Riding the Bullet

The Metro has become background, like breathing. I use it every day. All it takes is a chip card. The lines are colour coded, the stations numbered.

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Beep … when I enter through the gate. Beep .. when I exit through the gate. Transaction completed. Trains come every few minutes and are air-conditioned. I never wait long.

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Once in while I have to transfer money to the card. The terminals are at every station and easy to use.

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But even the Metro has its limits. I leave Tokyo. This means: Shinkansen, the bullet trains. Their tracks cut through the city high above street level.

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There was a time when for me the Shinkansen ranked on a coolness level slightly lower than the Space Shuttle. I won’t ride the Space Shuttle, but I finally stand on the platform and see the Shinkansen glide into the station.

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I enter, and travel back to the 90s.

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It seems I am two decades too late to take my breath away. I guess that is what happens when you wait too long. Even legends age.

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