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Do As Tokyo Does Platform Pancakes
(Entered Sep. 05, 2007)
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While most people in the West are content to toss their cookies in the privacy of their own home, here in Japan, the trains and train stations have somehow become the designated area for this pastime. Ride the last train pretty much any evening, and you're bound to see some stumbling drunk salaryman making a valiant effort to get home before passing out completely. If you yourself are also drunk, you'll need all your wits about you to avoid stepping in some stomach graffiti on the platform, unless you're the one making it of course. Worry not though, for it'll all be whisked away with nary a complaint by the train station employees in time for rush hour tomorrow morning.
Two guys at Shibuya station in poses of deep regret from the nights activites. They were 'on the verge' as you might say, but thankfully didn't get on the train with us. Good luck making it home fellas!

Drunk in Japan

Public drunkeness is something of an institution here in Japan, the only time you're allowed to take off your shell of dignity and politeness, with the trains being the main stage in the dramas that unfold. I once saw a guy in a deep drunken sleep, suddenly erupt and cover himself, the floor, as well as the people beside him in what looked to be his last ten meals without even waking up. This being Japan, no one as much as raised their voice, not even the people who got decorated. There was a mad rush for the exits though. What no pictures? Hey this site does have some standards.
Other people, girls mostly, try mightly to hang on to that dignity at all costs (literally). I once saw this poor girl, too embarrased to throw up on the floor of the train, quietly use her $1000+ Louis Vuitton handbag for said purpose. A hell of an expensive way to save a little face, and she didn't even take out the bag's contents first. Wonder if she's still using it?
This guy made it down the stairs and almost got outside before giving up and deciding this scumy section of the station wall was as good a place as any for a drunken pit stop. Sometimes you just can't go another step without 'letting off some steam' as it were.

Drunk in Japan

Whatever the story, it's probably a good idea to watch where you step, or sit, when taking the trains home late in the evening. If a person of dubious condition should sit down beside you, you might be well advised to find another seat, or clear the area. Rely on signs like green complexions, groaning, mumbling incoherently and your general intuition. Passing out on the train floor is also a pretty good indication of worse to come.

Drunk in Japan

Sometimes the combination of busy trains, rush hour and drunkenness can have tragic results. Getting a seat on a train in Tokyo is considered a rare event so you'll often see people racing each other towards the nearest seat as soon as the doors open. However every once in a while, the seats are left vacant for a reason. One fateful day, I witnessed this young, fashionably dressed guy get on the train, spy a bunch of empty seats, and make a beeline for them. Before anyone could so much as open their mouths to warn him, he sat down directly in the leftovers of some inconsiderate drunkard. To make things worse he actually sat there for a few minutes before he noticed what was beneath him. By that time though, the people nearby were either too horrified or embarrased to lend any assistance. Just another night on the trains in Tokyo....



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