Saturday 7th October

I have a love/hate relationships with trains here in Japan. I never really traveled by train in England, but I use the train every day here. Luckily I don’t have to worry too much about the crazy morning commute since I start work a little later. Still, I have to stand for the 45 minute journey there and back. Plus with standing all day, my feet are usually pretty tired by the end of the day. It was a big change from my previous job where I would sit all day long. Anyway, the trains are relatively quiet so I can use my commuting time to read or daydream. They are usually on time, and are clean and reliable. However there are many cases where people jump onto the tracks. I know this happens in other countries too, but it’s a regular occurence here. And people can become quite rude in the morning and evening commutes because they want a seat or they don’t have a lot of space. People also often become zombie-like on the trains, just staring into their phones. I sometimes glance at people’s screens, and most of the time it’s just scrolling through Twitter or Facebook, or just constantly updating their feeds. Of course it has nothing to do with me, but I think this kind of addiction to one’s phone can influence other parts of your life, including communication skills.
As I was on my way home from work today, the train was relatively quiet because it was the weekend. Still, there were quite a few people around. There was a guy in front of me reading through a magazine. As he turned the page, a bunch of advertisements flew out onto the floor. Despite at least 6 other people within reach, I was the only one who helped him pick them up. Everyone just continued playing around on their phones, ignoring the situation. The shock and surprise that someone was helping him reminded me that this is what it’s like in big cities, especially Tokyo. Japanese people can be so kind in so many ways, and then in other ways they just won’t get involved. As he was getting off the train, he bowed his head again towards me to thank me for helping. In my mind, it’s such a usual thing to do to help someone if they have a problem or drop something. Many times I’ve experienced it in Japan that I’m the only one helping. I know this is not unique to Japan, and I would guess it’s more of a city problem, but I think it’s human nature to help people, especially with something as small as picking something up for them. 


Friday 6th October

I took a trip last week after finally being able to take my “summer vacation” at the end of September. After that, I’ve been pretty much working most days. Since I work most weekends, I often get a day off on a Friday. I was convinced that today was my day off but clearly I should be checking my schedule more carefully. I like a day off on a Friday. I usually get back home late on Thursday because of the gym, so by the time I’ve gone to bed, it means I don’t have the luxury of 8 hours sleep. I know some people can live off 4 or 5 hours sleep, but I don’t function well if I don’t go to bed before 12am, and if I don’t have around 7 hours of sleep. I also don’t sleep when someone else is in the same bed as me. Anyway, Friday is also the least busiest day at work because the previously mentioned Rabbit Cafe is closed on Fridays. Thanks to its popularity, there is usually a wait which means a lot of people come over to our cafe for half an hour or so.
I met with one of my old Japanese friends from university last night. We were talking about relationships. She said something I thought was quite interesting. I mentioned how I fall in and out of love so quickly. I can be completely involved one day, but completely forget about it the next. She said that in relationships, men usually make folders of their past relationships, but women tend to overwrite. Meaning that men keep a sort of record of every relationship to look back on and delve into any time, whereas women just forget and overwrite their relationship when they find someone new. I don’t think of myself like a woman, but I can move on quite easily. The only times when I think about past relationships is when I don’t have anyone I’m interested in at the time. Sometimes I do compare people, and often glorify the past relationship by only thinking about the positive and good times. I think it’s much healthier to focus on positive memories rather than negative ones, but I sometimes forget the reasons why things didn’t work out with that person.

Thursday 5th October

Why today? Why not yesterday? Why not weeks ago? Years ago?As I predicted with my last blog, and the one before that, and the one before that, I tend to give up or tire of these things. So I’m going to try one more. And I’m not going to try to restrict myself to any theme. I can’t even give the post a title. I just want it to be my observations, my thoughts, my experiences. Any mundane idea that pops into my head. 
A little about me. I work in a cafe in Tokyo. Originally from the UK, I studied Japanese and ended up spending my twenties living here. I never had any particular goal in mind about what I wanted to do. Everything has just sort of happened. I’m sort of an acting shop manager. Sort of.
Anyway, I’m writing this in the free time I have before my colleague finishes her break, and while there are no customers to deal with. Across the street is a rabbit cafe and I just noticed a woman wearing rather brightly coloured leggings taking a photo at the sign. Shortly after, a couple of German girls came to the cafe, and told me they’ve just been travelling from Nepal. Almost immediately after a Japanese girl comes in so I have to switch from English to Japanese. My English is okay enough to convince people I’m a native speaker in Japan, but it’s embarrassingly poor when I speak to anybody who understands English. I make mistakes and I’m not as articulate as I used to be, or should be. My Japanese too is also full of holes and mistakes, but I can get away with that because being able to form a basic sentence in Japanese is, to the Japanese, an unbelievable act. 
The reason why I wanted to start writing something, anything, is because I’ve been reading this book on my commute. It’s called The Art of Non-Conformity. It didn’t tell me to start writing a blog or articles or a diary or anything. It just made me think about time, and what I’m doing with mine. I can scroll through Buzzfeed or Facebook or whatever, mindlessly gazing at the screen. Or I can note down my thoughts, my experiences, my everyday routine life.