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Wanted: Human Shield And Occasional Apologizer

HumanBarrierSee those guys in blue uniforms? Their job is to stand there like human bollards until the massive crush dies down, making sure the mob getting off the inhumanly packed morning train doesn’t block the people scampering to catch their ride going in the opposite direction, out to the burbs.

This is rush hour at Shibuya Station’s new Toyoko Line platform. On this particular day, the trains had been delayed by something at Jiyugaoka, so the blue suit guys were joined by a black suit guy, whose job was to loudly apologize to the arriving commuters for the train delay. It wasn’t enough of a glitch to warrant a Get Out Of Work Free Card, but it was enough that the commuters were all on the edge of surliness.

I was thinking this was probably not the kind of satisfying job experience that was highlighted in the “Your Bright Future With The Train Company!” recruiting brochures…

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

The #1 hostboy at Club Nova makes a handsome living, whispering sweet nothings in the ears of women who pay him a fortune for the privilege. But the party’s over when Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura is assigned to investigate the death of…read more

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

3 thoughts on “Wanted: Human Shield And Occasional Apologizer Leave a comment

    • You are SO lucky! It has been just wretched since they switched the shuten over to the Fukutoshin line at Shibuya. >_< Don't get me started, but let's just say you'd better have on your hiking boots if you're even vaguely considering transferring to the Ginza, Inokashira or Yamanote lines. And the escalators are so narrow, you have to slowly slowly ride up from the terminus near the center of the earth instead of walking. Bleah!

      • Yeah, I know. I’m on Denentoshi now so the Yamanote is an Olympic hike. I haven’t tried to deal with the new underground system at Shimokitazawa, but I hear it’s a nightmare, too. Ah, how I long for the good old days…

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