Tuesday, 17 June 2003


Today was the first day in the new office - it was weird as I don't know what's is going on...nothing new there then. Anyway, I get two days at the new office then it is back to the old office until the end of the month. The reason for this is so I can do one part of my new job, the really shitty part that no-one else wants to do - oh lucky day. Still, it wasn't that bad and I'm sure I will have a clue sooner or later.

But getting there - now that was fun. Rainy season really started with a vengence today, so the walk to the station was a little damp as it was raining and humid. Now since I've been in Japan I have always got the train going against the rush hour flow, so space hasn't been a problem, until today. And not only was the train really busy, but also the one there when I arrived was delayed, so the 8:01 became the 8:11. This meant that not only was it late, but it had 3 trains worth of people trying to get on. And it was really cramped. Chest crushingly cramped. Can't physically move cramped. And hot. And humid. And somewhat akin to a train in Mumbai (I suspect). So that train was late, which made me late for the connection.

Now, when Japanese people want to get onto a crowded train, they kind of sidle up to the door way, hook their arm under the upper doorway sill and then lever themselves and eventually just push on, crushing everyone back a little further. I had always wondered why the sidle, rather than just push, and today I found out.

As we remember. I was late for the connection. I was changing from the Keihin-Tohoku line (really busy commuter line highly reminiscent of the Northern Line) to the Namboku line (a jolly new subway contraption with doors actually on the platform to stop people throwing themselves in front of trains in fits of depression (the other way the subway companies are trying to combat this all too frequent occurence is to put mirrors on the opposite wall of the platform, apparently if you see yourself you're less likely to top yourself - I don't understand this)). Where were we. Yes, so, onto the namboku line. As i was coming down the stairs i saw a train waiting and thought "crickey, this may save me a few precious minutes" so I launched myself at the gaping door, like a Japanese commuter, but where they, as we remember, sidle, I flailed. I got my arm into the requite 'hooked' position for the doorway to lever myself, but forward momentum was such that I went straight throught the doorway and propelled myself into the middle aged lady - my elbow connecting quite firmly with her skull, just around the eyebrow...

I feel sure she would have cried out, but was in way too much shock. To add insult to injury, although I apologised profusely, she then had to endure her journey of 3 or 4 stops with her head almost, but not quite, nestling in my armpit, such was the crowded nature of the train.

All in all it was not a great experience. Well, for the woman I brained anyway.

Moving on

Well done Bentley for winning Le Mans this year - start to finish win with Tom Kristiensen getting his 4th in a row. Magnificient stuff from him. And well done to to Ferrari for the Prodrive 550 Marenello winning the GTS class.

Sadly the Radio Le Mans link will have to go, but will be back again next year.

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