Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Thwarted by a Harridan (the story of my life)...

Today was the coldest in a run of very cold days. Warm Biz, the Japanese government initiative of laying off the air con heat and putting on more clothes doesn't seem to have filtered down to our school - teachers put the air con on full blast and wear lots of clothes as well. As nice and snug as it is in the office, it does mean that venturing outside is many times more biting than it would be. And for me, the few minutes that I have to wait at the bus stop is particularly biteworthy.

Thankfully today, the bus was a few seconds early and - joy! - the driver stopped in the road and didn't pull over and kill the engine. Here was a driver that understood the commuter's need to make an early train. Respect in his general direction. Everything was going perfectly.. the lights were with us, we were making fine progress.. the early train would be mine.

And then it happened. We approached the bus stop, the traffic in front meaning that we had to stop with the boarding door 3 metres shy of where it should be. An elderly woman was waiting, and the driver, having already displayed a desire to make up time, opened the door and gestured to the woman that she could board.

So what did she do? Yes, she stood there with a pinched face. Instead of walking a few steps and getting on the bus she waited for the lights to change, for the bus driver to alight and for the door to be perfectly in line with her. She then got on the bus, taking such a long time getting her ticket and climbing the steps that the lights changed back to red and we had wasted 4 unwastable minutes. I wanted to scream.. for the past 8 months the bus has arrived at the station just as the train is leaving perhaps 9 times out of ten. The rare occasions on which the Gods of traffic are with us are very precious, and to have one wasted by a surly Yanagawa hag makes me want to slap her miserable face and piss in her inevitable vat of miso soup..


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