a piece of mind

A Piece of Mind - ...Nor hell a fury like a woman made late by the JR West

12:20 AM

So, as we jump head first into the year, I've been pulled, mostly unwillingly, back into the working grind (..grind of working..? I.. don't remember how that saying goes..) daily grind..! I started with a 60,000 word translation over winter break, then 2 weeks of debugging, and now I'm doing doing debugging AND translation concurrently, only instead of going to Shin-Osaka, I have to go to Kyoto city. Insert cry of agony here.

It's not that I don't like going to Kyoto occasionally. Going to Kyoto (or anywhere outside of Osaka City for that matter) on a daily commuter basis is just irritating at it's best, and full on rage-inducing at it's absolute worst.

So, on Monday (when else..?), JR West decided to give me it's absolute worst en route to my new project. To add to the first day jitters, I needed to meet up with some managers before making a 20 minute trek in mid-winter across Kyoto to my new spot. Not fun, and definitely not as cushy as the gig I had in Shin-Osaka, but I know when it's time to pull up the big girl boots, so that's what I did (after some intense bitching on my end, but such outbursts are necessary *professional nod*).

Now, you might be wondering, 'Hey, what does all this work jabber have to with JR sucking?! Japanese trains are the best, you such your dirty mouth..!!' and YES, I wholeheartedly agree. The train companies in Japan make the D.C. Metro system look like it's run by 12-year-olds (love you though D.C.), but hear me out at least. I could save you time wasted on the platform if you'll just hear me out..! (This is also a reminder to myself of how long I've been living in Japan, having these... expectations and such. Crazy.)

Anyway, yes, Japanese trains are timely, pretty clean, and often times quite comfortable (if you can get a seat), but if there was a ranking of the best to worse trains in the Kansai area, JR WEST is, hands-down, bottom place. During my commute in November to Kyoto, the train was late over 5 times during that month. That is RIDICULOUS by Japanese standards. Just to help the mental image, I'll give you another company to compare to; Kintetsu was late a total of ZERO times during my 2 year commute to Nara and Mie (and only 1 time for one of my many trips back home to visit Shota's family).

It's crazy.

So originally, I had the full intention of writing my about my horrid experience of riding on a train that was carrying not only the original commuters, but all the subsequent commuters whose trains were supposed to after the originally delayed train, so think of your normal train commute crowd, and multiply it by THREE, however, I will instead just say:

If I was being pressed into the door to the point of barely breathing, or being nearly trampled by the doors by other commuters desperate to leave, then I was being elbowed by a commuter who wanted to read his god-damned newspaper in a train packed full of grumpy-ass commuters or getting a face full of hair from the girl who didn't realize now is not the time for hair fluffing.. Also, I don't swear often here, but THAT guy was a complete ass. I wish him the worse.

And that is how I started my Monday and my new project.

Really, the moral of the story is, if you can, avoid the JR when you're in Osaka/Kansai. Between Kintetsu, Hankyu, Hanshin, Keihan and the Subway, you can get almost everywhere you want to go, without the hassel. Unless you're riding the bullet train. Sadly, that is only operated by JR.


Now, enjoy this photo of Bingley contently sitting in a bag:

Here's to a better Monday this time around!


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