The locomotive engineer
By Edu Coimbra em 13/11/05
When you think that you have seen everything, some unexpected situation comes right into your face. Every month, on this new section you will read about surprising and curious facts found during my daily life here in Japan.
Let’s go to the first of the series...
The heavy traffic in Tokyo is a perfect reason to use the most complete means of transportation that exists in the country: the train – whether conventional, local, express or even the most sophisticated model, the famous bullet train (SHINKANSEN). In addition to the advantage of the fast dislocation, it is cheaper and helps me to exercise with the walks between my house and the train station: a habit acquired due to my constant need to burn calories.
I always liked to travel in the first car next to the glass of the locomotive engineer’s cabin to observe the course, the landscape and the come and go of people at train stations…
On a certain day, inside the train in the way to Ajinomoto Stadium, I saw a huge “pony tail” sat in the locomotive engineer’s seat. It took me some time to believe that a woman alone would be able to guide the train from platform to platform with such skill. After all, it is a very rare situation here. The railway field, as several other activities, is predominantly male in the Eastern world.
Along the course, the girl seemed to not care for the weight of the machinery or the severity demanded by the position – she was much more worried about her look, using face power, lipstick and combing her hair before each stop. In the final stop, she arrived as if no effort has been done: faultlessly dressed and with a perfect make-up. An uncommon sight of surprisingly admiration!
Using my camera, I took a few pictures without her noticing. In the final station, I clicked and she looked behind, showing a blush of shyness capable of intimidating even the photographer. But I did not give up. I asked if she could pose in front of the train to illustrate that rare and interesting moment, at least to me, in the land of the rising sun.
She accepted and now we have a beautiful photo of the ruler of Tokyo suburbs. That’s it... this uncommon locomotive engineer inspired me for this first column. See you next month!
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