Am I Forgetting How to Be A Gentleman?

Sulking on my ride home after spending way too much money at St. Luke’s Hospital for a rather vague diagnosis, I slumped onto one of the seats of the Tsukukba Express just before it got crowded. Everyone got on. Seeing all of the suits and how closely packed everyone was, I instinctively looked down at my watch… “Yep, it’s that 5-ish commuter rush home.” I was so happy to have a seat, because it was going to take 40 minutes to get back to Tsukuba. Donald Inner Monologue: “HA! I beat all you suckers, enjoy standing for the rest of the ride home (cue the uproarious laughter).” Not to mention I was already just a tad pissed for having wasted 23,150 yen to hear a diagnosis that was utterly useless.

Most of the people standing around were men, but there were two women standing directly in front of me, one in her mid forties, the other in her early twenties. The woman in her forties was trying to sleep standing up (I’ve actually seen some Japanese commuters pull it of, kind of amazing). As the train pulled off, I thought to myself “Donald…get up and give one of the ladies your seat.” Part of me wanted to stay seated though because I knew it wasn’t exactly the shortest of commutes. I instantly thought of reasons why I shouldn’t get up: In most cases when I offer a Japanese woman my seat, she will generally say no (unless I walk away from the seat while I’m saying it). It’s too crowded on the train to get up…blah blah blah. I waited for about 4 stops and finally decided to get up and offer the ladies my seat. The one in her twenties ended up taking it, and the women in her forties got off soon after.

I felt like I did my good deed for the day, and I felt like I was breaking a habit that I was starting becoming accustomed to.

Donald Ash

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  • Hmm.. I think it’s good that you gave up your seat! Everyone has off days. ^_^

    You seem like you had a really rough day the other day and even if it is something you had been letting slip.. making the effort to change a bad habit is the first step of removing it. You always seem so polite in the way that you speak online and in your videos, so I have trouble imagining you aren’t polite in general!

  • yikes….don’t get me started on this topic don.

    to make it short…see here:

    my rant about priority seats in japan……

    • I just read your rant, and I know exactly what you mean. My fiancee is pregnant (only 7 weeks at this point) and when she gets her sticker, I’m going to make it a mission of mine to convince her to ask for a seat. If no one gives her a priority seat, I will make a scene.

  • Amanda

    Aw, don’t beat yourself up, you’re clearly a good guy. So what if you needed to sit down, we women are not so fragile we can’t stand for a bit on a train you know ;).

    That said I think it’s really adorable you’re so distraught over not giving up your seat. I doubt many guys would even think about it. You are a rare one Donald.

    • Donald Ash

      Umm…Amanda…you’re making me blush :D.

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