Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Traffic Jam

Heading home today I got to the station and saw a huge mass of people standing around just inside the gates. "Awww crap," I thought to myself. "The train line is delayed, I'm going to take for ever to get home!" I groaned and steeled myself for my 40 minute commute to take three times longer as I waited for a train...

But I was in luck.

The trains were not delayed. I trotted up the flight of stairs and a minute or two later a train pulled up.

The huge mass of people? Were a line... for the escalator. Yup. The escalator. They were all lining up very calmly to stand on only the left side of the escalator as it went up a short flight of stairs.

Did I mention I took the stairs? (after having to push my way through the line that was snaking its way in front of the gates)


  1. There should be a word for this syndrome of subway station jams due to avoidance of stairs. Maybe 'hystairesis'? (The Greek hysteresis means 'to be behind' and in physics, the term means a lag effect between a cause (or stimulus) and its effects on objects.)

    Happens here in Berlin as well!
    love and hugs, Cath

  2. Is it only one side of the escalator in Berlin too? Japanese rules dictate the left side of the escalator is for standing and the right for walking (but just to really confuse things the sides are switched in Osaka). The line, therefore, is single file as everybody rushes to line up and step onto one half of the escalator, leaving the other side normally empty!

  3. That probably is a rule, but Berliners are a bit more unruly, so what usually happens is that both sides of the escalator are taken up by people who just stand there, which means that you can't rush up one side at all. That really makes me hystairical! :-)
    love and hugs, Cath