October 6th, 2006

Photography: Sakura

(no subject)

I left my house at eleven today and got on a JR train to Funabashi. It was raining really hard. When I tried to switch train lines to the Keisei Line, the information board simply read 'Now Adjusting'. In fact, not even the ticket machines were working. I had to buy 150 yen ticket because the numbers didn't go any higher. I asked the station manager and he said there were no trains to where I wanted to go.

I got a refund and went to my regular branch (at the same station). There was no one there except one teacher, who was in a lesson. No receptionists, no senior staff. I called Personnel and they told me to get on a train and do what I could to get to the branch I was meant to be in today. It was now around twelve, but I had a feeling that this was a little impossible.

So I bought a 150 yen ticket and took the train as far as I could. And then I went to the station masters' office to find out how to get to my branch. He was busy talking to many other passengers, so I went back to the platform and waited with other people. A train came in, but it terminated at the station too. I was getting worried, so I went back to the station master and waited a bit longer, since the crowd had cleared. He told me the trains had truly stopped, but I could get a bus.

I saw three friends outside who were also trying to get to work. We decided to share a taxi (a bus? WHERE?) and started queuing in the rain with about thirty people in front of us at the taxi rank. Suddenly, everyone started running. The bus had arrived, but could only take a few people because it was already full. We ran back and were now seventh or so in the queue. ONE taxi finally showed up.

About ten minutes later, the station master ran out and announced they'd put on a train to Usui for all of us. I saw two women who were trying to explain in English to him that they wanted a late train certificate. I asked if I could help and supplied the right Japanese expression for them to get what they needed. Turned out they worked for the same company! So then there were six of us trying to get to our respective places.

...It was now ten past one, over two hours since I'd left home! I had been trading phone calls back and forth with Personnel, and it suddenly looked like I was going to get to work on time. In fifteen minutes, things changed from standing in the rain waiting for a taxi with thirty people to being on a train. So I don't know if they logged me as absent or not. I phoned to tell them I'd been on time and, in fact, both students had cancelled. Seems they had problems getting there too.

I got in with no time to spare. I dealt with some work I needed to do and dashed off to my next branch. I managed to get there just fine and it was business as usual, apart from the torrential rain. Apart from the initial 150 yen, I just walked through the barriers. I was too annoyed with the entire situation to pay. When I got home, I noticed there was a dump of broken umbrellas by the station and lots of fallen branches.

And only then did it occur to me that THAT was a typhoon.