The Vomit Bullet Train Ride Home

To: Crecente From: Bash RE:

Finally back in Osaka. Monday and Tuesday were spent "recovering". By Monday, my body seriously shut down. I'm really happy with our TGS coverage this year and felt that I pushed myself to my physical limits, operating and a few hours sleep every night. Good times.

When I caught the bullet train in Shinagawa, found an empty seat next to a reasonably plain women in her late teens or early twenties. She had three open boxes of Tokyo Banana cakes resting on the table tray in front of her. Like I said, she was reasonably plain and bit her fingernails incessantly, but seemed to put a great deal of effort into her outfit — not uncommon in Japan. She would open the box of cakes, look inside and then put them back on the tray. This was repeated for the first twenty minutes of the trip.

I, however, put my boxed meal I bought at the station on my tray table and proceeded to eat. She watched me through the pitch black reflection in the passenger train window. Halfway through my dinner, she opened three banana cakes, stuffed them in her face and took at swing of water. She then reached down with those chewed nails and picked up an extra Tokyo Banana bag that had been stuff in — you know, in case she was going to give one of those boxes to someone. She held the bag close to her face with those chewed nails and threw up. Repeatedly.

"Are you alright?" I asked. "I'm fine. Please don't worry."

She threw up again. I picked at my boxed meal, unable to finish it. I turned my head the opposite direction, towards the aisle and fell into a heavy sleep. The sour smell of vomit filled my nose.

When I woke up, sometime after Nagoya, she was gone, cakes, bags and all.

The rest of my trip was spent flipping through Matt Alt's Hello, Please! and trying to finish my dinner. I couldn't. I just couldn't.

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