09 November 2010

Morning Madness!!

O h . . .  M y . . .  G o s h h h h . . .
The rush hour in Japan is soooo crazy!! If you think the rush hour in New Zealand is bad.. wait until you catch the Chuo trains in Tokyo -_-

This morning started off the same. I woke up, got dressed, and rode my bike to the station. As the train pulled up and the doors opened, a sea of faces stared back at me. A thousand beady eyes plastered on sleep deprived faces. What is usually a partially filled train at 7:30am was now a jam packed train, all filled with Japanese, and then me. It was like the deal with the clowns and the car, except on a much larger scale. All of the population of Niue was on that train. Well, maybe half. The train that is.

I stared at the wall of people in front of me and then glanced behind me to assess the damage, and possible pain, that I was about to inflict on myself. It was obvious that there wasn't enough room for the large group of people waiting behind me. Yet everyone stood unfazed, all baring arms and waiting to battle their way through that, apparently penetrable, wall. The concept of personal space does not apply to Japanese.

The air was hot inside and clung to my body as I squeezed and squirmed my way onto the train. I twisted and turned trying to find a pocket of space for me to move. I managed to secure a small spot right by the door. If you've been in Japan long enough, you know that this spot is like the blind spot to the crushing sea of people that board the train at every stop. If you stand here, the people seem to glance off you without you having to budge an inch. So I secure my position and arm myself with a bottle of lavender oil to sniff to calm my motion sickness and mild claustrophobia. Not a good day to have these ailments.

Stop after stop, more and more people cram onto the train without hesitation whether they're young, old, male, or female. And more and more, my little bubble of sanctuary keeps being invaded by elbows and knees. Speaking of knees, I stopped feeling mine about 5 minutes ago. I literally could not breathe being so cramped up like that. I don't know how Japanese can do this every day! My bag was wedged between one mans back and another mans chest, my legs were tangled around other legs, my right arm was stuck above my head while my left arm was squashed against the wall behind me. If you froze this moment and took all the people away to look at the position I was in, it would have looked something like this:
Johnny Bravo is the man
The windows were dripping with condensation, the people around me were all sweating, I was sweating, it was sooo gross! At one point as the doors opened again, I saw a few people literally fall out and land on their hands and knees! That is how insanely packed it was!

Of course, the trains aren't always like this. Something went wrong with the traffic lights which caused a build up of people and delayed the trains. This meant more people on less trains.To cut a long story short, what should have taken 40 minutes, took an hour and 20 minutes to get to work.

If commuting to work everyday means riding the train from hell with Hades as the driver... than I quit! Either that, or it's time to learn how to drive ^_^

Check this out: Japanese Rush Hour


  1. looooooooool.what abt bussing?Hang in there!!!

  2. hahahahahahahahahaha i wish you coulda taken a photo somehow lmao... i can imagine how tragic it is catching the train ova dea.. mannn scary!