I am from chicago and I thought sometimes the subway gets a little crowded on the L or what not but after being in japan I feel as if it is a herd of cattle being pushed into a railroad car to be slaughtered. I love Japan, the food, the people, the culture, but my if there is 1 thing that I hate and is impossible to get used to is the train during peak times. I live 1hr and 45 min away.

So for this time as some might have a nice casual seat while studying their material, I am standing well above a head taller than everyone else, larger, and personal space is what was respected most I guess in the states in comparison to here. So of coarse it has taken alot of getting use to, but even after 5 years I can attribute to still not ever being comfortable in any situation unless its among an entire train full of attractive women. Then I think the ride might be a bit more comfortable, but that will never happen. In addition to this you consider germs, peoples personal habits, colds, flus, sickness and combine it with these closed quarters. I found this picture on google that just sums up everything perfectly lol. Now although this photo is taken in Jakarta indonesia it still makes the point of the feeling I have ridding the train here. I am glad though that I dont have to hang on to the outside like shown here lol. That is a little dangerous and halarious at the same time.

With all this in mind I recently came up with a way to combat it as I have seen many of the Japanese do and master. I close my eyes and go to a happy place pretending I am not being smushed between 1000 different people. I just let my body relax and enjoy the falling back and forth as the multiple stops go by with the coming crowds. The best is the people who smell like they havent showered in days, once in a while you will get a crazy person next to you that shouts or does something extreemly out of the ordinary.

Dispite all of these things there is one thing to be said about Japanese in different to Americans. They have mastered the art of not letting anythign distract them. When they are smashed, twisted, buckled, in their happy place they go to its just a relaxing time til you suddenly wake up at your stop. For me, I have a long way to go but my training after 5 years has begun I hope I master it soon because sometimes I feel like I might end up like one of the crazy people I stand next to sometimes!