Thursday, November 10, 2011

Commuter Terrorists: Win some, lose some

Like being locked in between these guys...

As everyone have figured out by now, the commuting war is harsh and unforgiving. Everyone can be your enemy and having friends with you only serve to drag you down and delay you in getting a reasonable seat and a safe haven from the worst battleground as they might want to "socialize"; talk, sit together and other stupid things. No, the commuter battle is fought alone.

Sometimes split second decisions needs to be made, either to go for it or to stay back and wait for a better opportunity to strike but risk to lose it all. 

This morning I was forced into making such a split second decision... It was in the morning train, at my station with almost 50 minutes on the train in front of me. The train was not too crowded yet, but in just a few stations I know that it will be packed with enemy combatants and if I cannot secure my ground quickly I will leave myself vunerable for attack. Then I see it, an open space even though there are a few people standing, momentarily confused as to why no one has gone for the opening I take a better look and see that the available space is half of what is normally available due to a quite abnormally obese Japanese man taking up one and a half seat by himself. 

I hesitate for half a second before I decide to go for it and forcefully squeeze myself down in the seat between the obese smelly man and the regular sized salaryman on the other side. With some effort and force I manage to wriggle my way in the seat (and I'm of a larger size than the regular salaryman). I quickly realize that I'm sitting extremely uncomfortably between the fat man who's huge, smelly, makes strange noises and have to move his whole arm to turn page in his little book, which makes it even more uncomfortable for me. On my other side, the regular salaryman is obviously pissed off at my invasion and claiming of territority and tries to make me even more uncomfortable through subtle tricks such as pressing his elbow hard into my side while pretending that he's sleeping. 

I knew that I was taking a huge risk and would actually have been more comfortable standing but gambled on one of them getting off at one of the major transit points just ten minutes away, but to my horror I realized that they're not going anywhere... I consider cutting my losses to stand up and just hold on to the best of my ability, but the train is quickly filled up with passengers and I missed the opportunity. 

During the whole 50 min of train time I have to put up with the noises, moving and smell of the obese man while the salaryman keeps up the pressure with the elbow, sometimes moving it a bit to try and find a more painful spot. 

Sometimes you just have to admit that you lost and today was such a day.   


Chris said...

Not sure why I clicked the pic to enlarge it? I'd advise others not to. Just move along and stick to the text.

mid-Japan-crisis said...

Hilarious pic.

rmilner said...

My evening commute has been made more bearable by the fact that British long distance trains have a bar.

Martin said...

Did the huge smelly man really have a small book or was it some sort of optical illusion?

Ms.Godzilla said...

Whoa, makes me glad my commute is only 20 minutes...and in late morning at that~

kathrynoh said...

Japanese commuters have the sharpest elbows in the world, I swear. I've sat next to people who elbow poke me the whole trip without even having a smelly obese man on the other side of me.

Momotaro said...

Fingers crossed for a win tomorrow SM. There is definitely an art in standing in front of the person who looks like they are about to get off. You could always use a piece of cardboard as a petition and press it against the fatman, compressing his fat and then guaranteeing three quarters of a seat. It might stop the smell from whifting over too.

Martin said...

What special category of Commuter Terrorist is tha fat, noisy & smelly guy?

Mr Political Advisor said...

Had almost the same situation at a 3h flight - stuck between two giant, smelly and aggressive gypsy ladies. The only way to handle the situation was a large amount of scotch... might be a bit hard to practise on your way to work though.

Evacomics said...

Just curious... if the same situation happens again, will you still take your chances!? :P

Mr. Salaryman said...

Chris - That picture was not made to be enlarged, but imagine what I have to go through shifting through all the "fat men Japanese gay porn" just to keep you all entertained. Talk about taking one for the team!

MJC - Indeed, but it's from a real "movie" that some people probably paid real money to see

Rmilner - That sounds like heaven! Getting drunk to and from work, spending time in the office sobering up sounds like it could be fun!

Martin - Yes, it probably was, he probably was reading through the "giant sized atlas of the world" but it just looked like a small pocket book

Ms. G - 20 min outside core rush hour is nothing!

Kathrynoh - Indeed, passive aggressiveness is King on the subway commute and the Japanese have mastered it completely

Momotaro - Or I could also just start asking people sitting down where they'll be getting off and if I can get their seat after they leave. I'm sure they would answer but the breach of commuter etiquette would be horrendous

Martin - Probably "the blob" or something?

Mr. Policital Advisor - How racist of you to say "Gypsy" and not "Roma", but scotch usually always smooth things over!

Eva - No, I would not take my chances like this again... It was too horrible to relive again

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