Zzzzz on the train

Last week, as we availed ourselves of the magnificently efficient Tokyo public transportation system, my friends and I commented on the fact that so many people who appeared to be deeply asleep were able to immediately wake up and get off at their exact station. How do they do it? When I fall asleep on the train my jaw drops open in a rather unnattractive manner and my head bobs around like it is improperly balanced. I am glad I am not the only one who suffers such problems but should defective people like me be punished? Gaurav Bhatia of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago was. According to India Daily:

When a 25-year-old Indian student at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) dozed off in a Chicago subway train, he did not realise his predicament would quickly become a cause celebre. Gaurav Bhatia unwittingly got caught in a controversy over Chicago’s bureaucracy after he was given a $50 ticket for sleeping on the train. The incident occurred when Bhatia, who does not own a car and resides on the IIT campus, fell asleep while riding to work. Local TV and radio channels have highlighted Bhatia’s experience, but Chicago Transport Authority (CTA) and police officials say he was penalised for “sleeping dangerously”. “How dare they?” asked an outraged Bhatia. “If the police officer had written those words on the ticket I would have told him to lock me up because I won”t accept the ticket.” Explaining how the incident had occurred, Bhatia said: “My work starts at 8 a.m., so I leave the house at 7 a.m. I usually sleep on the train. “A lot of people sleep on the train. I mean, I don”t put up my feet and lie down. I just sit there and sometimes I fall asleep, because there is nothing to do.

I am sure this law was meant to prevent homeless people from making a residence out of the train, but is a ticket necessary for an honest mistake?

A police officer came in. “He did not have to shake me up or anything like that. My body is programmed. Every day I take the same train, so my eyes just open up at the same time,” Bhatia said.

You might want to check the lines of code in your program for errors buddy.

Chicago police spokesman David Bayless, who affirmed Bhatia was “sleeping dangerously”, said: “I am told his legs were blocking the aisle.”
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Bhatia explained he had his face against the train window, so he could not possibly have stretched into the aisle. “It would have been physically impossible,” he said, “Even Keanu Reeves from ”Matrix” could not do it.”

5 thoughts on “Zzzzz on the train

  1. and here I was wondering why IIT students are getting ticketed in chicago! :)

    i don’t think the law is a bad idea (it has to be enforced against bums), but discretion needs to be applied. revoke the ticket against bhatia, but keep the law & use it to keep the (truly) dangerous riff-raff/homeless ex-cons off the train at night. Are there no prisons? Are there no poorhouses? :)

  2. Men sweat, women glow. White men doze off for a second, brown men sleep “dangerously”.

    (Sometimes you ticket somebody on a minor offense to have an excuse to run them through the system. The question is, were any other sleepers ticketed by this same cop as well?)

    Then agian, maybe his legs were in the isle. He needs to stop pulling a Ralph Digby …

  3. This is so strange.. I slept many times in philadelphia local trains while coming back from work or going for work. I also slept even in paris subways overexhausted while touring.. No one ever fined me.. people get tired and have a right to close their eyes right…I thought freedom to sleep was a basic right.. may be his legs were really blocking something or were in the isle real bad..

  4. Well, I may be 2 years late on this thread, but here’s my 4-1/2 cents worth (inflation hits everything). I travel on The Bus in Honolulu 5 times a week (we don’t have any trains, at least not yet…they’re working on a plan) and I almost always fall asleep about 10 minutes into the trip. Let’s face it, travel on a train or bus is downright BORING. And the motion of the vehicle once you get out of heavy traffic is soothing. I would guess that at any given moment in the world there are about a million people snoozing on some form of public transportation. To write a law that penalizes people for what comes naturally and happens despite attempts to stay awake (I’ve tried, I can’t) is just UNAMERICAN and the idiots in Chicago who did this should all be lined up against a wall and severely chastised. (hah, bet you thought I was going to say “shot” — that would not be American… although Hanging them would be in line with my ancestors in Texas, some of whom were lawmen and judges and some of whom probably slept on stagecoaches).