Saturday, November 12, 2005

Easternization and its Discontents

Yesterday marked the end to a long week. It was Veterans' Day, a day when we remember the sacrifices and commitment so many have made and are making to preserve the American way of life at home and abroad.

I marked this with a solemn day at the office. The best part was the first 4 hours were thoroughly unproductive. So then I followed a very medieval practice and went to be bled. One of the Fellows in my program regularly gives blood at a Red Cross station, and he recruited me. It's astounding how much more clearly I thought with a pint of blood missing from my body.

The fun part of the day came at 7:30 when I decided to go home. I figured it was late enough in the evening that there wouldn't be crowds on the bus, and that I'd have a short trip home.

Wrong.

The bus (which is scheduled to come every 10 mintutes) arrived after a gap of 35 minutes. I was at the first stop, and the bus was completely full by the time I made my way onto it. The rest of the ride (2 miles) was similar to getting on the Subway at Shinjuku station in Tokyo during rush hour. You've seen the pictures. For those of you from the Middle Kingdom, think of getting on a bus to a major tourist destination on National Day, or a train near Spring Festival time. Except for a lack of luggage it was exactly the same.

There are lots of things the U.S. can learn from its neighbors in Asia. But for the love of all that is good, please let it not be the packing of people in public transit vehicles!

1 comment:

alektra said...

yay for half a day of boredom, though!

Yay!