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A guy who really likes his peace and quiet

Peter Rojas

Combine a crowded bus or commuter train with a rider who won't stop their irritating cellphone chatter, and it's not that completely unheard of for a dirty look to end in a shoving match (at least not here in New York, where it's happened before). But in Japan, where aggressive behavior is a rare scene, public outbursts are as uncommon as they are shunned (well, as long as you avoid the after-work drunk salaryman). So the news that a middle-aged man was arrested for punching a young woman in the head after she refused to stop using her cellphone on the train was enough to make national headlines in Japan. Though the Japanese researcher responsible might regret his spontaneous fisticuffs, he probably earned some fans since the only thing Japanese train riders hate more than violence are noisy trains.

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