In Japan...

"Hey, is that a ninja up there?"
(Japan, Aug 20 - Sep 19, 2011)

November 23, 2010

Customs, Crime and...Clouds?

I mentioned the weather before, but now it has been over two weeks of sunshine every day and refreshingly-cool evenings. One thing I haven't mentioned is that over 75% of the people ride bicycles around town, and 99% of those bikes are quaint, single-geared, basket-fronted numbers. If you want to go up a hill, you simply get off and walk saving the embarrassment of looking like you're about to get a hernia from attempting such a feat. They are not concerned with security either, everyone just leaves their bike with only a tiny back-wheel lock on that is attached to the bike itself. If there were unsecured bicycles outside a shop in Edinburgh they would be gone before you could say "haggis and chips, please."
Differences between Japan and the West: No. 5)
Crime seems to be non-existant (at least the non-organised kind).
Nagoya is a city about 4 times the size of Glasgow, yet it is incredibly clean, has about 0.005% of the crime and I have yet to see a homeless person. No crime, no's like living in the freaking Truman Show! Maybe it is a Buddhist thing...

In keeping with the courtesy to their fellow man, but the constant sunshine, is the remarkable abundance of umbrellas that are left outside every office and building around the city in large, umbrella-specific stands. Just have a look at along my cooridor (and I promise you there are less than 48 people in my corridor):

Today however, I experienced the Japanese downpour. For the 17 hours I was awake it was raining. A Pacific rain, straight down, no nonsense. So I am in the real world after all. It turns out that you can get decent umbrellas from the 100 Yen shop (dollar store). As there is no wind the umbrellas don't invert and break every week as in Scotland, and as there is no crime everyone has like 3 somewhere around the city.

All this leads me to one of the funniest things I have seen in a while: Japanese people cycling down the road whilst carrying a large, opened umbrellas. I wish I had a picture.

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