03 June 2012 ~ 54 Comments

You Had Me At “Sumimasen…”

The other day I was on the Toyoko Line, headed home to Yokohama, enjoying the extra space I’m given often by my fainthearted fellow commuters. The car was full but the seat beside mine was empty. I noticed but on any given day the amount of attention I pay it varies from too much to as little as possible. This was one of those as little as possible days, for I had my iPad on my lap and was reading (and responding) to some of the comments I’d gotten on my ongoing series, Why Do Gaijin Clash…?

One comment in particular was from this guy hypothesizing that racism in Japan is mostly being perpetrated by extroverted members of the Master Race incapable of adjusting to and accepting life in an introverted country…yeah, fascinating stuff, right? Yeah, I was about to respond and tell the writer what I thought about his attempts at derailing the topic when I decided it could wait…

But, life, as it has a habit of doing, intervened.

I looked up to see that the train had pulled into Jiyugaoka station. The person sitting on the opposite side of the empty space beside me got up, collected himself and got off the train along with a good number of the other passengers. As the boarding passengers filed in, I told myself not to pay them any mind. I hate that spat on feeling I get when I see Japanese people, clearly eager to sit down, spot the empty seat near me, actually make an instinctual move toward it, then once their eyes scrape over me, abruptly alter their trajectory and scurry away. Almost as much as I hate the magnetism this behavior possesses, that of a 20 car pile up on the highway, with bloodied corpses hanging out of shattered windshields.

I closed my eyes, nodded my head downward towards my iPad, and re-opened them…only to read some sycophantic drivel about how I’m to blame for the behavior I was avoiding watching, with my loud, obnoxious, and extroverted nature in a country where the introverts have the power.

I took a deep breath, and before I could exhale, I noticed two tiny legs standing before me. I looked up to see a mother and daughter that had boarded the train. The mother pointed and aimed her daughter at the seat beside  mine– frankly shocking the shit outta me. The youngster, all of 4 or 5, resisted, and cried, “Kowai!!” with eyes brimming with fear, grabbed and clung to her mother’s leg for dear life, eyes transfixed on me. This response, however, restored order to my world.

I looked up at the mother. She was genuinely dumbfounded by her daughter’s reaction, and would have died of an overdose if embarrassment was made of aspirin. But there was something else there in her eyes and expression. Something I couldn’t get a read on.

Generally when this kind of thing happens, if I’m acknowledged at all, the parent will adopt a mien that suggests she/he is thinking, “thank god he’s a foreigner and has no idea what my child said…”  It’s almost cute, like this fear generated is some well kept secret, like the body language of the child doesn’t scream the meaning of the word.

At least I tell myself it’s almost cute.

I braced myself for the next move. How will Mama address this? Reinforce the fear? Ignore it, as if it’s to be expected and nothing can be done about it? These are the two most popular options, and I expected nothing less now. I tried to turn away, but the rubbernecker in me seized control of my neck, and commanded, “You extroverted minion of the master race, take it like a man!”

But, this woman did nothing of the sort.

Instead, she took the seat beside me and her daughter took the seat on the other side of her.

She glanced my way, smiled warmly, and said, “Sumimasen…” (Sorry about that…kids, whatchagonnado). I shook my head and waved it off, with a sympathetic and indulgent “iie” (Don’t sweat it, love. I work with kids every day and they say the damnedest things).

My mind couldn’t immediately wrap around what had just transpired.

Instead, I slid away from her as far as I could, which was about half an inch or so. I do this instinctively now, whenever people sit down beside me. I’ve found that this gesture tends to alleviate some of their discomfort (and there is almost always discomfort.) I’m not talking about physical discomfort. Generally there is sufficient space for a person to sit beside me without having to squeeze in. Besides I really don’t care about anyone’s physical comfort.  It’s a crowded train. Nobody is supposed to be truly comfortable, and to expect to be comfortable, particularly here in Yokohama, would seem to me to be irrational. I’m talking about mental discomfort, evidenced by the persistent appearance of constant shifting, fidgeting, inching away, sometimes even scratching and an inability to remember what to do with their hands or to sit still and relax.

She must have noticed me sliding away, for she looked at me sideways, then down at the little sliver of seat that appeared between us as a result of my scooching, and kind of smile/bowed.

I just grinned.

