Fond Memories of Sweater Day - it’s officially the heating season - damn if it’s 90 out.
Waiting at the bus stop with 50 blue clad businessmen, I can see the two bus stops up the road - maxed out buses loading passengers. Japanese buses are quite large - near as I can tell it’s around 1000 riders each. The bus arrives, no one gets off, there is room for an ankle (maybe) but 5 bodies or so will push on. Windows covered with streaming condensed sweat on the inside. In small areas you can see compressed flesh (cheeks, noses, mouths, foreheads) flattened out like octopus suckers against cellophane in the grocery stores. I cram on, a massive gaijin, 6’2" and 200 lb. I live in a sea of advertisements hung from the ceiling. All around perspiration soaks through suits; a few plaintive yelps as more cattle push aboard at the remaining five stops. Forget breathing, you must synchronize heartbeats with your new “close” friends. The driver; window open wide with the defroster fan on and jacket off. Heater control on the nuclear fusion setting, the fan on eleven. Now down the hill to Kure, no more stops. No need to accelerate here, it’s an 8% downward pitch. The bus leeaannns way out on the turns over the chasm as you stare straight down 350’ to the raging torrent below. Across the river by bridge now; my eyes a thin plate of glass and several molecules distant from the rock wall. Finally, a blessed stop at the station, we flow out the doors to meet our next obstacle - the Train.
Fond memories indeed.