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.

12 comments:

aimlesswanderer said...

I really like the show, sadly cancelled now, called The Unit. Also Eureka is good fun. The West Wing?

jlpt2kyu said...

I am also a PSP commuter, but I mainly play GTA and metal gear.

I have no intention to evolve into a walking sleeper!

RMilner said...

I suggest you watch some top class British comedy shows.

This will cause you to burst out laughing uncontrollably. The other passengers will think you are a dangerous weirdo and give you more space.

Also, laughter helps maintain good health.

ashley said...

I have been watching the show Dexter on my DC commute- i just finished the last season so I will look into starting the Wire- know the feeling of completion- makes you feel so empty! Ashley, Travel Onion

Martin said...

Yes RMilner - Benny Hill is the British comedy king! Great shit!

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about getting a Kindle?

Corinne said...

Ohhh yes to british comedy! Fawlty towers, phoenix nights, benny hill, oldies but goodies.

I have trained myself to fall asleep, but I can't quite get the waking up bit right, I also tend to drool on to my collar so do my best to stay awake now.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Aimless - Thanks for the tips, I'll check it out!

Jlpt - Ok, I'm basically with you, but don't you think that the GTA games suck on the PSP with the exception of the Chinatown wars?

Rmilner - Well, I'm pretty heavily into british comedy since way earlier so not sure that there is something great out there that I haven'T heard of? And yeah, Little Britain sucked!

Ashley - Hmmm, I've heard about this Dexter thing, maybe I'll jump onto that train several years later and feel stupid for not watching it earlier!

Martin - Yep, he was the king, mayb he rest in peace. One of the few chances to see some boobs in Sweden in the 80's!

Anonymous - Yeah, but as it looks now, doesn't the Kindle kinda lose to iPad? I'm thinking of an iPad when the next generation or so comes out...

Corinne - Oh yes, the drooling... I wonder if there is some secret technique to keep oneself from drooling on the train...

RMilner said...

That Mitchell and Webb Look
The IT Crowd
Peep Show
Armstrong and Miller

jlpt2kyu said...

salaryman: I have only rocked chinatown wars so far, but was thinking to move onto the others so thanks for the heads up.

ThePenguin said...

If it's any consolation, until earlier this year I was under the vague impression (and I am not joking) that "The Sopranos" was a docudrama about Italian opera singers.

Unfortunately my commute (Puhung ~ Hwaggumbol) lasts less than half an episode, and I have mastered the art of standing power naps so I was forced to view all 198-odd episodes in the comfort of my own Penguinarium.

As for British comedy - I never got "Little Britain" either. I imagine you might like "Red Dwarf", if you don't know it already.

aimlesswanderer said...

Blackadder is good fun if you haven't seen it yet.

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