I returned my attention to the foolishness on the iPad, the comment accusing me of being the problem…a most tiresome platitude, actually. I responded that his comment was boring, and moved on to to the next comment.

Every so often, I noticed peripherally, a tiny head poking out from the other side of mom. It was the little girl. Whenever I would turn my head her way she’d duck back behind her mother, in that peek-a-boo way children do. Her face was still sour, though, like she hadn’t made up her mind whether I was Kowai-worthy or not, and was wondering what the hell was her Mom thinking trying to seat her beside me.

Around the third or fourth time she peek-a-boo’d me, I waited with my face in her direction for her to re-emerge. When she did, I turned away. And waited for her to duck her head back behind her mother before I turned her way again and waited. When she re-emerged this time, before I turned away, I caught a glimpse of a smile on her face.

Then, I noticed we were pulling into my station, so I packed up my iPad and stood to disembark. As I made my way for the door, I turned one last time. The little girl was looking at me. Her fear was gone replaced by what could have been glee. She waved at me and said, “bye bye.”

I waved back, glancing at her mother.

This time I could read the expression on her face.

It was gratitude!

I knew exactly how she felt, for I felt the same.

Loco

PS: If you haven’t already, please check out my critically-acclaimed book, Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist, available here on Amazon. You’ll be glad you did! Ask any reader or peep the reviews on the Amazon page!

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54 Responses to “You Had Me At “Sumimasen…””

  1. Jay Dee 3 June 2012 at 11:18 pm Permalink

    Ah, a happy ending. Great to read this, and wonderful that she changed her mind. Wish it would happen more often.

    I usually don’t ride a full train with my schedule and the fact that my usual train line is rarely full. I usually have an empty seat beside me, anyway.

    • Locohama 4 June 2012 at 9:32 pm Permalink

      Yeah, don’t you just love them? Happy endings, that is. Thanks for the shout!

  2. FollowTheGaijin 3 June 2012 at 11:33 pm Permalink

    Nice ending.

  3. Billy 4 June 2012 at 1:14 am Permalink

    You need to carry a demon mask and slip it on next time when the girl isn’t looking…

    • Locohama 4 June 2012 at 10:04 am Permalink

      Now why didn’t I think of that? lol

  4. Dave 4 June 2012 at 1:21 am Permalink

    I am an optimist at heart, and I’m sure the kids you teach in school won’t be afraid of the black man on the train in the future, they’ll probably just see a kind teacher in him. Ok a few will think he’s a teacher even if he’s an engineer, but it’s not that bad in reality, I am an engineer and in “preliminary small talk” was mistaken for a language teacher a few times, I met dear friends that way though so who cares. Chances are the kid you met this time learned something new too (and won’t be afraid in the future either).

    Eventually we’ll hit a sweet spot in this regard, and for how that “eventually” needs emphasis, it will happen (or better, although very slowly, it’s already in the making).

    • Locohama 4 June 2012 at 9:40 pm Permalink

      The sweet spot? Wouldn’t that be nice…
      I know you were trying to see things on the bright side, but even stereotypes I appear to benefit from disturb me, for every time I encounter them I’m reminded that where there’s one there’s the other…takes the pleasure out of getting approached due to the stereotype that I’m packing disproportinately heavy, Know what i mean?

  5. Orchid64 4 June 2012 at 1:33 am Permalink

    First of all, experiences like the one you had are encouraging. The mother’s behavior is more important and relevant than the daughter’s as she is the one who will educate her child such that she overcomes the almost certainly innate fear of all that is different and unknown. I have always believed that our racist tendencies are genetic, as are many atrocious behavioral tendencies, but that we can become acculturated to overcome them. Mommy is doing her part and it is heartening.

    Second, I missed the comment you were talking about, but I’ve often found the notion that Japanese people are culturally or congenitally “shy” ridiculous and my experiences in Japan fly squarely in the face of any such notion. They are apprehensive when dealing with novel situations in many cases, but that is so for all human beings. Outside of Japan, they are reluctant to interact, but the notion that all Americans jump in with both feet boldly asserting themselves is absurd and inaccurate. It is based largely on the observance of Americans in America just as the idea that Japanese are “shy” is based on their behavior when traveling abroad. Just like the Japanese, when traveling in groups, Americans are boisterous and loud among themselves. When alone and among strangers, they are reluctant and quiet. There is no general cultural shyness as people seem to think. I saw that people were pretty boisterous in Japan, and rarely reluctant to interact assertively with each other. Some of my students did things I would never do, not even in America. One of my petite female students caught and dragged a groper by the arm to the police after being accosted on a train, and she was far from the most assertive person I had ever known. Japanese people are not who foreigners seem to think they are because most of them judge them in highly specialized conditions.

