interesting blurb on the word enryou in Japanese, check this out.

If a chikan had been the star of this most recent poster, it would have been very fitting for me. I think I may have encountered a chikan on the train last week. I say "may" because if I had known for sure I would have dragged him by the balls from the train and to one of the station employees. Wouldn't that be a blog for GEG!!

I ride the train every day at least twice and I know what it's like to have the corner of a suitcase molesting my ass or a salaryman's shoulder wedged beneath a breast. In other words, I know what unintentional touching feels like. That day however, the train was crowded but there was enough space that no one needed to be touching on me. I had my bag in one hand and was flipping through the NY Times on my iPhone in the other when I felt something soft but hard against the bag hand. I'm no pink salon attendant but I know what's what and that did not feel like an ass, arm, hip or anything else that could plausibly be at the same height. As soon as I noticed something I yanked my hand away (yes I immediately thought I was touching dick without even looking) and looked to see who was the closest to me. A man reading a newspaper. Now was he "reading" or was he reading? Honestly it was so fast and I reacted so quickly that I have no idea whether my instincts were on the mark or not. I wish I could know, if only to be able to deem myself still a chikan virgin or to be able to kick the guy's ass. Maybe I should have left my hand there a while and waited to see what kind of action it would get...

I haven't had a run-in with a chikan before, possibly because I don't ride the lines rife with them but more likely because I give bitch eyes to everyone on the train and chikan tend to go for easy targets - women who won't do anything while they go to town. During my university days here however, I had two Perv Predicaments very close together and in the same area. Why have I not regaled you with these stories yet dear readers, I do not know, there's not much to tell.

The first time I was coming back to my dorm after a night at Pure (first mistake? possibly) at dawn and if I recall correctly, was sniffling to myself about this guy who kept fucking me around (hard to believe I know). I was nearing the street to turn in on when I noticed this guy off to the side of the road facing me and stroking his shakuhachi. My first thought was indignance: who was this asshole to jerk off in front of me when I am trying not to cry over this one guy and be happy about a little flirty flirtation with a hot Maori rugby player instead?! You can probably guess, I gave him the bitch eye and kept walking. That obviously wasn't a deterrent because he started walking after me asking Did you see it? Did you see it? No I didn't fucking see it you cock smoker. At that time I didn't really know how to tell people what's what in Japanese so I screamed at him to FUCK OFF and he ran off in one direction, while I ran off home in the other. I still don't know how to really lay into someone in Japanese to the point that it is as satisfying as it is in English but I try, I do. And I mostly end up just sounding like some shrill woman in a daytime Japanese soap.

The second time, lord help me, I was also heading home from Pure as the sun began to light up the sky. This time a couple of guys on a bicycle (yes, singular) rode past me. A few minutes later I found them riding back past me the other way. My possibly-sketch-situation bells started going off, the ones all women are equipped with and probably know the sound of too unfortunately. Their ringing got louder as the boys circled back towards me again and this time stopped the bike right by me, one of them getting off and I felt like they were closing in. One of them opened his mouth to say something and I opened mine faster with a, you guessed it, FUCK THE HELL OFF! They backed off and I ran home. Who knows what they were looking for, maybe just some nampa on the gaijiness walking home far too early in the morning, but I've learned that when the bells ring, it's best to listen to them.

Now that I've possibly entertained slash horrified you, I must beg your leave and be off to (hopefully) a perv-free day at work. Much to my chagrin, my story about the store selling used highschool girl panties will have to wait for another day...

7 comments:

Beth said...

ugh. i was always talking tough like, "JUST SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO ANY PERV WHO GRABS MY TIT ON THE CHUO!" then i became a commuter and learned all about the ambiguous nudges and leans and how much space does he have? does he notice? is he asleep? and then just when you start to lean towards the perv conclusion the doors open and he's gone. that or like in this case, you react instinctively so fast you're just left wondering for the next five minutes whether it was nothing or if you should have let him give you more rope to hang him with. i can't believe you're a chikan virgin after so long in tokyo. i shouldn't have waited so long to turn on the bitch eyes i guess.

is this really my first comment on your blog? i adore it and follow you faithfully!

Sarah said...

"Please do it in the bedroom?" or "Please do it in the love hotel?" or, given your experiences, "Please do it in the alleyways?"

Elaine said...

I've been waiting for your comments on this one...love the way he seems to be kicking the woman in the eye....

As for the pervs, my favorite reply has to belong to the friend of a friend, who pointed and shouted, "Sore DAKE???" Apparently "sore" then became extremely small....

selena said...

I don't think I'm an easy target, but I had my ass grabbed. Unfortunately, it happened super quick just as the doors opened - whoever it was copped a quick but definite feel as he was getting off the train. I couldn't be sure who it was so I couldn't kick some chikan butt. I hope there's not a next time to make up for my lapse.

Corinne said...

There's a store that sells the panties?? I thought it was just a vending machine!
I don't think trains in Osaka get quite as crowded as Tokyo, I've never been on one where crowding could be mistaken for groping...Funny I seem to have had some bad experiences in the wee hours on the way home from pure, perhaps the sleaziness seeps out of the club and on to the streets..

goinglocoinyokohama said...

Please do it virtually...
please do it at a chikan cafe...

Once again brilliant writing GEG! You continue to give me ink envy...and inspire me to work harder.

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Beth: You definitely to employ the bitch eyes, especially on the Chuo! I used to have a 10 minute commute on that line and it was a dirty sauna in the mornings! The closeness always seems to be on a very fine line, I had to elbow a guy behind me yesterday because his front was glued to my back. Gross! Even if not a perv, there was no need to mold himself to me. I don't think this is your first comment, is it? Anyway, thanks :)

Sarah: Ha, I'm liking these. It's too bad they don't have a "people's choice" one where the public can offer submissions.

Elaine: That is a good response, after my masturbatory incident my friend told me I should have mimed getting out a magnifying glass. Responses are always better after the fact!

selena: That's horrible. I don't know what's worse, having the time to confront someone or feeling pissed they got away before you could even react.

Corinne: Oh there is a store. I saw it in this movie once about enjo kosai but I was still surprised to come across it. I wonder if there's a market for foreign panties, it would be a great side income!

goingloco: You give me too much credit! I like the "please do it virtually"! That could be a very interesting and cool graphic poster in this series.