Last week I saw a young corporate salaryman on the train sitting in the courtesy seat, which is generally reserved for people with kids, pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone with an injury. That area is not really reserved for young strong guys, yet they help themselves all the time.
Anyway, there he sat playing with his little smart phone right under the sign that says quite clearly “no phones.” I was standing right next to him. Then a really old guy walks in at the next station. He was like 90 or something. But he had attitude. The first thing he did was spot the younger dude sitting in the courtesy seat playing with his fancy phone. So naturally the old guy winds up and punches the young guy. Makes perfect sense, right? And then he points to the sign that says no phones. He did not say a word, though, because talking on Japanese trains is not considered polite, especially in the section with courtesy seats. Unfazed by the attack, the young salaryman just looked up at the old guy and kept playing with his phone. So then the old guy braces himself and winds up and punches the young guy again. But harder. And he pointed — yet again — to the sign. Wild. It took two pretty good pops but finally the young guy put his freaking phone away and just closed his eyes and sat there. In the courtesy seat. The old man sat directly across from his prey and stared.