I have Secret Super Powers in Japan

My 8-months pregant friend, “KeitaiGoddess” commuting here in Tokyo questions:
Q: “What is the nationality are these able bodied people (men, women, teenagers) who sit in the priority seating on public transport and ignore the heavily pregnant person standing right in front of them panting from the stairs and the Tokyo summer heat?”

A: Most folks in the Tokyo are developmentally disabled, so those handicapped seats are are always filled.

I bet KeitaiGoddess must have gained my Secret Super Powers!
Everyone seated in the handicapped seats on Japanese trains falls comatose the moment I enter the car on crutches.

Also check out my previous 3Yen posts…
Final solution for those pesky handicapped passengers
Tokyo Metro’s “Manner” (sic) poster of the month
Subway sitting pretty

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I'm a pale, alien, quadruped who has worked for 25+ years at "Maybe-the-Largest Inc." in Tokyo.

11 thoughts on “I have Secret Super Powers in Japan”

  1. ThinkingIt’s always the same thing. To think is to go krazy.

    Sent via iTouch

  2. If you’re an underdog, mentally disabled, physically incapacitated, if you don’t fit in, if you’re not as pretty as the others, you can be as effervescent as a loach. :-p

  3. This guy looks like be belongs sitting in the Handicapped Seats, doesn’t he?

  4. Back in 1979, “Space Invaders” (aliens sort of like me) had become such a common phenomenon that subway posters in Tokyo had to post warnings.

    The Japanese reads SPACE INVADER”
  5. Sad but true…

  6. When I injured my leg and had a full cast, boot, crutches etc I was hardly ever able to get a seat on ANY train line. I think I was offered a seat 2 times while I was injured. Its amazing how everyone in the priority seats seems to lose consciousness when you approach on crutches.
    My advice to you is to see if you can take an earlier / later train or the bus.
    When I complained to my Japanese coworkers I was told really the only way to get one of those seats is to directly ask someone to give you their seat. Most people won’t want to publicly turn down a crippled person (or mother and child) in public as it would be embarrassing. Personally I was too embarrassed to ask so I just stood there looking more and more ready to collapse at any moment.
    Maybe not an issue for you and your child, but another thing that drove me crazy was the people who board the train and then immediately stand in the doorway (in that spot where the handle bar is and the seats begin). I had more than one Japanese person turn and look at me with a livid expression on their face for grabbing the handle that they were leaning against, only to have them immediately choke back their protests when they realized I actually NEEDED to you know, use the handles they were rudely blocking. I’m not trying to grope your back, I’m trying to board the train.
    Straight up ask them to move. Say how far you’re going and ask if they’ll give their seat to you until then. Otherwise you won’t have any luck, ever.

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