When you’re crammed into a train car during rush hour in Japan and almost everyone has a smartphone in their hands, you sometimes can’t help but look at what someone’s doing on their phone. Moreover, when you have a mix of seated and standing commuters, things get even more interesting, enabling a perfectly positioned passenger to sneak peaks at an unsuspecting person’s private messages. As you’d expect, you come across some really weird stuff when no one thinks you’re looking. Let’s take a look at five anecdotes from passengers who just happened to glance over at their nearby passenger’s phone.
- Someone’s popular!
LINE is a popular instant messaging application in Japan. It’s like texting but free for anyone with a wireless connection! As you can imagine, high school students use the app…a lot. Here’s what one 29-year-old real estate agent saw on the train:
“I happened to glance over at a high school girl’s LINE account at the moment she launched the app. In all of her group lists I saw unread messages: 300, 200, 180 lined up with those red “unread” icons…I was so surprised. I can’t believe she had to read that many messages! It must be hard being a part of the smartphone generation.”
High school life sure has gotten complicated with the addition of mobile technology. Let’s hope that high school girl replied to all those messages!
- He’s so dreamy!
In Japan, English is known as a very hard language to master, with cries of muzukashii! (it’s difficult!) and muri! (it’s impossible!) ringing out from language classrooms across the nation. So people are usually impressed when they come across a Japanese person who has seemingly mastered the unreasonable language of English:
“One time I saw a guy with a nice tan, dyed brown hair, and a really nice suit reading an English news site. Although I initially thought, “That guy is so gaudy!” in the next instant he seemed so cool LOL”
- So many devices!
This one comes from a woman in her mid-twenties. Although only ten years apart, she seems to be taken aback by the younger high school generation:
“This high school girl on the train had a double-sided smartphone case. She opened it up to reveal an iPod and iPhone. On the one side, she had an AKB48 music video playing, and on the other she rapidly typed out a morning email. I was so surprised that this student had two devices and was able to use them so proficiently at that.”
Yep, it’s a busy world for a high school girl!
- Eww…that’s just…
You’d be surprised how many times something like this happens on public transportation in Japan:
“A man sitting on the train was looking at a pornographic site on his smartphone, the screen was reflecting in the window behind him and everyone around could clearly see what he was looking at.”
This quote came from a 25-year-old in the manufacturing industry. At least he has a funny story to tell.
- Crazy in love
Okay, let’s finish this list off with something a little happier and far less gross. Here’s one from a 28-year-old who works in retail:
“While I was on the commuter train one day, I could clearly see the messages an old man in his 60s with salt and pepper hair was exchanging with someone.
‘I was able to walk to the station today without any problems *heart* Going to work hard today *heart*’
‘That’s so great you’re doing well on your diet *heart* I’ll have to try hard too *heart* See you later’
And on and on; his exchange was full of hearts. I hope that was his wife…I couldn’t help but needlessly worry about that LOL.”
See, nice things happen even when people think no one is looking. Let us know about the things you’ve seen while riding the train in Japan. We’re sure there are some good stories out there!