Monday, January 15, 2007

Really Sorta Kinda Fast?

The amazing network of trains here definitely one of the greatest parts of Tokyo, as innumerable lines connect more ramen shops, dance clubs and instant - photo booths to your doorstep than anywhere else on earth - and that's a good thing.

Express trains were absent from the handful of lines that serve my native Toronto (which embarrassingly doesn't even have a rail link from the airport!). But here, they are one of the tools that the private companies use to draw business away from the formerly government-controlled Japan Rail (JR) lines. JR uses some limited express trains, but they make do with a much smaller variety of Express systems. Some of the private lines, on the other hand, seem to have gone crazy with the Thesaurus and the word "Fast". This makes it both confusing and amusing to use some of the networks.

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Bonus comedy points for "Semi Special Express".

Even more confusing is the fact that all the companies seem to have used different thesauruses (thesaurusi?)

For example, here on the Odakyu Line, the Rapid express is the Express train with the fewest stops, whereas the Keio Line above uses the "Rapid" as the Express train with the most stops.
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I'm just going to write down as many words as I can that involve speed. Private rail operators? I'm looking to see at least 10 more train options within a few weeks, ok?


Er.... or you could try a whole new and wonderful palette of words! Imagine the possibilities!!!

Ride the Sensitive Feminine Express for fifteen minutes, get off... then get on the Vapid Whorish Republican Line for a bit. Wait until the Delightful Titillating Verklempt Express comes, then ride it for twenty minutes until it stops completely. Be careful because if you wait on it too long, you'll get thrown off, so get off on your own before that. Finally, you can take the Witty Tender Cheerful Line home. Don't forget to get off at your stop!

Finally, you should have a cigarette.

Language Help:

Verklempt is actually from Yiddish (a Jewish language). It means "overcome with emotion".

Vapid means empty-headed, or stupid.

Titillating means "excited".

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