"" Writer's Wanderings: Avoiding The Crush On Public Transportation

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Avoiding The Crush On Public Transportation

While grocery shopping the other day I had a pleasant time. Now if you know me, you know how much I hate grocery shopping. In the middle of a sojourn down the snacks aisle, a message popped up at the top of my grocery list. (I have mine on my phone). My granddaughter in Japan was using FaceBook messaging to connect with me. Hmm. I was sure it was past her bedtime over there. After a few exchanges and lots of emojis, I discovered that she was working on a video project for school that involved comparing transportation in Japan with some other places in the world.

Interesting project, I said, Japan should come out on top with all of their trains that connect to just about any place you might want to go. When all was said and done--well not done, she was procrastinating I'm sure but she sent me the link to a YouTube video that compared Tokyo with Mexico City. Take a look at it. Makes you wonder if you want to get anywhere near a subway train. (https://youtu.be/EK54OgkP8o4)

Yes, I can attest to the fact that the Tokyo trains can be that crowded but it usually happens on work week days during rush hours and when there is a holiday and you are heading for an event that hundreds of thousands are heading to as well. While the video shows orderly lines, it isn't always quite that way. So what's a tourist to do?

Whether it is Tokyo, Mexico City, Paris (just as crowded but less commotion), London (Brits do queue better) or any other major city of the world with a subway know that the trains will be packed at rush hours. Plan accordingly. The train or subway is probably the fastest way to get to your destination but the frustration and the crush could leave you with a bad experience.

In Tokyo you might wait til mid-morning but if you really have to get there first thing and it looks like the train is packed, wait for the next one. Sometimes the express trains are more packed than the ones that make stops and you will only be giving up a couple of minutes of your time.

In Paris, ask about the "tourist trains". When we were there, there were certain lines that hit all the tourist spots and the Parisians do not usually take those to work and back.

I've never been on the trains in Mexico City but I do know that if you travel to London you will learn quickly how to queue (line up in an organized fashion). It is quite civil and much less chaotic--at least it was when we visited. But the world is changing and no matter what it looks like today, it won't look like that tomorrow. That's what makes travel such an adventure.

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