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Where Trains Run on Time Nov 10

Observation is a very powerful thing, or at least it is when put into the hands of someone cabable of using it. Left with me its abit like one trying to drink beer out of colander, you might get a little bit by licking the bowl, but most of it will run down the drain. So what did do with the bit I did manage to lick at. Well let me give you a bit of background information. The station where I catch my train to work serves two different lines, the Mita and Nombuku, with the Nombuku being the one which will deliver me safely to work.

Being rather careful I checked to make sure that I got onto the correct line so and to A) be at work on time and B) not end up somewhere where no ones speaks english and all the signs are only in Japanese. This little trick did get me to work but it took a few days for me to realise the everyone always got onto the train and the platform was empty. I noticed this because one thing more noticable than a blonde gaijin on the train, is a blonde gaijin standing all alone on the platform being started at by all the passengers who are being happily wisked off to the corporate enslavement.

The second moment of observation came to me that once I was on my correct train and at the next station (Shirokanedai Takanawa) there would often be a huge exodus of people (actually read wave can sweep you along) rushing out and across the platform to either enter the train waiting or line up (in a very orderly fashion) in front of the doors. After seeing this a couple of times I began to wonder was it possible that this other train was due to leave the station and was waiting for the incoming train so passengers could swap lines. Nah way to co-ordinated.

Well folks I finally got the courage up to try, so this morning I got on the “wrong” train and joined the swarm of people rushing across the platform at the next station. And guess what withing 30 seconds a bright/clean and very empty train appeared on the “correct” line. It appears that the trains do run on time so well that you can literally just walk off one onto the next.

This is not something I would recommend you try in London.

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