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Manners on Trains

Meilin: (Talking on the phone) Hello Kanrinin-san, this is Meilin. Are you home now?

Manager (Kanrinin): Hello Meilin-san. Actually I am just getting on the train. If you need to talk to me, can you stop by my house in an hour or so? .

Meilin: No problem. I will see you at your house after an hour.

Manager: I am sorry that I had to go when you called.

Meilin: I am sorry too for calling you at the wrong time.

Manager: You know, I don't like to use cell phones when I am on the train. It could annoy people around me.

Meilin: Is the use of cell phones actually banned on trains?

Manager: It is not banned, but they do request to refrain from talking on the phones while you are on the train. Most train services in the Metropolitan area ask passengers to turn the phone to "manner mode" and not to make or receive phone calls. You may use it as long as you don't talk or make other noises. You should turn it off when you are near a priority seat, though. Radio waves from the phone can cause malfunctions in pacemakers that someone near you may be wearing.

Meilin: It does annoy me sometimes when I see people talking on the phone in the train. By the way, what is a priority seat?

Manager: Priority seats, or "yusenseki" in Japanese, are the seats that should be saved for those who are elderly, physically challenged, injured, pregnant, or have other difficulties in standing on the trains. It is our manner, though, to give seats away to old or disabled people regardless of whether you are in the priority seat or not.

Meilin: I agree. Talking about manners, I sometimes notice and feel bothered by other passengers listening to loud music.

Manager: I know. It is a good thing to remember to keep the volume of your music player down so that the noise won't bother others.

Meilin: Do you have any other suggestions for train manners that I should know?

Manager: I would say you might want to be careful of how you are seated, especially when the train is crowded. Keep your legs together, and make room for others so that as many people as possible can be seated.

Meilin: Sure. It is always nice to find a seat when the train is crowded.

Manager: I have seen people sitting on the floor of the train car, and I think it makes an obstacle for other passengers. Some people do not mind fixing their makeup, or eating or drinking on the trains. It may be OK if you are on a long-distance train, like a bullet train, but probably not on a common commuter train.

Meilin: I see.

Manager: You may have seen people scrambling to the door to get on the train quick so that they can secure their seat. You should really wait for the other passengers to finish getting off before you get on the train.

Meilin: It sounds like there are lots of rules on the train. I will do my best to be a good-mannered passenger.

Manager: Meilin-san, have you heard of women-only train cars?

Meilin: No...what are they?

Manager: They are the train cars exclusively for female passengers.

Meilin: Why do they have something like that?

Manager: Women-only cars are to protect female passengers from groping and other sexually-harassing acts on the crowded trains. The number of such incidents has been increasing. Have you had any uncomfortable experiences on the train before?

Meilin: I have never been groped, but I don't like being squeezed to be physically too close to other people, especially male passengers.

Manager: The availability and schedule are different by train companies and routes, so you might do some research if you are interested in the service. They usually run during morning and evening rush hours.

Meilin: I see. Thank you for the good information.
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