Saturday, April 29, 2006


Just now, I was riding through a small back street on my scooter. I had to slow way down because there was a gang of small children on tricycles stopping up the throughway. I reduced to a crawl and putted through. A little girl turned to me as I passed. "Bye-bye!" she shouted joyfully at me. "Bye bye!" I replied.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

thumbs out

I picked up my first Japan hitchhiker the other night. It was drenching rain and C. and I stopped at a country convenience store at 2a.m. for a soda run on the way to my apartment. There was a man asking the clerks for directions to an all-night restaurant. They gave him directions to Denny's, at least a mile away. I noticed they were giving bad directions, as per usual for conbini clerks in Japan. (Nobody ever knows how to get anywhere in Japan, especially workers at convenience stores. Because they're coming in from another station?) We approached the man outside, who was struggling with a broken umbrella. C. and I proceeded to give him better directions, C. mentioning that it would take him nearly an hour to walk there. After trying to explain how to get there for a little longer, I offered him a ride. We were going that way anyway.
In the car, we talked to him a little bit. I could very faintly detect a whiff of alcohol, but it wasn't strong, and he was very coherent and polite. He looked like a blue collar worker or an artist, not a salaryman - no suit, with facial hair. It never once occured to me that it was a bad idea. It seemed the natural thing to do.

We dropped him at the Denny's next to Tana station. It was still pouring.