I had an extremely interesting experience tonight. When I was on my way back home from Yokohama on Toyoko line, listening to the English news podcast, a well-built (solid, not quite fat, but big) boy with huge backpack came near me. He noticed that I was listening to something and started talking. I quit my English podcast and started talking with him.
It turned out that he was at Judo class and was on his way back home. He asked where I came from and which station I would get off. I asked him the same question and it turned out that we would get off at the same station. As I found out that he was learning Judo, I asked how long he had taken lessons. I found out that he was 7 years old and had begun Judo lessons when he was 5.
He was BIG and extremely well-built for 7 years old. We talked about his brothers who are also taking Judo classes. (He has one big brother and many –I believe four-little brothers.) He wanted to know what I had in my ear!, i.e. earphone for iPhone. So I explained and let him listen to the English news podcast. He got the idea. We talked about many other things such as how fast Express trains are, how often he goes to Judo class, etc. etc.
These things do not happen often in Japan. It does happen often when I am overseas. People are very friendly and start talking when you happen to ride on the same train or elevator, etc. I enjoyed our conversation very much.
When we came to Jiyugaoka station where both of us got off, we waved Good bye. It was such a great encounter with 7 year old, which warmed up my heart.