    Surely, Japanese people are culturally more passive when it comes to asserting themselves on the whole, but that is based largely on status. It’s why older men are often loud, rude, and take more than their share. If one has ever attending a nomikai with the boss, one knows that Japanese people are hardly shy and retiring people. The main difference between Americans and Japanese is that we are uniformly assertive regardless of status whereas the Japanese are selectively assertive based on relative status with age, gender, social position, situations, and work status playing a big role in the decision to speak or not speak. This is not “shyness”, but adherence to social rules which are different in each culture.

    Beyond that, it’s important for people to know that an introvert is someone who regains energy from spending time alone. An extrovert is someone who does so by associating with other people. If ignorant people are going to make ridiculous blanket assertions, they may want to at least use the language properly rather than speak improperly when putting forth their theories. “Introverted” does not mean passive and shy. “Extroverted” does not mean assertive and gregarious. And while I’m at it, “schizophrenic” does not mean people have multiple personality disorder.

    • Locohama 4 June 2012 at 10:03 am Permalink

      Thank you orchid. As always a breath of fresh air. I still don’t agree with you that these tendencies are genetic, though. Keep talking like that and someone is going to make a gene therapy that will cure racism…oh wait, didn’t I read something about that recently? Damn.
      Me:”I hate this effing country!!”
      Wife: “loco honey, did you forget to take your medicine again?”
      Me: “DOH!!”

      Thanks for the brilliant response as always
      That comment was on part 4 btw

      • Jason 13 June 2012 at 9:34 pm Permalink

        I think they call that medication “Tequila” Loco. :P

    • Jason 13 June 2012 at 9:33 pm Permalink

      Just wanted to tag a ‘thank you’ onto the bit about schizophrenia at the end. My mother is a Paranoid Schizophrenic and I really get irked when people make that particular mistake, especially if I’ve mentioned my mother’s illness right beforehand. >.<

  6. Tom 4 June 2012 at 1:41 am Permalink

    I don’t understand why you expect an intelligent response from people and when somebody gives you their opinion its not good enough to warrant even courtesy response.

    To tell you the truth, Your articles, that you so cleverly linked to in the very first paragraph, were a little too long and boring. I think you got your complete point laid out in the first part and then you continued to ramble for 3 more parts. I understand rambling and complaining is a big step on the way to change, but it can’t be the only part.

    This post really was a good one talking about solving the problem. You changed a little girls opinion. She might revert back to racist or she might think that since this dude wasn’t bad maybe others might not be so bad too. It’s all a roll of the dice, and you just gotta do your best.

    • Locohama 4 June 2012 at 9:47 am Permalink

      I felt like his response was meant to derail and diffuse the issues…I indulge off topic chitchat sometimes but when it is clearly meant to derail I deal with it according to my mood. This was a tiresome day. Hell if I had read it another day he might have gotten me to engage him.
      long winded and boring? Well, cant please everybody…
      The daughter wasn’t really the important issue. Children are easy to win over. Children can sense things that adults can’t any longer. Children can see things adults can’t.. It was the mother that impressed me enough to write about this.
      Thanks for the shout Tom

  7. Dochimichi 4 June 2012 at 2:05 am Permalink

    Reading this really made my day ))

  8. Chris Davis 4 June 2012 at 8:20 am Permalink

    I would agree that in this case it’s 90% likely that the girl was reacting to the colour of your skin and it’s heart warming that she overcame her fear by the end. Of course, there are all sorts of other reasons that people avoid sitting next to someone on the train. I see Japanese people avoid sitting next to other Japanese people all the time. Some possible reasons seem to be:
    – reading a pornographic magazine, reading a newspaper spread out in a way that invades the space around them
    – talking very loudly, either on the phone or with a friend
    – the volume of their music player is way too loud
    – the person has a slightly uncommon visual aspect, much taller or muscular than average, unusual facial hair, a tattoo, facial piercings, weird hair colour, wearing sunglasses etc.
    – the person is doing their makeup
    – their way of sitting, for example arms crossed, legs jutting out etc.
    – using a bulkyish tech device like a laptop or tablet pc
    – bad body odour

    I think this relates back to the other guys post that you were responding to. For example, if you ride a train in Australia you will see a much greater variety of mannerisms and visual appearances than in Japan. Meanwhile, in Japan there is a much more rigid social code that most people follow (don’t talk loudly, don’t cross your legs, don’t talk on your phone). When someone doesn’t, well, people tend to shun them.

