September 22 2014



It is Monday.

Commuting. Imagine the hours, the days, the weeks, the months, the years, the decades of an average life of a person living in a huge city spends commuting to and from work. The average is big cities like Tokyo is about 90 minutes. Do the maths on that and you will find that an average working life of 40 years, working 48 weeks in the year results in about 864,000 minutes commuting, or in days about 600. 600 days! 600 days spent commuting to and from work.

600 days

600 days can be valuable if spent in the right way. Commuting can be drudgery. The thing that strikes me about it is that the isolation. People are put in such close contact with others; most sharing the same experience, but so little exchange occurs. In Tokyo, in the mornings there is silence. Silence as the masses travel. In the stations, all you hear are the public announcements over the tannoy and the footsteps of the throngs on the move. Mobile phones are not used and no conversations are struck up among the passengers on the trains. People choose to shut their eyes to snooze or shut out the world. Others find a space to stare blankly into, while so many will pass the time engrossed in what their smart phones can offer. We crave isolation in the close proximity of others.

All Free
All Free