I’ve (kind of) got used to being stared at when I’m out and about. But there’s staring, and then there is staring.
Last weekend whilst on the Yamanote Line (which circles central Tokyo), I could feel someone’s eyes practically boring into me. Turning around, I saw a salary man stood just to the side of my seat, unashamedly staring at my friend and I. He made no attempt to avert his gaze either when I looked him in the eye. So I asked him if there was a problem.
Now I’ve heard all kinds of dumb questions, but his ranks up there with the best of them. In all earnestness he asked.
â€œIs this your first time on a train?â€
How on earth do you respond to such nonsense? I immediately decided you can’t, and after a brief shake of the head went back to talking to my friend. Yet the idiotic question asking salary man continued staring, and just for good measure he glared at us through the carriage window when he got off the train a few stops later.
Sometimes it would be so nice to blend in.