Times are bad: A prologue to a disabled foreigner’s life in Japan

Times are bad.  Children no longer obey their parents.  And everyone is writing a book. – Attr. Cicero

I wish it could write that it was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were just striking thirteen.  Or at least, that it was a dark and stormy night.  But quite frankly, it was none of those things.  It was April though, but not the cold bright kind that Orwell wrote about, but the post-April-showers drizzily kind that most residents of Britain actually experience.

I had arrived in Hull, where I was – in fact still am, an honorary staff member for a talk on philosophy.  I was really looking forward to it.  I knew that in about four months I would be moving to Japan, and was very much treating every visit to my Alma Mater as if it were my last.  This would be my tri-ultimate.

I came through the ticket gate, about ten to three, dying for a pee.  I delve into my pockets; and extract the requisite twenty pence and ten pence.  I stumble towards the turnstile that precedes the entrance to the toilets.  And it’s a long queue.  About ten people in front of me, and not a typical April day, it is rainy and warm.  So about four minutes later I am at the front of the queue, and about to slide my money into the turnstile slot.  The queue behind me was already growing restless – it was quite a long queue and uncommonly busy.  As I bent down to put the money into the slot I tripped and dropped the money, as I bent down further to pick it up, the man behind me, about six foot tall, booted me on the backside. And continued kicking. I managed to get to my feet.  Turned round to see a fist coming my way.  I ducked.  Unsuccessfully.  Thankfully, but this point, the Transport police had noticed, and a boy in blue pulled me over the ticket barrier and bundled me in to the toilet reserved for disabled people.

Where at least, I got relief.

A few minutes later I emerged.  Still shaken, but at least with an empty bladder.  The policeman asked me if I wanted to press charges.  I said I did not.  He looked surprised.  ‘Why not, sir?’  I responded, by say  that this was the third time I had been attacked in five years, and that I no longer saw the point in pressing charges.

It was four months before I left for Japan.  I would be attacked twice again.

The philosophy talk  was really good.


3 thoughts on “Times are bad: A prologue to a disabled foreigner’s life in Japan

  1. Interlude: Not Big, but Safe in Japan – The Limping Philosopher

  2. Home Thoughts from an Ingurisshu Abroad – The Limping Philosopher

  3. From Chu-hi to Yorkshire Tea: Thoughts on Re-Entering Britain – The Limping Philosopher

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