    • Locohama 4 June 2012 at 9:39 am Permalink

      Hey Chris. Just wondering why you felt the need to say that…did you think I thought that the only thing Japanese people find disagreeable enough to move away from is black people? Or did you feel a strong desire to point out the obvious to readers who might be confused and think that Japanese will endure anything and anybody as long as he isn’t black?
      For the record, I know they find other things disagreeable.
      And its nice that new yorkers and yokohama hito have Something in common. We don’t like loud talking funky loud music playing people on the train either.
      Thanks for the shout yo

  9. Chris Davis 4 June 2012 at 9:48 am Permalink

    I think it’s definitely people with darker skin who experience this more than those with other skin colours. Meanwhile, it’s pretty much the most common complaint of racism that people seem to have after moving here, people won’t sit next to me, whether they are white, black or otherwise. However, I would propose that most of the time, the white person is probably doing something else that is making other people avoid them. Personally, as a pasty whitey, I’ve pretty much never had this happen to me.

    This ties back to the original comment that you were responding to, introvert (most Japanese) versus extrovert (most westerners living in Japan). I don’t know if I agree with everything they had to say but no doubt there are different standards of behaviour in Japan than other countries and what some seem to take as acts of racism are sometimes something else.

    • Locohama 4 June 2012 at 9:54 am Permalink

      This was a feel good story dammit! feel good why don’t you! I felt good when it happened.
      Just kidding kinda

      • Chris Davis 4 June 2012 at 9:59 am Permalink

        Haha, sometimes I wish people wouldn’t always cram in next me on packed trains (makes it hard to read my Kindle!). But thinking of the emotional hurt that other folks go through everyday having that empty seat there does make me feel bad. So I’m happy that this day was a good one for you!

        • Jason 13 June 2012 at 9:37 pm Permalink

          I guess it must be the size factor then. I’m a 6’3″ white guy and I have been noticing that empty seat since the second time I rode a train in Japan. (The first time I didn’t get to sit down, so that doesn’t really count.)

          • Chris Davis 14 June 2012 at 6:38 am Permalink

            Hmm, I’m 6′ so barely taller than average so it could be one of the factors. Usually I tend not to commit the “offenses” I listed above though, which I think is the main factor. Most foreigners I see regularly do at least one of the above.

  10. Emily 4 June 2012 at 10:53 am Permalink

    I <3 this!

    Especially the fact that this mom was clearly trying to teach her kid something, probably from the get-go. Some little kids are scared of everyone, especially people who are not/don't look like mommy or daddy. Trying to seat the kid by you, then sitting there herself seems like a classy way to do it (if mommy's not afraid of him, maybe I don't have to be).

    A nice reminder, too, that it's not everyone and it’s not every day.

    Heartwarming! Heartening!

    • Locohama 4 June 2012 at 9:45 pm Permalink

      Thanks for the shout Emily!
      Yeah definitely not everyone…but every day, eeeto ne…gonna have to disagree with you on that! The empty seat is certainly not every day, but there are about 50 or so variations on the empty seat that find their way into daily life…And constant opportunities for people to step up to the plate like this woman. In the vast majority of the cases the ending is not a happy one (to out it mildly) But, occasionally this kind of thing happens,and I don’t like to let a good deed go unacknowledged the way I let the ugliness go as a matter of course and sanity preservation.

  11. Ru 4 June 2012 at 10:59 am Permalink

    Beautiful post loco, really made my day too :-)
    Stay awesome.

    • Locohama 4 June 2012 at 9:46 pm Permalink

      Glad you enjoyed it bruh!

  12. kamo 4 June 2012 at 11:48 am Permalink

    I know this wasn’t in the classroom, but that’s why we do it, isn’t it? Watching people’s minds open in real time is glorious. It never gets old, no matter what the circumstances or how old they are. Sets you up right for the rest of the day.

