Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lonely Japan: Onigiri

This is part 4 of Lonely Japan, a series written by a friend of mine who used to live in Japan. [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

Woke up the next day to the sun light shining through the curtains onto my face and got out of bed. Dried the box-cutter that was still in the sink to keep it from rusting and moved a few of the boxes on the floor towards the door to take to the garbage room. Laid back down because of the pain in my forehead. Woke up again a few hours later and didn’t feel much better. Took some aspirin (I think it was aspirin) that I had bought at the drugstore near the local supermarket and thought about laying down again. Decided missing my tests wasn’t an option and headed off to school.

On the way to the train station I stopped at the conbini and bought a liter bottle of water and some onigiri. Breakfast at the dorm had ended long before I woke up and I figured I needed to eat something. Ate one of the onigiri while waiting for my train in the station. Couldn’t taste it so put the other one I had bought in my bag and sat there trying to drink the water, but it only amplified the bad taste in my mouth. On the wall across the track from the waiting area was an advertisement featuring a popstar/model (she might have been a model/popstar, not sure) squeezing a lemon in one hand and holding a sweating can of chu-hi in the other. She was winking and her tongue was curled up over her teeth. Was thinking about whether the lemon chu-hi was actually her favorite flavor when the train arrived.

Train was crowded enough that I couldn’t get a seat. I stood near the door holding the handles that hang down from the ceiling and hung my head towards the ground. A high school girl with yellow hair was squatting near the door typing very quickly on her phone with bright pink 3 inch nails. It looked difficult. The train headed underground and I stared out the window, could almost make out the gray shapes flying by. At one of those stations on the way to school another foreigner got on board. He noticed me, recognized that I had noticed him, and came over.

Him: Where you from?
Me: United States.
Him: I thought so.
Me: Where are you from?
Him: Australia. What brings you to Tokyo?
Me: Studying, how about you?
Him: (Ignoring my question) How you liking it so far? Enjoying the sushi?
Me: It’s going well. I actually haven’t eat as much sushi as I thought I would when I first got here.
Him: *laughing* No no no…I mean sushi. You know…the girls.
Me: Oh.
Him: Well you’re missing out, you should give it a go.
Me: Ok.

He got off at the next stop after telling me to go to a club he often went to. Made it to school in time to sit for my exams. Threw up a few times in the bathroom during the break in between sections. Thought I didn’t do too poorly on them. On the way home I had to get off at one of the stops along the way and threw up in a trashcan. When I was done, I sat on a bench and watched the branches of a nearby tree sway in the wind while I waited for the next train to come.


  1. I don't know why I find these so fascinating, but I do. Keep 'em coming!

  2. I'll tell him you said so!

    They're very...I don't know...real?