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The salaryman and the Shibuya girl

Tokyo mini-vignette on the subway this morning. A sarariman and a Shibuya girl sat opposite me, the salaryman fast asleep, jaw on chest, mouth so far open I was tempted to try flicking things into it, slouched so far down in his corner seat that his head, lolling to one side, was partially wedged between the seat-back and one of the grab-rail supports, the bridge of his regulation-issue corporate warrior spectacles being squished into his face by the chrome railing. Commuting never looked so glamorous.

The girl, in spotless trainers which looked fresh out of the box that morning, spray-on jeans, excessive 80's blusher and with a CECIL McBEE shopping bag perched on her lap, was wired in to her cellphone via a set of mini-earphones, studying the display closely as she thumbed away at the keypad, presumably listening to a downloaded MP3 as she composed an e-mail to a similarly-attired friend, or maybe trawling i-mode for news of the latest boutiques.

Two very different engines of Japanese economic growth; one slaving away for a susidiary of Japan Inc, one busy pump-priming its retail sector by buying shiny baubles. I wonder what they made of the smartly-dressed gaijin sitting opposite them? Fellow cog in their machinery, or parasite foreigner? Or, rather, what they would have made of me if they hadn't been busy drooling onto their shirt or hunting down Hysteric Glamour stores...

Posted by chris at August 30, 2001 02:28 PM | Permalink

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