On Not | Mo Chit

June 28, 2004

Japanese rush hour traffic
trainpusher.jpg I saw People Packer off of HotLinks. It's pretty funny unless you're the poor sap trying to get onto the train. I was that poor sap for a while.

I used to take the Toyoko line to work which runs from Yokohama into Shibuya. My stop, Yutenji, was a mere two stops from Shibuya which means that there were already a ton of people on the train coming from Yokohama in the morning.

Tokyo is also a really muggy city during the summer so when those trains pull up, the windows can be wet with the moisture from the people breathing in the subway car. Unlike in NY, most of the trains in Tokyo have very good air conditioners but they can't keep up with the load.

A rational but naive person would take one look at the train, and just decide that they'd wait for the next train which is bound to be there in about 2 minutes. Unfortunately, the next train will be just as packed. I've been the dumb foreigner who tried waiting for the next train (even the packed Japanese people were laughing at me for my foolish attempt to out smart the inevitable.)

Since Yutenji is a pretty small station, there aren't any train station personnel to push people into the train. My favorite technique for getting on the train was to turn my back to the open door, grab at the inside of the door, and then just push back the people with my body.

Good times.

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