I know that I come from the land of ‘if you’re not paying attention, you’re going to get robbed, stabbed or in the very least, yelled at for walking like a dick’, but Japan is really at some apex of ‘not paying attention to anything’.
I might have mentioned it before: Japan is super-safe. I might have also mentioned before that everyone is always on their phones: I’m not lying. It’s as if we can’t fathom the sight of other people, or our minds get so incredibly bored, so quickly, that we can’t be bothered to look up from whatever the hell is so GD important that I need to pay attention to that, rather than, say, walking along a crowded street in the middle of the day. Or a ridiculously, forever crowded train station. Nope, that’s not nearly as important as what is on this tiny screen of mine.
This is not me being some old person that’s thinking ‘damn kids these days’, this is a serious issue that does not seem to discriminate for age. If I got robbed or stabbed on the subway, no one would even notice it happened, unless I made some noise. A car accident happens and people barely look up. There are people on my train, people I see EVERY day and recognise, who would never be able to tell me from the next foreigner, because they’ve never looked up from their phone once in the months we’ve been riding the 11:24 together. It’s insane.
I actually let people bump into me in the train station or on the street now. If they can’t be bothered to look up, I can’t be asked to move. I want them to bump into me, and enough people, enough times, to realise they need to pay attention to what’s going on around them.
It seems extremely selfish to expect everyone to walk around you, because you can’t look up from your game, or conversation, or whatever.
Can it not wait 5 minutes?