Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I hate Japanese trains in peak hour

I really do hate the trains in peak hour. It is awful. So jammed in and if someone has eaten garlic then thats all you smell. Or when a Japanese person eats nori or seaweed paper for breakfast and then breathes on me then that is all the smell. Of course eat whatever you want for breaky but brush your teeth before you get on the crowded train. I have taken to riding my bike for 30 mins to get the my bus stop rather than go on the train for 10 mins plus wait time of course. Plus as a westerner i am used to having my own personal space and that is not the norm on these trains. Plus i have really small so i am at armpit level, which doesnt seem to be a problem because rarely do people have BO here. They dont seem to sweat at all. Anyway, but i get shoved in the face and stuff when we are being crunched so that a few more hundred people can fit on the train.

Another really strange thing is that you can push your way in. So if it looks full, you just turn around and use your bum to force people back so that you fit. It is not that hard because there are so many people that once you push one they all move. Thank god i only have to go two stops to work. Still gonna ride my bike though. And here if someone bangs into you they dont usually apologies, on the train i mean. It is so strange to be able to accidently smack someone across the back while fighting to get out of the train and not have to say sorry. I guess that is just how it is. But i always feel bad and to someone not used to it (which i am now), it sometimes seems rude. But once you have done it a few times it becomes like second nature. That said i will never get used to the lack of space on the trains. The pushing i can cope with.

The other thing i dont like is that the majority of people on the train seem to be men. And you always hear stories of girls being groped by men on the trains. I was late to school one day cause all the train stopped because a girl had been groped and had reported it and the man had run on the train lines to get away from the police. I found it quite uncomfortable being pressed up between three or four men all taller than me and bigger than me. Sometime they are standing with their front against my back and other times we are face to face. I find it all very uncomfortable. So i prefer to ride my bike. I mean imagine that...i prefer to do exercise. Crazy huh. This country is changing me.....

The reason i am writing this post is becuase i actually found an article in my online Japanese newspaper which talks about this. And it was very interesting that this older Japanese gentleman had some thoughts in common with mine.

How wandering hands on packed trains can land you in jail, hospital, or the grave

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