Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Bullet Train Breakfast Cereal Mystery

My post today is heavily influenced by my locale. Kobe, Japan. Things I thunk today are very influenced by my experiences since landing at Narita airport yesterday and will be for the next week while I'm here.

Japan, as a whole is very clean, efficient and non stinky (except for some of the fish). But as I rolled my suitcase towards the Narita Airport train station to get on the Narita express, I came across a musty smell. The smell continued on the train.

I hurried through Tokyo central station, since I had exactly fifteen minutes to get from whatever platform I was on to platform 19 to take the Shinkansen to Kobe. But the smell persisted. It remained on the bullet train. 2 hours 54 minutes later, I was in Shin-Kobe station. I transferred to the subway and the smell persisted. It didn't stop until I emerged from Sannomaya station and walked through town to my hotel.

I spent most of the 2 hours 54 minutes on the bullet train trying to drag up what the smell was. Towards the end of the trip I got it. It was the dry musty smell that you got from a British breakfast cereal I ate in the 70s. It was yellow, shaped like pillows and they don't sell it anymore. But there is no doubt, that it was the smell was. I can't remember what it was called.

So it occurred to me that the reason they don't sell it anymore is because JR (Japan Rail) buys up the stocks of this cereal and uses it to clean the trains and tracks.

That is what I thunk today. Well yesterday, since I was tired and went to bed.

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