Monday, March 14, 2005

Kyoto (IV)

I don't think I've ever seen anyone trying so hard. A worker all dressed in blue with reflecting pads around his waist. He is assisting a reconstruction crew working on a new pavement in the road.
His role consists in putting small orange cones to prevent people to walk anywhere near the new path. He is also directing traffic. This means that he basically stands there where people would walk anyway and acting as if he is the one who told them to walk there.

I'm in the bus, stuck in traffic so I can watch for quite a long time. It is his way of running that first caught my attention. He runs with an eagerness that borders on comical. His steps reminds me of the way, in an old movie, obsequiousness would be portrayed. Running, but not like a real run, more like someone walking fast, his bust pointing forward, in anticipation of the task ahead.
His task seems to grab the orange cones from one side and put them in the other side of the newly paved path. Someone else is pouring water on it and the vapor that comes out adds an air of danger each time the man jumps from one side to the next to put more orange cones.
Finally he is done and stands erect directing traffic. He is there for less than 4 seconds when another man comes by. By his behavior, I can tell that this new guy is used to give orders and have them executed. He clearly wants some more orange cones and calls after the first guy who comes running back, bowing several times before speeding toward the other side of the path still bowing. The bus finally comes through the intersection. My last image of him is that of a fast walking man bowing his head in front of an invisible master.


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