Monday 17 January 2011

Only in Osaka...

Can a simple gaijin girl wheeling her halfie baby around be accosted by a crazy man. Why me?! Go bug some other gaijin, one without a small child to protect!

As I mentioned, I ventured in to the city yesterday with Ash. Those with unpredictable toddlers will know how daunting this is. With two parents, there's always someone who can hold the fort (the fort being the stroller, and the 50 thousand bags that are slung over it) while the other one deals with whatever crying/sooking/shitting/pissing/whinging/moaning/I-lost-my-favourite-toy-and-am-crying-until-I-vomit emergency may occur. When you go into battle alone, it can be quite scary, but unlike some parents (Ryota being one of them) I'm not embarrassed if my kid is going mental because his Buzz light year doll's arm is not quite twisting in the direction he hoped, I'm into the 'toughen him up' approach, if he ain't dying, I ain't stoppin'.
I think Ash has actually caught on to this though and behaves quite well for me, it's when Daddy or other soft cocks are around that he starts wrapping them around his little finger.

So we got to Osaka station, Ash had his book and his blanket, chatting away while I worked out which exit was best in the maze that is Umeda station. When we got out in the day light and I could navigate by buildings, I was feeling quite good, it was cold, but the sun was shining and Ash was quiet, this was all that really mattered. As we were making our way to my favourite book store, I heard some yelling coming from behind me. This, however is not that unusual in Japan, fuckers in shops yell out "IRRASHAIMASEEEEEE!!!" (Welcome!!) at levels my voice doesn't even go in some places. This yelling resembled the bellowing of irrashai, but it was jumbled words, and it was getting closer. And closer... Until I heard bike brakes screech and was confronted with a scruffy homeless looking man grinning at me in a way that made me feel very uncomfortable. Of course some loud, funny-looking dude to a 2 year old boy is hilarious, so Ash started giggling as the scruffy man got louder and backed up to walk beside us. He was speaking a lot of gibberish but was saying things like "What do you think!?" and "How much is it going to cost!?" If he hadn't been insane it actually could have been a good survival Japanese lesson.

I'm quite good at attracting crazy people, I was on Tennoji bridge once when a loony started shouting at me in English (he was Japanese) to "GO HOME!!!" and "WE DON'T NEED YOU IN JAPAN!!!!" If Ryota hadn't threatened to crack him and put his cigarette out in his eye he probably would have spat on me and tried to throw me off the bridge or something. But usually having a kid makes me a little immune to wanking/crazy people. Nope, not yesterday. I wasn't quite sure how to react, if I was by myself, I may have whipped out some nasty gutter Japanese and told him to fuck off, but I don't know, a 'mother's image' kind of prevents one from going all out nasty, plus he may have gone berserk on me and nobody wants to feel responsible for their offspring being attacked by a Japanese homeless man, totally don't want that on my conscience...

So, like a good Japanese lady would do, I looked down, distracted myself by adjusting Ash's blanket, and ignored him. Of course, I quickened my steps so I could get to a place where I would get lost in the mass of people but I chose to ignore rather than confront, much simpler I think. Crazy man gave up after he saw I wasn't biting and rang his bell with manic bursts as he rode off down the street searching for other poor bastards to freak out. I don't really like the whole 'ignore' strategy but there was nothing else to do, no reasoning with people who are bonkers really.

I had another slight incident when I cussed out a train staff dude. I wanted to get down about 6 steps to the ticket gate of the station but there was no ramp. Now I could have walked 5kms around to a place where there was a ramp, but who can be fucked. So I asked the dude if there was a ramp anywhere nearby and he ummed and ahhed and sucked air through his teeth until he said, "Nope, no ramp, good luck with lugging that 17kg kid and all that crap down those stairs love!" I got quite pissed off then and asked him, what the hell are people in wheelchairs supposed to do. He gave me a puzzled look and replied, "They carry the chair down" I then called him a twat in English but asked in Japanese how a disabled person was supposed to do that, if they can't walk I don't think they'll be jumping out of the chair to carry it down the steps. Fucking idiot.
Of course he didn't design the station so no real point getting angry at him, but it was a subtle hint for him to help me take Ash down the steps but he didn't get it and watched as I struggled down the steps, muttering obscenities in English and sending Ash's nappy bag flying. Maybe he thought I was a crazy homeless gaijin lady!?

Still, makes the day a bit more interesting when you get a crazy and a twat to yell at I guess!


  1. Umeda station freaks me out enough without the crazy people. It's just so confusing when you're used to little cities. Ignore was probably the way to go. Anything else would only have encouraged him.

  2. Good on you for not doing your nut at him - although I totally understand the 'mummy' thing and not being able to make as much of a scene anymore - for all the reasons you said.
    Hoping no more weirdos approach you again soon. well, ever.

  3. You did well, on both accounts, unreal. Speaking of toughening up (not you of course) I thought you might like this sketch (you might already know it) Ronnie Johns take on Chopper Reid...
    Cheers, Olivia

  4. Oh man, the homeless guy on the bike you encountered sounds so similar to the homeless guy who come up to me on a bike while I was waiting at a bus stop close to Nagoya a year ago. Good on you for ignoring him though! It's tough to walk away from those situations sometimes.
    Can't believe that prick of a train staff attendant wouldn't help you carry ash and the stroller down the stairs though. Ever heard of chivalry, dude?
    It surprised me how unaccessible many places were in Japan for the disabled. Too bad, honestly...