This is my day: I'm up at twenty past seven and out of the door an hour later, my arrival at the station timed for the gap between the local train from Shinjuku and the 8.32 Semi-Special Express to Keio Hachioji. I take up my place on the platform exactly midway between the news kiosk and the lift in order to alight at the correct place twenty-six minutes later, facing the black-suited, white-shirted swarms heading in the opposite direction. Amusement arcade melodies announce the arrival of the train. The doors always stop precisely at my feet.
Off the train, I take the stairs two at a time to make sure of a seat on the ten-minute bus ride to campus. We file off one-by-one, the driver intoning thank-yous like a lobotomised monk as his machine spits back our pre-paid tickets. There are people sweeping fallen leaves, handing out free packets of tissues with advertising attached, slowly crawling to class. I head for an office of light-blue uniforms that bark "Morning" at me in perfect unison as I pick up the classroom key, passed two-handed with a bow by a security guard who then affixes his seal to the right of my signature. I teach seven classes a day, six per my lesson plan and one where the students are supposed to set the topic, have lunch before noon and go home, if I'm lucky, at around quarter to six.
I do this five days a week. I prefer the weekends.