“The train commute in Tokyo is horrendous. You get pushed around, touched, and sometimes even groped. For four years, I did a 40-minute commute to work and it was brutal. The only way to survive is to feel nothing. To be on zombie mode. So I practiced feeling nothing. Otherwise your emotions get the best of you. And everybody wants to sit down so badly. It’s sad that even pregnant women, who are obviously pregnant, have to show a badge that says they’re pregnant because otherwise people won’t give up their seats for them. Worse, young people don’t give their seats to the elderly. These things bothered me back then but I didn’t have the guts to say anything. Then salarymen would get drunk and sleep on the bench or occupy a whole row of seats. Sometimes they vomit on the floor and nobody cares. It’s like we’ve lost the ability to empathize in packed trains and overcrowded cities.”

Part of her commute, just before rush hour

Published by


Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s