Thursday, July 22, 2010
Evolution of the Species
Now in the 2010, after several decades of hard commute, it seems like most Salarymen and Office Ladies commuting in Tokyo have evolved to a higher stage and adapted themselves to the hardships of the never ending commuting war. The most apparent ability here is the uncanny ability to fall asleep mere seconds after sitting down in the commuter train and then, through a sixth sense, slowly come out of their slumber one or stop before the target station. Some have even evolved beyond this and has learnt to semi-sleep in a standing position. I think the evolution is something similar to that of dolphins and whales who sleep with parts of their brain while maintaining an awareness of the surroundings with the small parts that stay awake.
As for myself, I have not yet reached this stage despite almost ten years of life in the commuting battle zone and I remain painfully awake and way too aware of my surroundings. In order to survive and maintain my sanity in the harsh reality of the commute, I have come to rely on artificial means.
Primarily this means that I watch downloaded tv-shows on my PSP and these last months I have been working my way through The Wire (ok, I know I'm late to the party but I have realized it's greatness now!) and have managed to keep my discipline in not watching the show at home and limiting myself to watching it during the commute. This has had the benefit of me actually sometimes looking forward to getting on the train since I'm eager to find out what happens next to Omar, Prop Joe, The Bunk and all my favorites in the show.
However, as of today, I am not completely finished with all five seasons and 60 hours of The Wire and there is a great emptiness waiting for me which I have not yet figured out how to deal with. Perhaps I will watch those MonsterQuest episodes I have piled up since there's something delightfully tragically comic about those characters seeking "evidence" (and never finding any) of these mysterious creatures that doesn't exist.
The commuting train is my battle ground and I have just used up my best means of self-defense, now I have to improvised, adapt and overcome.