Tuesday, March 18, 2008


It took four days, but I finally managed to piss off a Japanese person. Lets see if I can explain this one.

The Japan rail system runs like clock work. Everyday, I take the 6:35 Meitetsu red line train to Chita Handa,then at 4:53, I take it home. The morning train pulls into the station after 6:35 and leaves before 6:36am. Because I was going to work, I did not have my camera, but I here is a photo of the same train this past Sunday.For the first three days, I purchased one way tickets from Nagoya to Chita Handa, on the limited express. This cost Y1200, about 12 bucks. On the fourth day, woke up a little early, so I would have time to explain to the ticket person, I wanted to get a train card, good for a month. No big deal, got the card, and I was on my way to work.

So, when you arrive at Chita Handa at 7:10 am, you get off the train, walk up some stairs and you need to pass through the gate that takes your ticket. Similar to the one below.The gate is open, so many people walk through these things, there is no time for it to open and close. All week, I would walk up to the gate, put my one way ticket in there, the machine would take it and I would be on my way. Today, I had to put my new train card in there, and retrieve on the other end of the gate. Turns out, when you put the wrong one way ticket in there (wrong fare) the gate closes. If you put your hotel key card in thee, the gate breaks itself. Shuts down, thus, from the train ticket guy point-of-view, stops the entire Japanese rail system.

Within 30 seconds, the train guy was on the spot, screwdriver in hand taking apart the gate trying to get my hotel key out of there and restart mass transit in Nagoya. Turns out it would not be so easy, the key was deep inside the belts and bearings of the gate, and the more the train guy dug into the machine, the closer I would get trying to help. I had no idea that as I got closer, he keep telling me to go away as he got more frustrated.

Coming in from the north side of Nagoya, the office interrupter arrives at Chita Handa two minutes after our train from central Nagoya. As she walked up the stairs, I think she could tell I was in a pickle and ran up to the gate and started talking to the train guy. After about 50 words, she looked at me, thought for a second, and said "ummmmm, let's see, please go over there." We all ended up going to work, me with no Hotel key.

They got my key out of there, and the interrupter wrote something on a piece of paper that I handed to the lost and found office, they had my key. But by the time I showed back up at the station at 4:45pm, they were no longer pissed off.

1 comment:

Atticus said...


The moral of the story don't put your hotel key in a mass transit ticket box. Sounds like you need to start learning Japanese.