At a small laundromat in Tokyo
I loitered outside to see how people go.
They were slow.
It was November and they were slow.
But in Tokyo slow is much faster
than what seems fast anywhere else you go…
When I travel to Tokyo I stay in an apartment building in Nakano 5-chome. There’s a small laundromat a five minute walk away that’s not only convenient for quickly doing several loads of wash, but is also on occasion a great place to photograph people…
(Nakano 5-chome, Tokyo 2015)
It was a dark morning in Tokyo and had been raining for most of the night. On my way to a Ministop convenience store to buy some natto maki and an egg salad sandwich for breakfast, I spotted this kid who was dragging a huge cooler through the rainy streets.
We were headed the same way so I ended up following him for several hundred yards. Pulling the cooler while juggling the umbrella and huge shoulder bag made the kid stop a few times to redistribute and manage his burdens. Finally while passing a small park he stopped long enough for me to take his picture. I was also going to offer to help him schlep the cooler to wherever he was going.
But when he saw me as I snapped this photograph he barked a string of Japanese words which included “no way” and “foreigner”, and I knew immediately that there was no point in trying to offer my help.
(Hydrangea Park, Nakano, Tokyo 2015)