Friday, September 16, 2005

Commute From Hell

The client allows us, at their expense no less, to commute back to Tokyo for the weekend. I think they realize that Nasu is pretty much a wasteland as far as R&R is concerned. Anyhow, I now have the experience of a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend commute under my belt.

There were no reserved seats available on the train and that meant cattle car. I don't think I can do it justice. It must be experienced first hand. Imagine a couple of hundred people crammed into the train car, all seats occupied so the only thing left is the aisle or the space between cars. Everybody is smoking and drinking beer. There are guys rolling up and down the train with trolleys selling beer and snacks. To make room for them you have to become noncoporeal for a minute as there are no options to get out of the way. There are four stops between Nasu and Tokyo and at each one there is an unbelievable transformation where seats are emptied and filled and all in the space of two minutes while the train is stopped. The train immediately accelerates to 100+ mph and we cruise for a beer or two and the whole thing happens again.

Reach Tokyo station and the entire 15 car train empties onto the platform and a kazillion people get on a single lane escalator at once, which, in turn, spills you out into the main terminal where 38 quintillion people are going in some other direction than you. You don't know crowded until you try and find an exit at Tokyo station on Friday night.

I survived it so I am stronger right?

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