    Regarding the mother; she’s another one of those small signs that, maybe, it’s slowly getting better. I’m noticing more mixed race kids in my classes, including mixed asian (Japanese+Korean, Japanese+Phillipino etc). I don’t think there are more of them necessarily, but those that are seem less reticent about saying so. The stigma’s changing. Long way to go, of course, and while stories like yours are still fairly rare, I think they’re less rare than they were. Just frustrating that the rate of change is so glacially slow.

    Those comments last time were a hoot. I think there’s a germ of an interesting idea in there somewhere with the whole introvert/extrovert thing, but just splashing it about all over the place in hot steaming spurts of chippy, self-righteous jism kind of detracts from it.

    • Locohama 4 June 2012 at 9:48 pm Permalink

      “Watching people’s minds open in real time is glorious. It never gets old, no matter what the circumstances or how old they are. Sets you up right for the rest of the day.”
      You said It!!
      Yep, painfully slow…only I hope it’s going in the right direction. Sometimes I wonder…
      thanks for the shout Kamo!

  13. Mike N. 4 June 2012 at 1:05 pm Permalink

    Nice post. I have moments like these in China too and it’s usually enough to keep me from peaking in the “Cycle of Funk” for a little while.

    Source: http://imagethief.com/2011/11/remembering-talk-talk-china-and-the-cycle-of-funk/

    • Locohama 4 June 2012 at 9:49 pm Permalink

      Nice blog Mike! Thanks fior sharing. Always curious to see how things are going in the middle kingdom.

  14. Boater 4 June 2012 at 4:43 pm Permalink

    Baye,

    Nice one. I often play the peek-a-boo game with kids, just because I love kids.

    However, I remember several times, even with the children of friends (both all-Japanese or multiracial kids) of being told, after the kid starts crying, that it’s my beard or my sunglasses that are the problem rather than natural healthy stranger aversion.

    This attitude (by well educated moms and days) only serves to perpetuate another silly stereotype in this countr: that sunglasses and beards are only worn by nefarious individuals.

    You see it in the “beware of strangers” signs posted in schools and daycare. The illustration always features a dude with shades and facial hair.I have even had my daughters friends jokingly say that I look like a criminal.

    When, in fact, most or those who aim to do harm (or actually do harm) to children look like good neighbors, kindly uncles, etc.

    Here’s a new crusade for you. Let’s stop discrimination of the bearded and fair eyed (or those MUST wear shades, not just for fashion like most Japanese).

    • Locohama 4 June 2012 at 9:53 pm Permalink

      Hey Bubba! You’re funny…
      Damn, one crusade at a time yo! lol
      Didn’t even know I was a crudader actually. Thanks for letting me know what I am.
      Much rather be one of these Crusaders

  15. cocopuff1212 4 June 2012 at 7:46 pm Permalink

    I had to stop reading for a while when I came to the part where the girl said “Kowai!”, for it broke my heart.

    If someone — especially children — pointed to me and said “Kowai!” or “Kitanai!”, it would take me a while to recover from the hurt. And this is just an example of the kind of things you have to deal with on a daily basis. Man.

    I’m glad this story had a happier ending. I felt glad for all three of you. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Locohama 4 June 2012 at 9:54 pm Permalink

      Yeah, it could have easily gone another direction…I am truly grateful for people like this woman!
      Thanks for the shout Cocoapuff!

  16. monstropizza 5 June 2012 at 3:26 am Permalink

    Hey there Loco!
    As usual, great writting!! Nice to see a happy ending and a japanese mom that is willing to educate her child to don’t fear the different. As another commenter mentioned, I hope some day the sweet spot will be achieved and, for that, we need more moms like that (and more people like you, who isn’t scared to write about the issue =) )
    I’ve been following your blog for a while now (maybe since 2009) and it’s one of the best blogs about Japan i’ve seen (with orchid’s and chris’). Keep up the good work!
    Also, I should get to reading your book already (I’ve bought one as soon as it was physically avaiable in amazon.com, but haven’t had the time to read it yet =( )

    • Locohama 16 June 2012 at 6:27 pm Permalink

      Well, come on, what you waiting for? Get on it! I’m waiting to hear what you think!
      Thanks for the shout, glad you enjoyed it!

  17. reesan 5 June 2012 at 12:07 pm Permalink

    sounded like an elaborate play for a single mum to get some loco action. lol.

    • Locohama 16 June 2012 at 6:29 pm Permalink

      You know, that actually occurred to me, as it does whenever a woman cops a squat next to me…mainly because in the past I found that that’s exactly what it meant!

