Blending-in in Japan? Well, you don’t; you can’t. Even in major cities, you don’t get to see foreigners all too often. You still might get starred at by kids. They either giggle at you because you seem to be funny looking for them or they just stare with their mouths wide open.
Ridding the subway or local express trains in the morning is a wonderful time for philosophical thoughts about this culture – I won’t reveal mine here. Why time for philosophy? Because the wagon is so jam-packed that there is simply no room for anything else but standing there, arms tight to your torso. Then you try to sleep as the Japanese do, stare out the window if you can (might not see a window at all), or let your mind and/or eyes wander.
During the brief stop at the next stop there’s some shuffling among the passengers, but one thing is for certain: there’s always room for one more person, and another one, and yet another, … After all, that’s just how you yourself got washed aboard.
This morning I tried to capture with my small digital camera how it is to arrive in swarms at the terminal station. First this:
Then two minutes later after a train has just arrived: