Friday, June 18, 2010
Commuter Terrorists - The Battering Ram
The trains I ride to and from work are crowded, there's no way around that. If you work regular hours and have to take a train to your office, you will encounter crowded trains here in Tokyo. Usually they're more crowded in the morning since the starting time of work is more regular than the time that people leave the office; the evening rush hour is somewhere from five thirty to eight PM.
But there can be degrees of crowding, some lines are infamous for the harsh battles that go on, especially in the morning. I can deal with crowded trains and in most cases, as long as you got a decent spot inside the train (see my diagram here) it is usually bearable when you have gotten used to it. Also, in most cases, the train kinda reaches an equilibrium where all the passengers adapt to the space and just zone out.
This is where one of the most feared commuter terrorists come in; "The Battering Ram Man". This person is always a man and usually of slightly larger than average body size, and this guy, he wants IN, he doesn't contend with standing in the place that is available to him, no, this guy is going to get inwards, any way he can, through force, pushing and shoving his way. The effect that the Battering Ram Man can have on a packed train is something akin to having a glass filled to the brim with water, and then putting an electric mixer in it full power. Water will fly everywhere and the equilibrium is completely disturbed. Similarly in the train, his pushing and shoving will send ripples all across the train car through a dominoe effect.
I have yet to devise any real protection against these type of terrorists, I do try to stand my ground, but oftentimes the impact is indirect since you get pushed and shoved by a person that in turn has been pushed and shoved by the Battering Ram Man... I would guess that this person is responsible for most cases of violent train rage and the effect of having two Battering Ram Men simultaneously doing their work and meeting up can be explosive...