the great thing about The Den is that it's really close to work. i don't take the train anymore as there's a cute little tramcar that leaves from the end of my street and it drops me off right at the end of the street where i work. it takes about 30 minutes for it to slowly meander around the back streets of tokyo, through the little suburban areas where you see the locals going about their daily business.
it's strange to be going so slowly in a city renowned for it's energy and fast-paced lifestyle, but i like the mellow beginning and end to the day as it gives me a chance to wind down from surfing the net and staring at a computer screen for 9 hours. oh, and the occasional rewrite.
generally it doesn't get as crowded as the trains but i don't sit down as the tramcar appears to be used mainly by the elderly and the disabled so i choose to stand. sometimes it feels a bit like bedlam on wheels. today was the first time it had been really crowded and only half of us on the platform were lucky enough to squeeze in. i rode the next three stops sitting on the driver's lap, face pressed against the front window - a great view from there! we pulled up at the next stop and just when u think no one else could possibly fit in, there's someone squashed in under my elbow and another wrapped around my legs. i guess the advantage of being taller than almost everyone is that they can use me as a pole to cling onto as the tram sways and jolts along its merry way.
sometimes i do miss speeding along on the train, rushing around as if there's not enough time to get anywhere and not enough time to do everything, the bustle and jostle of the sea of people that swarm out at the station. i miss watching the men run into the carriage, pushing women, children, the elderly and disabled (that is, those that aren't travelling by tramcar) out of their way in their rush to get to the closest available seat. it's like a game of musical chairs when 5 salarymen all run for the same one seat, and of course, there are never enough seats. it's a jungle and no-one knows if they will get out alive.
but thinking about it, i prefer bedlam.