  18. Paul 6 June 2012 at 5:52 pm Permalink

    Loco,

    That’s a great story right there. Props to the mother to be the black sheep of the herd so to speak. I like to see Japanese people here sit beside an obvious foreigner without hesitation when I’m on the train.
    I admire your perseverance when possible to forge positive relationships between foreigners and natives here.

    I’m Asian American so I often blend in until I open my mouth. A blessing when I don’t feel like being discriminated, a curse when I’d like extra space haha.
    I feel for you and my fellow foreigner friends who must deal with this day in and day out.

    Keep the stories coming, I love reading your posts!

    • Locohama 16 June 2012 at 6:29 pm Permalink

      Thnak sPaul! I sure will!!

  19. Ἀντισθένης 10 June 2012 at 8:27 pm Permalink

    The mother was almost great. I’d like to know if getting her child to sit beside you was a challenge to her child. Even if her intentions were ‘minna onaji ningen’, it’s not the best or most natural approach. Kudos to your handling. I don’t always have it in me, and I am sure I take less crap here than you (white).

    I had a less dramatic example today. My J-wife and I ran into a friend of hers on the street. Both mine and the friend’s toddler were there too. The two mothers and I talked in Japanese, with a bit of translation from my wife, and the lady was completely natural. She only spoke in Japanese, but made no fuss of my Japanese, and even no fuss of understanding some of my simpler English. As comfortable with me as if I were six inches shorter, with less and darker hair.

    As soon as we said goodbye and got out of earshot, the first thing I asked my wife was, “I bet she’s had some foreign experience.”

    • Locohama 11 June 2012 at 12:13 am Permalink

      I know that feeling. Thanks for the shout yo!

  20. Jason 13 June 2012 at 9:43 pm Permalink

    This really was a nice story. It’s always a pleasant kind of surprise when they just sit down next to you with no overt reaction of any kind but this is even better.

    • Locohama 16 June 2012 at 6:30 pm Permalink

      Isn’t it? It’s the little things…
      thanks for the shout Jason!

  21. MarkS 15 June 2012 at 4:27 am Permalink

    Nice, encouraging story. Although it doesn’t always work, never under estimate
    the power of a smile.

    • Locohama 16 June 2012 at 6:31 pm Permalink

      Thanks Mark! Yeah, a smile is like tobacco and coffee stained love! (-;

  22. John Paul Catton 1 July 2012 at 3:54 pm Permalink

    This is heartwarming, Loco. I keep looking for signs of hope, every day I walk through the streets of Tokyo. Sometimes I see them, sometimes I don’t, but I just know I have to keep looking and telling it how it is, like you do.

    • Locohama 1 July 2012 at 4:39 pm Permalink

      Glad you enjoyed it John. Yeah, signs are out there, far and few between as they may be.

  23. Blueshoe 4 July 2012 at 12:34 am Permalink

    Enjoyed the post, Loco. While I don’t have the experience of being a big scary black man in Japan ;), I have had little J kids act shy or scared around me and then change their minds, and that was cute. Also have experienced clueless Japanese people and then have been refreshed at meeting those who seem a lot more normal and grounded (not staring, not thinking twice about sitting next to me, speaking to me in Japanese as if it is actually reasonable to assume I speak the language).

    And I hope you told that apologist that he could piss off. More eloquently, of course. =)

  24. Chris 8 July 2012 at 1:56 pm Permalink

    My Japanese friend just happened to come over when I had this pulled up, and after hearing about the first bit about the girl saying “kowai,” he said it was pretty embarrassing as a Japanese person to hear that story. That awareness, combined with the great conclusion to your tale makes me think, maybe some steps are being made in the right direction, at the very least. Baby steps.

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter,
    Chris

  25. Guido 21 July 2012 at 7:58 am Permalink

    Hi Mr. Loco,

    I wonder what would happen if asked people to sit down, when the train is crowded. Could that be a icebreaker?

    First-time reader, first-time commenter,
    Guido

    PS: I read your book though and loved it!!!

    • Locohama 22 July 2012 at 12:24 pm Permalink

      You’re joking, right?
      Thanks for the support on the book. Glad you enjoyed it!

  26. Tunhan 9 November 2012 at 9:23 am Permalink

    This is the kind of story I like reading. Put a smile on my face :)


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