I am sitting on a train beside Japan’s biggest bitch.
It’s the WING train from Shinagawa to Kamiooka. You pay extra to ride this train, and if you get a ticket, you’re guaranteed a seat. This woman was sitting in the prime seat by a door, with her bags spread out so as to discourage anyone from sitting next to her.
Having been one of the last people to board the train, I had already decided that if someone was doing that in the prime seat, that I was going to ask them (politely) to move their shit and let me sit down.
So I did.
“Sumimasen,” I said.
She pretended to ignore me.
“Sumimasen,” I repeated, more loudly this time. “Sumi-ma-sen". Again, making sure she couldn’t continue to ignore me.
She looked at me. I pointed to her bags and repeated more softly: “Gomenasai. Sumimasen”. Well she huffed and moved her bags, leaving me a corner of the seat.
I was not going to give up that easily, so I sat down and was ready to ignore her for the rest of the trip.
It’s in the high twenties right now, with humidity somewhere around 9999%, and I’d run to catch the train, so I was sweating. I pulled out my fan and began to fan myself.
She mumbled something. This repeated a few times.
“Samui” I think it was. Cold.
So I took off my headphones so that I could hear what she was saying, and fanned myself again, this time without opening the fan all the way so that the breeze was minimal.
“Samui!” she mumbles, probably thinking I can’t understand.
“What,” I say in Japanese, “A fan is making you cold?”
“Samui!” she repeats, emphatically.
I switch to English: “Go sit in the low air conditioning car, then.’”
That’s it. She’s been typing on her cellphone and muttering under her breath for the entire ride. If ever I move off my corner too much, she elbows me.
Biggest bitch in Japan.