Many years ago I was watching a documentary about China. One of the facts I learnt about that beautiful country was that Chinese people like to spit. Apparently they spit while walking around, spit while on their bicycles and even spit in restaurants. I was not sure if this spitting epidemic had spread to Japan but now I have found out.
Most of the time all I notice is just the odd salaryman spitting as covertly as possible onto the train tracks but recently on one short walk to my local train station no less that three old men coughed up some phlegm. Now when old Japanese men spit they do it properly. The throat/nose clearing noise is loud and true, followed by the saliva creation swish-swish sound and finally the brash “patooie” of the spit itself.
Sorry about the graphic description but I really want to give you a feeling of the whole disgusting process. Despite the fact I was listening to AC/DC loudly on my ipod I could still hear the spine chilling sound of stage one as the first spitter walked past me that night. My first reaction was to wonder if he gets all the girls that way. No sooner had this happened however, a second man on a bicycle, barely visible in the distance made a noise that could wake the dead before he let fly his slobber. The third man was just odd, sitting outside in the damn cold for no apparent reason other than to gob on his garden. The less said about him, the better.
I am wondering if it is just an old man thing, have they reached the kind of age that they just don’t care any more? I find it amazing that in a country which considers it rude to blow your nose in public that this kind of thing is ok. How can relieving yourself of a runny nose be a terrible act but making disgusting loud noises and then spitting on the ground be just peachy?