Help! I’m On The Subway And I’m Gonna Hurl!

In America, stomach remedies are usually accompanied by the image of someone who ate too much. In Japan, the need is greatest among those who overindulged at last night’s office drinking party, and those who periodically have to take life-altering exams.

That’s why this popular intestinal anguish remedy comes in two sizes: one for adults and one for elementary/middle school students. On February 1-3, kids vying to enter select middle schools and high schools will take the grueling exams that put them on the path to fame and fortune or doom them to a life of tedious toiling. The exam is given only once a year. If you’re sick, too bad. This over-the-counter remedy “Stoppa” claims to work aggressively fast to keep you from doing anything you might not want to do in the middle of a test. Or on a crowded subway train.

Jonelle Patrick is the author of  four novels set in Tokyo

A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car with two strangers. But the more Yumi Hata learns about her friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more