Saturday, May 10, 2008

Is There a Doctor in the House?

If you have Dentophobia or Iatrophobia, Japan might not be for you. The sight of people everywhere going about their business wearing surgical masks would just give you a heart attack.

...and the same goes if you've got Xenophobia, Technophobia, and definitely Ichthyophobia. You know who you are.

But if you've got
Bacillophobia, Nosophobia, or are just a raging Maskaphile (No link. C'mon, use your Greek!) then come join the party!

Personally, I got a kick out of all the surgical masks. On every subway and on every corner, you're bound to see a handful of people looking like they've scrubbed up, ready for surgery.

At first, I thought it was simply adorable. I just wanted to pinch their masked cheeks and laugh with a haughty, "Oh you! Stop it. No, take that off. You guys are just too much."

Of course, then I thought about the New York subway, and all the germy straphangers I'm pressed up against daily. I thought about the panhandlers navigating their way through an already crowded subway car, loudly broadcasting their (perhaps contagious) ailments for sympathy and cash. I thought about the sick people, and the dirty people, and the perverts, and the deadbeats, and, yes, the coffee breath. So I found myself thinking, not for the first time since arriving in Tokyo, "Why don't we have this at home?"

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