Returning home from school on my bicycle, on the last leg of my journey. Riding beside the Keihan train line, which is mostly elevated, but for a small stretch where it ducks under the JR freight train line. The area looks some what like you would expect an area near the train tracks to look, industrial areas and dilapidated housing, dirty. I was at peace, in my own world, thinking about the day's events, kanji, grammar, listening, and reading tests. I was transitioning into the more bedroom community like Sekime area where I live, suddenly, from amongst the bicycle, scooter and foot traffic around me, a very jovial, weathered, friendly face I have never seen before, jumped out at me and exclaimed "元気そうなー" (roughly translated that would be "my you look healthy don't you!"). He seemed delighted, I not sure whether with me, himself, or maybe just life. I was taken aback (being in my own world and all) and I could only manage a curt はい(Yes) in reply, at which he laughed with surprise at the fact that I actually understood what he had said.
I must confess at this juncture that I do know why he would say such a thing to me. You see it has recently turned Autumn here in Japan, as in many parts of the world, and as every one here knows, no one in their right mind would wear a short sleeve shirt in the fall no matter what the temperature might be. I however, have taken to continue wearing my short sleeves, Japanese fall feeling pretty much the same as the latter half of a Canadian summer. I should not succumb to the weather when fashion is on the line, it is simply a matter of mind over matter after all, but I am not yet Japanese.