Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Small Adventures #13

One of the things I dislike most about living in Tokyo is that people will text message on their phones while walking. They're so focused on the phone that they can't see anything else around them, and walk 2 to 3 times slower than the rest of the crowd. This is especially bad on the train platforms where the path narrows and one slow person can back up the 200-300 others trying to get off the train and out of the station. Various officials and agencies also see this as dangerous behavior in that someone can trip and fall onto the tracks, so they've put up posters on the trains and around the city advocating against texting while walking, which of course these people are too busy to look up at and read.

A couple of days ago, I was walking through Akihabara station, which has a mezzanine level leading to the platforms on the next floor up. As I was getting off the first escalator and walking the 30 feet to the foot of the second one at the mezzanine level, a young Japanese salaryman was slowly shambling in front of me, entering a message on his phone. I walked faster to get around him and over to the foot of the up escalator on the left, and watched as he blindly went to the other escalator right beside mine. He took the first step and nearly fell flat on his face (which would have hurt, given the sharp metal edges involved). Took him several seconds to realize that it was going in the *down* direction. The people coming down towards him watched without saying anything.

(The escalator going down is the one on the right.)

Needless to say, he just kept on texting as he got on the correct escalator. A prime example of evolution waiting to happen.

1 comment:

Mr Alchemy said...

lol Asians. It's the same in China. The crowds and behaviour of people on the Beijing subway often left me wondering about evolution.

Although being back home I'm finding just as many reasons to suspect most people are not ready for the modern age.