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  • standing or sitting

    It's getting really difficult to find a seat on the train these days even in the daytime, with the increasing numbers of old feckers taking up all the seats. What puzzles me though, is why do Japanese mothers let the kids sit, often taking up two or three spaces, while they themselves (and myself!!) have to stand up??

    In England (on the buses) it always used to be that kids, paying 50% of the fare were obliged to stand if adults, paying full price, wanted the seat.

    I'm not old (only 35), but it's one of the great annoyances for me.
    Last edited by ballbags; 2005-10-24, 11:10 PM. Reason: typo

  • #2
    My sentiments exactly. Sometimes people's train manners can be pretty woeful. The so-called politeness ethic seems to get thrown out the door when it comes to commuter train travel.

    From my own experience, I find that some middle-aged women seem to be especially guilty of pushing and barging, but some salarymen and young school students aren't much better.

    I love it when you are trying to get off the train and everyone waiting on the platform charges in without letting you by first. I have dropped the shoulder a few times (regardless of who is barging in) and have said a few words, but most people are oblivious and go on their merry ways. I should be more careful with the shoulder thing though (it hasn't happened for a number of years as I am mellowing out more these days) as if someone gets injured, regardless of how inconsiderate they may have been to begin with, I am likely to cop the liability.

    The worry these days is that some young kid that can't take a polite word of caution will turn around and knife you in the back. These news stories are frighteningly common (as are knife-related crimes in general). Too many people lose it these days (kireru) and one reason I bet is that their parents never told them off for doing the wrong thing.

    I too am perplexed about the "kids on seats" deal. I was always told to stand up for adults and basically "respect your elders." I thought that Japan was more into the respect for the elderly thing than Australia, but perhaps it is losing its significance here these days. When I was in school, we were taught that as our fares were subsidized, we should stand up for full-fare paying adults. This may have even been spelt out in the railway ordinances. I know that inspectors used to come through and tell school kids to stand up when there were adults standing.

    I speculate that parents these days are perhaps spoiling their young children more (before they get into the full swing of juken etc). Certainly some kids tend to get away with amazing tantrums without the parents stepping in to take control of the situation. But I am sure this is a worldwide phenomenon.

    This problem with manners is especially noticeable with the "silver" priortity seating for the elderly, disabled, pregnant, or people with some other kind of ailment or physical condition. Most of the time people that are apparently in sound physical condition and sit in priority seats don't give a hoot, even if there is an 80-year old lady with a walking stick standing right in front of them. My wife, despite being pregnant with a huge bulge in her belly, was mostly ignored on the train. I must say that on a few occasions, some poeple did stand up and offer their seats to her, but I would think it should be the rule rather than the exception.

    Ho hum ... my ranting isn't going to change the situation, but I do know where you are coming from ballbags.
    Last edited by TPRG; 2005-10-25, 08:48 AM. Reason: typo

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TPRG
      I too am perplexed about the "kids on seats" deal. I was always told to stand up for adults and basically "respect your elders." ...

      I speculate that parents these days are perhaps spoiling their young children more (before they get into the full swing of juken etc). ...
      You're probably right about them spoiling their kids but there could be a more practical reason too. In most commuter trains I've been on there are not many things for a standing child to hold on to - if we assume they're not going to hold on to other passengers. There are poles near the doors but those areas are usually the most crowded. Small kids are not usually well trained at standing still as the train lurches and sways (or at any time!) so from that point of view it makes sense to have them sit down.

      Soba

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      • #4
        Fair enough. Good point. I agree that small toddlers should be seated for safety reasons too. Sometimes I do see mothers sitting down and seating the child on their lap. I guess my issue is more with the older kids who are commuting to school.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TPRG
          I guess my issue is more with the older kids who are commuting to school.
          I agree with that. But think about this: so far for your entire life you've been told to sit. Now for some reason you should stand. Confusing?

          Soba

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          • #6
            Sorry, I don't quite follow where you're getting at. Yes, confusing. Whose 'entire life' are you referring to? Mine? Kids? People in general?

            The point I was (unsuccessfully) trying to make is that when I was growing up, kids (not toddlers) were generally taught that they should stand up and offer their seats when there were full-fare paying adults and elderly people standing nearby. It was almost a given, and adults would have no hesitation in (usually politely) telling kids to stand up.

