Magun's Compass - Online Home of Nomadic Gatherings Travel Notes Nomadic Gatherings: Travels in Asia and Australia Nomadic Gatherings Michel Guntern (Author) 1. Taking Off - On The Train in Japan

The train was full. People stood in the aisles. Model businessmen relaxed after a hard day at work; their guards were down.

Ties were casually loosened, and the lesser composed hung up their jackets and removed their shoes.

Cans of beer were opened and consumed enthusiastically, and conscience chocolates in coloured bags filled the spaces on the luggage-racks alongside leather briefcases.

The little girls in dark-blue uniforms found it impossible to wheel their food and drink trolleys through the human mass. They struggled on gamely with boxes and plastic bags, smiling and bowing, beautifully masking any signs of stress or strain.

Before leaving the carriage they turned to face the passengers, gave a high-pitched cry of thanks, and yet another bow.

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