On the train coming home tonight I saw one of those little things that make me marvel at Japan. I've been here a long time and sometimes I get pretty weary of the hectic pace and some of the bullshit that you have to put up with, but then sometimes I see something that is so tiny and so normal here and I remember some of the feelings of awe that I had when I first came here.

The train was very crowded (as usual), I mean really crowded, people all pushed up against one another, trying not to breathe on anybody. We stop at a station called Nishiharu and amongst the ten or so people that are trying to squeeze onto the already over capacity train is this guy, maybe 35 years old. Everyone is quietly trying to readjust their position and this guy bumps up against a woman, maybe 21 years old. His bow of apology is almost inperceivable, her silent, non looking bow in response just as tiny. If you didn't know what you were looking at you would attribute their head movements to inertia.

It's nothing big or profound, just two automatic responses from strangers on a train, but I caught a glimpse of it, and it's utter normalness made me smile within.