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One Rainy Day




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It’s almost normal to rain a whole day or everyday in Thai rainy season. From my experience, the amount of only one hour rain in Bangkok could be the same amount that fallen the whole year in Mexico City.

Like many other white collar workers in Thai capital, I had complaint every time it’s started to pour down around 8 AM or 4-5 PM that you have to be wet to get out or too much traffic to go anywhere.

Maybe it’s not the rain itself but things related to it had suffered us.

I was in Tokyo on November 2010, the very nice season started Japanese winter, red leaves started to fallen down on benches in public parks, the weather was not too cold for Thai but enough to feel how it should be normal winter in the upper hemisphere.

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(Tokyo National Museum) 

It was my first time entered to Tokyo Metropolitan, excited by its cleanliness and good looking people, their elegance dresses like walked out strait from magazines. On subway, I liked to spy out their strange hair styles, tiny eyes with eyebrows shaved. Astonished by their silence personality and the addict to the mobile phones panels while travelling on trains.

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Their technologies, better to say, their willingness to develop and create digital products are far beyond normal. The great warm toilet seat was my favorite, the vending machines including those in front noodle restaurants had saved my life from starve.

At first, I didn’t expected to buy much from those machines, but it offered lot of difference kind of drink, milk, juices (don’t sure if included beer). The prices varied around 120-150 yen, about 40-50 baht. Filling coins into it, select the running lights under a model can or bottle you want and wait to hear a boom-bang-boom noise of the drink coming down.

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Like a toy coming down, your child dream came fakery true.

Once by a mistake, I chose unintentionally a red light of one juice that turned to be a hot drink can! Another well design Japanese machine, you couldn’t be happier than get a warm drink in such a frozen day.

I didn’t understand words explained on the machine and thinking about the clever machine that could know which day is too cold and have to sell more hot drink.

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Or maybe it would even could guess what the guy in front prefers!

The last day in Tokyo suddenly turned to be very cold, a cloudy day with strong wind from Siberia coming too late for me to prepare myself well before got out from the hotel. The thin sweater wasn’t enough for the poor I-Saan boy and the trains cost too expensive to travel back hotel.

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When it’s not your day, it would last all day. In the cloudy afternoon, the sky started to pour down rain, not much to make you wet but enough to be shiver.

I tried to find a traditional On Sen (hot public bath) I had noted before the trip, I was on the correct street, walked street by street, corner by corner, but ended up escaped to a warm 7-11 convenient store to buy a new Made in China transparent umbrella because the rain seem never stop soon.

I stopped on one crossroad that the red tower shining far sadly under my new umbrella.

“That’s it…” I spoke to myself like other friend stand beside, to say something in front the place I was dream for.

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My hand was frozen while trying to take a nice still photo of the tower, many Japanese going back to their warm home gazing for a while before going down to the subway entrance nearby.

I decided to give up, took a night train back to hotel, the next day fly back to my hot country.

Walked back to my cheap hotel, the footpath was dim and wet from the fine rain still pouring. Not far to reach, I found one homeless man sit still in front a closed shop, his face nearly down between his legs, in his arms was his only living bag. Suddenly he talked something to a Farang tourist, he seems rather friendly.

I missed the automatic hot orange juice.

Just walked back to the machine on the corner, filling coins of 120 yen and I got a warming can in hand.

I didn’t know how to say “uncle” or “hey you” in Japanese, just go straight to him and given a can to the guy below.

Didn’t understand his words but the man voice seem very excited. At first I prepared myself if he would angry or annoyed by think I assaulted him as a beggar, I used to know about a Bushido or a pride of a Japanese warrior. He suddenly acted as he’d like to hug me and grasp my hand to his face. I was rather frighten and didn’t know if he was drunken, pushing my hand out and touch his shoulder trying to tell “it’s ok”.

I would like to understand what he told me and I wanted to tell him to take care.

I left him behind walked nearly run heading to a convenient store for a hot instant noodle while pushed out a handkerchief to clean my wet hand.

The rain had stopped already but two men still shivered by loneliness…

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