I'm unsure how to describe the driver. Despite the bus being incapable of holding any more people, he drove to the first stop and opened the door as if it were a normal day of operation. Right away angry people outside began to demand that they be let on. "More can fit on! Make everyone move to the back!" A man outside yelled. Some even began pushing their way on, and as impossible as it seemed, three did, in fact.
What can I say? As a life-long movie fan, I was reminded of every alien invasion film I've ever seen where society breaks down and everyone tries to make it to some imagined safety zone.
With no options, it was my only choice. I begrudgingly got on line. Above, the moon shone down. Crescent shaped and bright white, it became tonight nature's guiding beacon, hanging high above an endless line of people trekking across the city of Tokyo. At least, I thought, trying to find the bright side, it wasn't raining; I was feed, and while cold, it wasn't winter like cold.
Along the way I was astonished to see absolutely no police presence. On the one hand you could say this reflects well on the Japanese people, as other than a looter in the department store at the start of this insane experience, everyone was behaving and making the most of it. But on the other hand, it's in moments like these that men dressed in uniforms give one the sense that society remains intact and that there is a plan of action being executed. The only time I saw police was at an intersection where the road to Shinjuku takes a confusing turn. Two officers were out with Darth Vader light sabers waving people in the correct direction.
Several hours after leaving Akihabara I was finally nearing Shinjuku station. But then it struck me: And then what? It was still a haul to my town of Shimokitazawa.
Suddenly the buzzer that sounds when a train departs went off. In a panic, people began running for the train. The buzzer continued to blare as the train filled with people. And then, for no reason, it went off and we sat there for ten minutes. Excuse me? What was that buzzer for? Telling people not to run, and then edging them on with a meaningless buzzer is, at best, bizarre.