6/30/2010: Please Do It At Home
Written by Cindy Yamauchi   

traindrunkI've been commuting by train ever since Madhouse moved to its current location. The Tokyo Metro line I use has an ongoing "Manners Campaign" to remind people of proper manners through a series of illustrated posters, each featuring a typical annoying behavior on the part of some train passengers. One such behavior that particularly annoys me is girls applying full makeup, starting from slapping skin lotion on their faces, all the way to smearing five coats of mascara on their fake lashes. I even saw a absolutely beautiful girl plucking nose hair with her fingers while she examined her nostrils in a 12" vanity mirror. She probably won't do it in front of her boyfriend, so I don't understand why she thinks it's okay to do that in full view of the general public. This never, never happened when I was that age; even checking your makeup in a compact mirror was somewhat frowned upon.

Later, I saw a TV program featuring the Harajuku's Hokosha Tengoku (Pedestrian's Paradise) from the 80's and 90's. I suddenly remembered that many of the youths who performed on the streets back then used to change into their gaudy costumes right there on the train. Although Harajuku's Hoko-ten is long gone now, so maybe the habit of changing clothes and applying makeup on the train remained part of the youth culture.

On my way home tonight, I saw a drunken salaryman all sprawled out inside the the train doorway. He was getting kicked and stepped on, but looked too drunk to be bothered by such actions. Maybe applying makeup on the train isn't as bad compared when to that human doorstop.