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.