As promised in my Room 101: Japan Special blog entry I would expand upon the number one annoyance for me living in this country. Now firstly I should say that I have also been guilty of doing most of these at times during my reign in Japan. Before you say “thats rich coming from you” or words to that effect I will tell you that I only occasionally end up doing some of the things below unlike certain Japanese people who commit these faux-pas time and time again. So here, in no particular order, are my top 10 bicycle-related complaints:
* Screeching brakes – the sound that makes you shudder. Oil your damn brakes!
* Cycling on the wrong side of the road – possibly my biggest complaint. They even have the nerve to expect me to move out of the way potentially endangering me to traffic coming from behind me. On top of this they often go round corners in such style.
* Bell-ringers on the pavement – this is just rude but still some cyclists expect all pedestrians to just make way for them.
* U-turn people – whether its a change of direction or moving ones bike from where its parked so many people don’t anticipate that someone may be walking or cycling behind them at that moment.
* Texting whilst riding – a skill in itself but one surely can’t be focused whilst doing this.
* Cyclists with umbrellas – surely more hassle than its worth as you still get wet and furthermore you can’t cycle as fast.
* Cyclists oblivious to any other traffic – so many Japanese seem to be in their own little world whether they’ve got their iPod’s on or not. They just expect pedestrians and motorists to make way for them.
* Those stupid handlebar gloves – yeah they may be useful when its cold but they just look ridiculous.
* Blocking off junctions – no common sense sometimes when waiting to cross a road whilst blocking off traffic coming across their path. They don’t anticipate that someone maybe going along the path they’re about to turn into.
* Parked bicycles – usually they are parked very neat thanks to the work of the ojisan who line them up outside stations but its a free-for-all outside the supermarkets and convenience stores where exits are blocked, other bicycles are blocked-in and the path or road is significantly narrowed.
Too much negativity here? If so, then you may be more interested in reading about the things I love about living and working in Japan. Click on the following link: