It’s the rainy season. Guess what it does a lot. Yes, that’s right.
During this time the weather follows a set pattern.
First, it gets hot and humid.
Behold the wall of hair.
Then it rains.
Commuting to work is a surprisingly transcendent experience.
This opening of the heavens is taken very seriously here as the vast majority of Japanese people are allergic to rainwater. Upon contact with water from the sky their skin burns and begins to melt. Exposure to the rain for a period of 10 seconds is generally reckoned to be fatal.
This is why, during the rainy season, all Japanese people will always carry an umbrella. If it’s raining you won’t see anyone without an umbrella, because everyone else will have melted.
Here’s an example. A few days ago there was a heavy rainstorm in my area. The following morning there was the mildest of mild precipitation. I was wearing a raincoat as I walked to work. It was doing a good job of keeping me dry. I then had the following exact conversation at least three times.
Random co-worker (*Slack-jawed amazment*): You don’t have an umbrella. Where’s your umbrella? Don’t you have an umbrella?
Me: No, today I wore my raincoat. *Points to the raincoat I am wearing*.
Co-worker: Oh! Hahahahahahahaha. *Walks off, laughing heartily*
This has become something of a routine over the last few weeks. In fact, there are some co-workers who have only ever spoken to me about raincoats and umbrellas. I think that wearing a raincoat may have become ‘my thing’, so that whenever they see me they have something like the following monologue: “look, there’s the guy who wears a raincoat when it rains. Jesus. Don’t make eye contact with him, but if you do, make sure you talk about raincoats and umbrellas.”
I’m beginning to think that this could last beyond the rainy season. I think it’s a reputation I’ll never escape. Ever.