Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Today as I was cycling to work (very carefully, see my last blog entry) a woman shot out of a side road without looking either way to see if anybody was coming, and I braked sharply and swerved to avoid her. She didn't see me. She cycled on obliviously, and I followed more slowly, wondering how on earth anybody in Japan makes it to adulthood. She had a baby on the front of her bicycle and a toddler on the back, and had sped straight through a stop sign out into a fairly busy street. Eventually she turned into another busy street, also without looking first, and narrowly missed a garbage truck that was coming the other way.

A bit later there was another incident when an older woman cycling towards me, slowly and carefully, got a big surprise. A crow, which had been sitting on a fence facing me but not visible to her, suddenly flew out and passed right in front of her face. She swerved and shouted, then stopped and stood there for a moment, breathing heavily and looking shocked. It must have been scary - this huge black thing swooped right in front of her face so close she must have felt the wind from its wings. The crow landed in a tree and looked smug. I think it did it on purpose.

From now on I'll be watching out for stupid cyclists, stupid drivers, and crows. I think I also need some protective demons, like the ones pictured below. These are the demons guarding the gates of Shi-Tennoji, where I went on Sunday. I want protective demons that look like that.