Friday, December 13, 2002
One of the worst things about living in Japan, especially in the winter, is the amount of hawking that goes on. No, I'm not talking about birds of prey. I'm talking about this:


In a country where it's verboten to blow your nose in public, there's nothing wrong with bringing up a lungful of phlegm and sharing it with everyone else on the train platform, making the most unbelievably vile noises ever. This morning, on the way to work, a salaryman drowned out the dawn chorus with a splendid solo hooooooikkkk-cchhhhaah! And coming home, another chap stepped off the train, produced a sound that I could never hope to reproduce, gobbed the resulting green stuff onto the platform, then stepped back onto the train. And nobody batted an eyelid.

A hawk