When I was a child, we had this program on TV called Delta. I loved it. It was kind of an early version of some discovery channel type of program, happiest barrack style, dealing with the latest scientific breakthroughs and those peculiarities of foreign cultures that did not get caught up in the politburo’s censorship-filter of those times. I remember one episode in particular, I must have been around ten so that was kind some time (decades) ago!, when they showed how Tokyo tackles the rush hour in the undergrounds. It was both uncomfortable and somewhat incredible to watch those station guards whose job was to squeeze in as many passengers onto the train as the law of physics made possible. That city had more people in it than my whole country! When I went to Japan 3 years ago, those images came back in my mind and since I dreaded to be part of this, I just avoided the metro entirely. I walked a lot! (Ok, also try that my Japan Rail Pass was not valid for those trains and since I was on law budget I got stingy on the famously pricey tickets. Plus I was happy to shed some of the extra pounds my living in Spain got me. Ayy, la cocina Madrileña!)
Anyboo, here in Shanghai, sometimes I have no choice. When in a good mood, I stand patiently and find amusement in watching people sprinting desperately to find the tiniest available space to put their butts down on or how, without a pro station passanger-flattener, can these people manage to elbow their way up and push themselves on the trains. And sure there are those PMS days when I just can’t face it and opt for a taxi. Yes yes, I know.