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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Crush

Having experienced the peak hour crush in Japan for the first time, I can honestly say that I do not want to come back in the next life as a sardine or a Japanese business person.

Whhooaahh craparoni, what an utterly traumatic and excruciating experience that was!!! Can you believe in five years of living in Japan on and off, yesterday was the first time I had ever taken a peak hour train in Japan.

I had two days of extra work starting at the unusually early time (for an English teacher in Japan) of 9am, so I had to leave my station at 8am. I noticed that the lines on the train platform were much longer than usual but as I was near the start of a line, I wasn't too worried about it. I got on the train which was already pretty much at capacity and managed to find a ring to hold onto. It was a sub express and I had five stops before I had to change to a local train. Well....each and every stop about two people got off and 50 more got on. We were pushed from in front, behind, beside and occasionally from underneath. An umbrella poked my thigh, an elbow nudged my shoulder, a briefcase dug into my back and a young lady being a head shorter than me, basically had her head under my chin. As the train pulled away from each station, the whole mass of humanity would tilt backwards with the force, supported only by those lucky (?) enough to have hold of something.

As I was being pushed from behind, I was forced to stand at a very unnatural angle and that along with holding my heavy bag was basically causing my leg muscles to shake. You know the way they do when you suddenly do some heavy exercise, like run up a hill full sprint? I wasn't sure if I could hold out for the five stations. I had a horrible thought, "what if I get train sick". I had nowhere to run, nowhere to throw up and definitely nowhere to hide.

At last we made it to the station where I had to change trains. I have no idea how I managed to get out. There must have been about 15 bodies between myself and the doorway to sweet sweet freedom. I think it was only for my oversized bag which I used to bulldoze a path through the pack (thank goodness for big heavy text books) and my very strong desire to not be touching 20 people at once with every appendage I own, not to mention all the other people's appendages touching me.

I crossed over to the local train which was full but at least everyone could have a handlehold. I stood and watched the young men especially employed by the train company and who only work there at peak hour, rush from door to door pushing everyone's bits and pieces that had been caught in the train doors back inside. The images of faces pressed up against the windows were no longer comedy but real and right there in front of me. I just shook my head and gave up a silent prayer that we're moving home soon.

I might think twice now before complaining about the late working hours of an English teacher in Japan. At least by starting later we get to avoid this daily distress.

I s'pose it could be worse.
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In reality it was like this. Crowded Japanese Train

Friday, January 20, 2006

What's Your Japanese Subculture?

You Are a Goth!

You're so gothically outrageous, and you aren't afraid to flaunt it.

Whether you dress up like Robert Smith or a tragic Little Bo Peep,

chances are that you'll be parading around with the rest of the goths at Yoyogi Park on Sunday.

Don't forget your white makeup and blue lipstick! Who knows?

You may just get picked up by one of the seedy photographers.

Who makes this crap? I am so not a Goth. Not that there's anything wrong with being a Goth but I don't own much black and white clothing and only have minimal body piercings. *sigh* At least I wasn't a giggly schoolgirl.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sushi tray

Sushi tray
Originally uploaded by BeingWanderLust.
How good does this look? This is one thing I really love about Japanese food, it's presentation is always carefully thought about and well laid out. The tamago sushi (egg- yellow with black stripe) was the best, closely followed by the salmon (orange).

This tray was delivered too- like a pizza. There are some things I will miss when we head home...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Local festival

Local festival pics
Originally uploaded by BeingWanderLust.
Last night we went to a local festival at a shrine one train stop away. This festival was selling charms for good business in 2006. They had free sake, the cold clear kind and the hot milky coloured kind. I totally recommend the hot white sake, it is very delicious and really warms you up on a cold night. We also ate butter potatoes and frankfurts while watching the locals get drunk and start dancing around the fire.

Here are a few pics.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Australia has just experienced its hottest year on record.

Action needed on climate change

This scares the poop outta me. Is each year just gunna get hotter and hotter until we are all roasted?

When will it become obvious to everyone that some attention to how we are influencing the environment is more important than carrying on with our comfortable lives? Our kids are not gunna applaud us for all our great 'developments' and super 'technology' when they're in danger every time they step foot outside.

Can anyone offer me an interesting reason as to why Australia did not sign the Kyoto Protocol? Something other than that big ol' bully President telling us we had to.