Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stress and the City

Once again, our dear Chuo line had another suicide attempt/incident (most likely the latter) this morning at the station next to mine. All the express trains were delayed for 30-45 min and the platform was over flooded with rush hour (but patient, ha!) salarimen/women. I, on the other hand, felt like a squashed steam bum in a literally steamy train compartment.

Part of daily living in Tokyo, besides all its glamor and excitement, yes.

A friend told me that once he actually witnessed the aftermath of a suicide incident - vaguely identifiable body parts drenched in a sea of red and scattered personal belongings.

"Definitely a salariman," he said. "I could tell by the remains of the shoes that they collected. Oh, and the torn briefcase."

Again, part of the daily routine for JR/subway/private train line station managers.

Later in class, my student - who too was stuck by a delayed train schedule due to another suicide incident on another line - told me this: "Have you noticed the flowery marks next to the neatly drawn out waiting area on the platform?"

"Flowery marks?" I couldn't recall.

"Well, they were designed to prevent people from jumping off the platform ... one last reminder of the beauty of this world."

30,000 suicide deaths a year.

This is definitely a overly stressed out city.

梅ちゃん at 2:21:00 AM



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