It seems like I’m in the wrong line of work. I spotted an advertisement at the station for the M_____ Skin Clinic in Takatsuki. Opening hours are from 10am to 12pm and 5pm to 7pm. However, they shut on Sundays, and Wednesdays, and public holidays. And they are closed in the afternoon on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
“Makkuro iyaya.” ("I hate black hair.") As said by one brown-haired junior high school girl to another on the platform at Awaji station this afternoon. There’s a permanent teacher-pupil war over the right to dye one’s hair a colour other than black, as I found out when I worked at a junior high school (funny name, by the way, but that’s the official English translation). I wonder whether teachers would try to exert such control in a country which doesn’t claim ethnic homogeneity. In the interests of stirring up the debate, I asked the teachers what they would do if a blond-haired caucasian student were to dye her hair black. They didn’t have an answer.
As I was enveloped in a cloud of smoke on my walk back from the station—the business-suited offender in front of me had evidently had a hard time surviving his subway ride home from work without the benefit of nicotine—my mind turned to thinking about tobacco. I don’t actually have any moral objection to people smoking, but since they cannot be trusted to do so without blowing it in others’ faces, littering even the most isolated natural beauty spots, and waving their flaming sticks around like offensive weapons, extreme measures are required.