Monday, May 08, 2006


One place near my apartment where I frequently study is a fast-food restaurant with a smoking section in the back that is completely separated from the rest of the seating area by floor-to-ceiling glass walls. (That's one of the reasons I choose to study cigarette smoke to breathe in! Yay!) The restaurant also happens to be next to a hospital, and I see an alarming number of people in there who appear to be hospital patients. They shuffle in wearing their bathrobes and pajamas, order, and then walk back to the hospital. Of course, being hospitalized in Japan is very different than in the US. You are often kept longer than you would be in the US, so toward the end of your stay it would be perfectly normal to be walking about the neighborhood on your own.

Tonight, though, I saw something that really threw me for a loop. A young man walked in pushing his own IV, and he had a large scar on the back of his head. Guessing from the way his head was shaved, he probably had had head surgery. Two men in very yakuza-looking suits came in with him, and after they ordered they headed straight for the smoking section. I could see the top of the IV over the frosted bottom half of the smoking room glass wall amid a cloud of cigarette smoke. After about an hour, however, the three men came out in an entirely different formation: the young man who had been hooked up to the IV was talking on his cell phone, and one of the men in suits was now pushing the disconnected IV with the needles dangling.

I can't figure it out.

Lastly, though I don't why that man is being hospitalized, I'm sure smoking cannot be good for whatever ailment he has.

P.S. Fabulous "smoking manners" advertisment (which was actually used on Tokyo trains for a while) courtesy of JT. You can see a whole gallery (all five pages!) of these ads here on JT's bizarrely named "SMOKERS STYLE" page.


Mande's J-Life said...

Oh my god, these are so funny. I am going to print them out and hang them up all around the house. I am so sick of him smoking on our new veranda! Just because the idiot next door does it, does not mean everyone else should do it!

deenster said...

Those are great, aren't they?! The amazing thing is that the English is actually quite correct... I sometimes want to make one of these into a giant sandwichboard and wear it on my way to work. I'm sick of having to breathe in the cigarette smoke of the person walking in front of me on the sidewalk!

umeshu said...

I love these ads! How funny! I think it is great they are trying to teach smokers some manners-- and fining them for smoking and walking in some areas.


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