It turns out that, as much as I claim to love public transportation, what I actually love is my freedom. I love being able to go anywhere, anytime that I want, and not have to drive myself. But when that turns into a daily forced migration, for which I must wake up when my alarm goes off (rather than ignoring it for an hour), public transit loses most of its charm.
This post actually began long before we moved, back when I went to that mokuhanga workshop. At the time, I was impressed by the fact that Tokyo commuters could all be dressed up in business suits and not spouting waterfalls of sweat off their jam-packed bodies, or that the women on the train were actually wearing make-up and it wasn't melting off their faces in a sheet. Also with the fact that they commute on a daily basis without killing anyone. Let me tell you, there is nothing like being crammed into a train car with a shitload of strangers to bring out your aggressively antisocial side.
The next morning I took a different bus, one which stopped closer to my apartment. I figured if I had to take the train anyways, I might as well make the bus part as convenient for myself as possible. And then then bus showed up, already jam-packed with commuters. Two stops after I got on, the driver started letting people in through the back door,* since there was no more room for people at the front.
As it turns out, I'm not cut out to spend even ten minutes each morning with the sweaty bodies of strangers pressed up against my various parts. It brings out my impulses to smack people with my umbrella, fan, or hell, just to plant my elbow in the crotch of the individual who keeps bumping against my shoulder (with extreme prejudice). Since I decided it would probably be a bad idea to get in a fight on the bus, I decided to go with the original bus, the one that wasn't crowded.
And that is the way things progressed for the first three weeks at the new school. Maybe I had to reward myself with McDonald's for breakfast most mornings for making it in one piece and still letting people live. I'd pretty much worked out the best route to go - the bus where I'd have a seat, the train with the easiest walk from the bus stop - but it really didn't matter. I am not cut out to be a commuter.
And then Golden week came and went, and sometime during those days of freedom I got it into my head that I should walk to the nearest train station. I needed the exercise after spending most of the previous month eating McMuffins for breakfast.
*In Kanto, you enter the front of the bus, and pay when you get on. In other parts of Japan, you get on through the back, and pay when you get off.