• 19 . 10 . 04
  • People keep falling over around me. It’s not my fault, I swear!

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Falling Down

Twice in 3 days, a young woman has collapsed while standing right next to me. The first time was on Sunday, on the platform at Gifu station while in a queue for drinks at a vending machine. She just kind of staggered and fell backwards. I was about four feet away, but couldn’t catch her in time and it was pretty worrying, as I wouldn’t really know what to do in that situation in English, let alone Japanese. Fortunately the station staff came quickly to help her out. It reminded me of when I passed out at Liverpool Lime Street station last year after running for a train. Waking up in public with no idea what happened is not a nice experience.

Not including myself, I think this was the first time I’d actually witnessed someone collapsing, so I was really surprised when it happened again today. It’s a pretty weird experience seeing somebody just “fall over”. This time a woman keeled over next to me as we were in a crowd walking towards the station on my way to work. I waited with the woman until the ambulance arrived, certainly not helping much, but unable to just walk by, as lots of locals seemed to do. She was still unconscious when the ambulance crew arrived, so I hope she’s ok now.

I asked the staff at work if this happens often and it seems to be a pretty regular occurence, mainly caused by obsessive dieting (I remain convinced that Japanese women are institutionally anorexic) and stress at work. It makes me glad I’m not subject to the pressures that Japanese workers are subjected to.

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