            Being kids, this is obviously a difficult concept of "fairness" to grasp at first, but I always recall my parents saying "put yourself in the other person's shoes, and think how you would like people to act when we get older, or indeed when you reach that age," i.e. the old "do unto others ...." spiel (which I believe is a good principle to follow).

            I don't think kids should be 'ordered' to do things per se, as this will likely only lead to resentment and rebellion down the track. They should (IMHO) be given a thorough explanation, in words and at a level that they can relate to, of the basis for such societal rules.

            I think it is the parents' responsibility to inform their children about how to behave in different circumstances. For example, sit down at the dinner table at home or in a restaurant, but on the other hand stand up on the train (when the kids have reached an appropriate age) and offer your seats to those more needy. (However, this will only happen if the parents believe this is the appropriate way to behave in the first place!)

            If the seats are vacant and nobody else is around, then by all means sit down (same goes for priority seating). However, be aware of the people around you and offer your seat should the need arise.

            Another problem, especially with priority seating, is that people sit down and then "fall asleep" (yeah right) and so are apparently oblivious to their surroundings. Most people in need of the priority seat (particularly the elderly) are often too reserved to speak up for themselves. Catch 22!

            Gotta run and get the train .... later!

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            • #7
              I rarely agree with 100% of someone else's post but this time I think I do. (That includes the 2 omitted paragraphs but I'm not replying to them.)

              I could have explicitly invited readers to consider the kids' point of view - as you have done at the beginning of paragraph 3. I didn't mean it as justification of that behaviour. In fact I thank you, TPRG, for taking it up where I left off and continuing as I would have (para 3 to 5).

              Soba
              Originally posted by TPRG
              Sorry, I don't quite follow where you're getting at. Yes, confusing. Whose 'entire life' are you referring to? Mine? Kids? People in general?

              The point I was (unsuccessfully) trying to make is that when I was growing up, kids (not toddlers) were generally taught that they should stand up and offer their seats when there were full-fare paying adults and elderly people standing nearby. It was almost a given, and adults would have no hesitation in (usually politely) telling kids to stand up.

              Being kids, this is obviously a difficult concept of "fairness" to grasp at first, but I always recall my parents saying "put yourself in the other person's shoes, and think how you would like people to act when we get older, or indeed when you reach that age," i.e. the old "do unto others ...." spiel (which I believe is a good principle to follow).

              I don't think kids should be 'ordered' to do things per se, as this will likely only lead to resentment and rebellion down the track. They should (IMHO) be given a thorough explanation, in words and at a level that they can relate to, of the basis for such societal rules.

              I think it is the parents' responsibility to inform their children about how to behave in different circumstances. For example, sit down at the dinner table at home or in a restaurant, but on the other hand stand up on the train (when the kids have reached an appropriate age) and offer your seats to those more needy. (However, this will only happen if the parents believe this is the appropriate way to behave in the first place!)

              Comment


              • #8
                selfish, ignorant or or just plain lazy people are everywhere. I guess I am lucky and do not have to deal with overcrowded trains, but on occasion my local line doesn't have seats and I often see older people standing while younger folks sit.

                What disturbs me is when the junior high or high school students take two seats, one for them and the other for their backback. Yet nobody is assertive enough to demand a seat. I am sure their passivity will boil over with friends and gossip about how kids have no respect.

                When I see that I simply pick up the pack, put it on their lap and sit down while loudly exhaling as if I am very tired. I suppose with the slight uptick in violence from never to almost never I should be a little more careful but I don't think its a problem.

                Parents choose to teach or NOT to teach children proper manners. It seems that this aspect or NON aspect of child rearing is at a higher level (on average) in japan than in streets of NY. HOWEVER ny elderly will ask for the seat more often than not.

                methinks it often boils down to what I think is a heightened level of depression stemming from extended working hours and perhaps the lack of any level of kindness and compassion on the homefront. (of course this is a generalization but I think its spot on in quite a number of regards) One only has to look into the faces and behaviors of our neighbors to see the very clear indications of depression which extend across the nation.

                So you either choose to do something about it on daily basis or not. I always offer my seat to elderly or preggy housewives and use my thumb in the "get out of your seat" motion while pointing at the deserving rider who needs the seat. Shame is an effective tool. BUT as I said before I don't ride the chuo line at 6:30...

