I was thinking of several topics for my second post: feminism, Roxane Gay (currently reading her book Hunger and a bit obsessed with her), work-life balance, discrimination and all mildly intellectual stuff but those were not the topics I wanted to tackle today. What I want really is to share my recent account of eating a banana on the streets of Nagasaki. It’s not so intellectual but it is a true observation.
I don’t usually eat on the go while walking. Okay, that’s a lie – I have eaten ice cream, nuts and watermelons while walking but it’s not like a habit or anything. I just like eating.
Anyway, the other day, I bought some bananas from the supermarket and when I was putting everything in my cloth bag (yes, I am environmentally woke lol), I sort of squashed them under my almond milk. I didn’t realise this until halfway through my walk and I decided I should fish them out of the bag and place them on top because I don’t fancy bruised bananas. But alas, as I was pulling them from underneath all the other stuff, I detached one of them from its collective bunch. So there I was – banana in hand, standing in the middle of the street. What was I to do? Put the slightly bruised banana back in the bag now that it is partially unpeeled? No way because that would be too sane. So I decided to eat it instead. And that’s when I got some curious reactions from the fellow pedestrians. I noticed it very vividly because it was very obvious. It was not one, not two, not three but almost all people walking towards me who gave me looks ranging from awe to disappointment to disapproval.
So naturally I asked my students the next day in class: is it rude to eat while walking in Japan? Their answers were a mix of yeses and nos. Is it rude to eat a banana while walking? A resounding yes. I even asked a few colleagues and they also agreed. One person even said women should not eat bananas in public.
So here’s my tip for those of you planning to travel to Japan. Don’t eat bananas in public especially if you’re a woman. You might end up offending some pervert who can’t control their overactive imagination or some ladies who have issues with you exercising your right to eat bananas in public.
What fruit should I try next? 🤣
Unrelated to the post is a picture of a campus floof.