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what exact problem do the japanese have with my bike?

November 30, 2005

Jesus, what is it with the Japanese? Exactly what argument do they have with me that means that they have to keep messing with my bike? Not three weeks have elapsed since they stole my last one, and now they go and sabotage my new one: I leave it chained to a metal ring in the wall of the parking area of my building, and the Japanese — realising that this time they can’t steal it — decide that if they can’t have it then no-one will. They calmly, deliberately engage the wheel-lock, remove the keys which I, foolishly, left in to shave a few seconds off my morning run to the station, and they disappear into the night with those keys in hand and, probably, a little spring in their step at the deliciousness of what they’ve just done. Perhaps they stop along the way to drop my keys down a drain. Probably they do.

I realise that leaving my keys in the wheel-lock was — with hindsight, and to a limited extent — foolish. The thought had even occurred to me that doing so would make it possible, in principle, for someone to lock my bike and thereby render it unusable. But I dismissed that possibility after a moments’ consideration, because it would be such a completely pointless piece of vandalism — the sort of thing you might expect from the English, or maybe the Belgians — but this is Japan, where it seems reasonable not to expect that sort of thing.

And besides, the bike was barely even visible from the street. So I think it was one of my neighbours who did it. Probably it was the old man who lives next door who packs bin bags and stomps cardboard boxes flat on his balcony at two in the morning, and who I have good reason to suspect eats cats.


posted in Okinawa2 comments


  1. Posted by Andrew — December 8, 2005 at 2:34 am

    Don’t be too harsh on this old man. I too have found myself doing noisy things that could seem to others to be pointless or badly-timed. It’s so easy to get caught up in chains of events that lead ulitmately to dealing with household recycling or screwing decorative coloured lights into the ceiling or fixing that creaky floorboard in the early hours of the morning.

    It’s harder to end up eating cats, though, I suppose.

    Did you manage to reactivate your bike? Or did you have to throw it in the bin? Did you have to buy a special big bin?

  2. Posted by lva — December 8, 2005 at 6:55 pm

    Yeah. It’s the eating cats thing that makes me fear him. The stamping-cardboard-boxes-flat is just the icing on the eating-cat cake.

    I didn’t have to throw my bike in the bike-bin! My landlord sawed off the now-useless lock with alarming ease. Now my bike is useable again, and the worst anyone could do to it would be to let the air out of the tyres…

    This comment contains a record number of possibly-unnecessarily hyphenated-words.