Friday, June 4, 2010

How to make me want to cut you, bitch.

Rock up to the yellow parallel lines on the train platform indicating where the doors will be and stand on the left side, which puts me on the right (in other words, you dictated the side I stood on). Despite this clear demarcation of directional duties when it comes to which side of the door we will step to when the train pulls up (not to mention years of social training and conditioning), decide to try and step diagonally towards the stopped train so that you are in front of me (i.e., on my side). When, as we wait for the doors to open, I try to assert my territorial power and jockey to get in front of you, if only to teach you a lesson, start to push your whole body into me so that when I don't back up you are putting pretty much your entire body weight into me. Feel that physical passive aggressive tension? That is me not backing down. When the doors finally open after what feels like an eternity of pushing against each other, try to shove me out of the way with your arm so that you can get into the crowded train first. When that works and I shove you back, poke me with your fucking umbrella once our backs are facing each other in the middle of the carriage. You must have me mistaken for someone else with my hair like Goldilocks'. I have you beat in both the weight and height division, lady. I was having a pefectly fine day until now. I could really put the hurt on you if I wanted but instead I am standing here, fuming to myself about what a rude fucking woman you are, didn't your mother teach you better and haven't you lived here long enough to understand the train lining up rules!?!

This is why I get headaches.

11 comments:

Orchid64 said...

This kind of crap happens all the time in Tokyo. People are always playing little power games in the stations and on the platforms. Some people will walk super slow in front of you so that you miss your train. Others will be at the front of the line (with you second) and when the door opens, they intentionally stand there keeping you from getting on the train so that you don't get a seat. And others do what that woman did to you and try to cut you off or get in front of you.

Yeah, I don't buy all of that "the Japanese are so polite and follow the rules" crap. Many people do, but some don't and they're really petty and rude.

Tornadoes28 said...

Ha, I experienced the same thing only yesterday in Kamakura on the train. What's up with that?

Tako Hostil said...

Once, when riding the Yamanote line, an "ossan" did not stop staring at me and my baggage. I was this close of using my rudest japanese and ask him what he was looking at, but, I just did not and, like you, thought about his rudeness. Another day, a young couple looked at my friend and I, and started talking about how they disliked Americans. To their dismay, we started talking in Spanish like the Mexicans we are. As soon as they acknowledged to themselves about their mistake, we gave them an "...and I speak a little Japanese too" gaze they instantly understood. Gotcha ;)

Rose said...

Holy crap. I would have jockeyed into a position where I could stand on that bitch's toes the entire damn ride. I'm so glad I've rarely had to deal with rush hour subway traffic in Tokyo. NYC's no dream commute, but with the amazing concept of staggered opening times for different companies, it's manageable. Plus, there's very little passive-aggressive BS here. If someone's pissed, you'll know it.

Melon said...

OH MY GOD YES. Times of intense irritation and stress often came from incidents with crazy rube people not following the rules on the trains.

I feel your pain.

Erin said...

Arg! I'm kind of frustrated just reading about this. Three cheers for your passive aggressiveness. But...I kind of somehow feel like the experience didn't have enough of a comeuppance. This has happened to me before, and if the train isn't so full, I kind of just stand in front of them (if they got a seat and I didn't) with my ass pointing towards their face. Ah...that's not very nice of me.

Beth said...

UGH so sick of trains. sooooo sick of them.

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

I love how united we all are in commuter rage - kind of makes me want to sing kumbaya!

Orchid64: Petty is exactly what it is. I really wish these people would lash out in a different way, preferably one that doesn't involve my daily commute.

Tornadoes28: You're in Japan at the moment? Hope your trip isn't plagued by too much train nonsense!

Tako Hostil: Love your name. It's the little victories that count. Good on you for showing them you understand what they are saying. I think this can happen anywhere but it just goes to show you never know who is listening (and understanding).

Rose: I much prefer openly pissed people, because then you know what you're dealing with. I would trade you the open craziness in NY for the silent passive aggressiveness here in a second!

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Melon: Thanks for the show of solidarity!

Erin: It's not nice of you, but I feel even more frustrated not retaliating. I will try the ass in the face thing next time!

Beth: I think it must be that time of year when the train rage bubbles up. Hope your new commute isn't too horrendous?

soup said...

I have to admit, I'm sometimes jealous of these experiences as I have fantasies about how I'd react (my own sad way of venting).

Awesome blog BTW. ;)

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Thanks soup! I think if you fantasize enough, it sometimes becomes a reality/nightmare :)