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                • #9
                  i offered my seat recently to a wee old birdy, she was so tiny she tapped another tiny wrinkly on the arm and they shared my one seat...

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                  • #10
                    I'm normally a standing up type person unless I'm going to be on the train for a long time in which case I will sit down. However, if I am wanting to be doing the sitting down thing I can and will be very vocal to the person taking up two seats.

                    Then there are the people that block the door when you're trying to get in. I have no issue if there is enough space to squeeze yourself into and if it's a little bit of a block, then that's okay, but when you're blocking half the door (or being really blatant about it) that's when the _______ in me takes over. I've dropped the elbow, the shoulder and practically knocked some of these people down as I push by them. Well, not so much push by them as through them. A cold "ごめんなさい" and an icy stare is usually enough to shut them up if they feel the need to be vocal.

                    Same with the people getting onto the train when I'm leaving, but usually the sight of me standing in front of the door is enough for them to move out of the way.

                    As my wife puts it, "when you do that, you look like a big, scary Kuma" and I guess I have to agree with her.

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                    • #11
                      Well I rarely have a problem getting off the train. Maybe I look like a big scary ballbag!

                      TPRG, I agree with you entirely. I got no problem with wee toddlers sitting. I'm glad also to see that some of the better aspects of British culture made their way to Australia.

                      Don, yes the general lack of education by the parents, in things like social etiquette seems to be on the rise. That is noticeable in the classroom too.

                      I seem to be dropping the shoulder more often these days. I've yet to come to any harm, but there is always the first time as you say. Actually getting on to the train is the difficult part, especially in the mornings. At 7.30am I don't have the energy for pushing, bracing myself,or verbal squabbles. There was a nice little fight on the loop line the other morning though. Two guys starting pushing each other on a very,very packed train. Voices were kept muffled though, until the doors opened and they piled out on to the platform and one guy started slapping the other with his book, on the head and in the face. The 'victim' just ignored it and began to walk as fast as he could. Obviously other passengers didn't bat an eyelid.
                      Last edited by ballbags; 2005-10-26, 06:58 PM.

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                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=ballbags]It's getting really difficult to find a seat on the train these days even in the daytime, with the increasing numbers of old feckers taking up all the seats.
                        [/QUOTE.


                        Morning After finds your story quite hard to believe and I take it from this post, you have not been here very long.

                        In my situation, nobody wants to sit beside even when the train is crowed and it can be very embarassing sometimes.
                        I never offer my seat to anybody and just pretend to be a sleep with one eye open and the other shut.

                        One time a homeless got on the train and everybody started changing seats as he smelt really bad.

                        Sometimes if you are looking at the right place at the right time, might get to see up the girls dress if she has her legs spread apart,especially the fat ones.I often look at high schools girls when they bend over to take something out of their bags and it makes my day go faster.

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                        • #13
                          doesnt surprise me in the least

                          MA i am not surprised noone wants to sit next to you anywhere...
                          you are so full of shlt you squeak... and probably smell really bad too.
                          imagine how offended the other comuters feel when they see this stinking, fetid, drooling, perverted sack of shlt lolling on a seat peering up underage girls skirts and rubbing his doodoo through his dirty nylon slacks....

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eku
                            MA i am not surprised noone wants to sit next to you anywhere...
                            you are so full of shlt you squeak... and probably smell really bad too.
                            imagine how offended the other comuters feel when they see this stinking, fetid, drooling, perverted sack of shlt lolling on a seat peering up underage girls skirts and rubbing his doodoo through his dirty nylon slacks....

                            Morning After thinks most guys do it and if you don`t there is something wrong with you.There is nothing wrong with looking at under age girls.

                            I am sure if you were on the train, nobody would be looking at you as no guy would want a fat dirty gaijin girl.

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                            • #15
                              thing is you premature ejaculator your taunts dont bother me... i know who i am and like myself a lot.
                              you, on the other hand obviously hate yourself... and probably for a good reason.
                              i used to feel a modicum of pity for you and tried to stay away from your flames of other people, the administrators did a good job of banning you... but like a bad smell you turned up again.
                              more is the pity you have chosen to show your true colours again (turd green perhaps) because if you were really clever you would behave yourself in order to get the advice you really need about your employment feck up...
                              but no... you cant help yourself. don't feel bad about it, it happens a lot with people with 2 digit IQ's.

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