Sunday, May 02, 2010

Did ya ever notice?

As I sat at the nice little fish and chips place Delight in Tamagawa Tokyo on a Golden Week Sunday and enjoyed a decent meal and a new Yebisu Creamy Top Stout, I pondered life amongst the worlds most polite and rule-obeying citizens.

If I walk down a street in Tokyo, a large portion of the population will only very, very reluctantly (or, on the case of certain very short middle-aged men completely refuse to) share the sidewalk with me.

However, if I carry a camera and stop to take a photo---or just look like I might take one---everyone will do anything, including climbing a wall, to avoid getting between me and the subject.** Some will duck down about an inch believing that doing so somehow keeps them out of the photo. Others will stand for eternity waiting for me to take the photo. It's almost as if I were on a firing range shooting an elephant rifle. Nobody would dare dally in front of me.
It might make life easier if I were to carry a camera---working or not---around my neck and pull it up as if to take a photo every time I saw a group walking side-by-side taking up the entire sidewalk.

This would have NO effect, however, on mama-chari-ists (who are licensed to kill anyway), nor the recent road bike converts (who have transferred their mama-chari skills to road bikes), nor cars---stop to take a photo in a crosswalk in Denenchofu and you are dead---taxis, buses, the large speeding dump trucks driven by lunatics, nor the young ladies who attend the Denenchofu private school for girls.

As I came out of my exercise in fantasy and was about to order another ¥880 pint, a fellow and his girl pulled up on shiny new road bikes dressed in the latest road bike fashion as promoted by Fun Ride magazine. After they came in and ordered, the future TDF yellow jersey prospect pulled out a cigarette and injected his lungs with the mama-chari-ist's EPO: nicotine. Next time, I am sitting outside.

*I keep forgetting the name and thus cannot find it on the Internut, including Google Japan. However, if you go to Tamagawa station and exit toward the river of the same name, you will find an nice little British-themed pub on the right just across from the bus stop. It has become my favorite local restaurant. 9:18PM: Found it here

**I often want people in the photos, although I rarely photograph someone's face clearly without asking, if I intend to put it on the web. Copyright/privacy laws are a bit strict in Japan about that sort of thing. Got your blog "monetized"? Well, hhssssssss---the sound of air being sucked through teeth.

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