Me: Japan?


Me: Hey! Hey Japan!

Japan: Huh? What? Sorry, i was just having a nap.

Me: Yeah, you seem to like doing that.

Japan: Who doesn’t?

Me: Sure, we all like a good sleep but you just seem so damn good at it. You’re a world leader in the field of dreams and the land of nod. Everyday i see somebody having a little siesta on the train.

Japan: I’m tired. I mean, when i’m a kid i spend 12 hours a day with my head in books and my ears being bent by teachers and parents and that’s if i’m not playing baseball, softball or a musical instrument. When i’m a student i’m hungover and i’ve got to write an essay before yesterday. When i’ve got a job i commute to work on a packed train and spend at least twelve hours in an office before getting drunk with the boss even though he’s an arsehole with an ego. Then when i’m old i’ve got to exercise and look after the grandkids and play pachinko and do the shopping and try to avoid death as often as possible. It’s non-stop life action. I’ve got to snatch some sleep when it’s available.

Me: Sure, i understand. But you seem to be able to satisfy this thirst for sleep at any available opportunity. It’s like you’ve got some kind of switch inside you that you can flick at any moment and be snoozing within seconds. It doesn’t seem to matter where you are. Bus, train, car, table at McDonalds, train station floor, waiting for the lights to change at a pedestrian crossing, they’re all potential sleeping chances for you.

Japan: Sleeping in public is easy for me. I’m safe. You can sleep where you want because you know you won’t get your wallet or your new phone stolen.

Me: But even though i know that, i can’t seem to sleep on a bus or train unless i’ve had an evenings’ worth of alcohol poured into me before hand. How do you fall asleep so easily on a train and bus everyday?

Japan: Well, the motion of the train and bus is so soothing. It rocks you to sleep. It feels so natural.

Me: But you’re sat down.

Japan: So?

Me: So, it’s not natural to sleep sitting down. It seems strange. Sleeping sitting down is like taking a shit standing up.

Japan: That’s weird.

Me: Exactly.

Japan: And gross. Really gross.

Me: Yeah, maybe a bad example.

Japan: That would take a while to clean up.

Me: Yeah…

Japan: You’d have to get a shower and everything.

Me: Okay, yeah, enough, you get my point. I was in India a few years ago on a bus. Indian roads are crazy. The music was blasting out of the speakers and the driver was leaning on the horn as were all the other taxis, trucks, cars and motorbikes on the road. The traffic is relentless. There’s a baby crying.  There’s a goat tied up on the roof. The bus swerves to avoid cows. The music keeps blaring, the horns keep beeping, the people keep chatting. We shudder to a stop to drop people off and the engine grunts and roars again when we’ve picked people up. There’s a continuous non-stop cacophony of noise and colour and dust and smells.

Japan: It sounds absolutely horrible.

Me: It’s amazing. And guess who was sat two rows in front of me whilst all this was going on? Two Japanese people sleeping like contended children. How? How do you do that?

Japan: I don’t know. It’s just natural for me.

Me: I’m jealous. Really i am. I wish i had that sleep switch inside me. A kind of controllable narcolepsy. It’s wonderful.

Japan: Thanks. I think. Are you complementing me or taking the piss?

Me: Bit of both.

Japan: Same as usual then.

Me: Yeah, see you later.


February 8, 2012. Uncategorized.

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