Swallow Service

I was on the train the other day, heading back from Odawara to Tokyo. It’s not too far, just long enough to drink two Chu-Hi, eat some cheese-tara and watch the rice fields and mountains transform into concrete and steel.

After the second chu-hi I need a bio-break. I head out to the men’s room, when I see the sign below. It’s written in katakana, which is completely phonetic, and usually used for foreign words. So anyway, this yellow sign with big red lettering reads “Swallow Service.”

This train provides “Swallow Service”

O…kay… So I get up close to see what this is all about. Basically, there’s no real description, just a sign that says you can get “Swallow Service” on this train, available at your seat. For more details then please refer to the instructions at your seat back.

This train provides “Swallow Service” at your seat.

Long story short, it was not what I was thinking. The name of the train is The Swallow. Kind of like the Acela train from Boston to NY. And the Swallow Service is a way to buy tickets for reserved seats on the train (so not really reserved at all, but hey, neither here nor there).

I had already bought my reserved seat, so no “Swallow Service” for me.

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