Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I fought the law (and the law bottled it)

Riding down Midosuji, GOD DAMN- the police are pulling me over for the second time in three days. Suddenly, I'm not in the mood to play cooperative gaijin anymore.

"AGAIN? You stopped me because I'm a foreigner," I tell them. The expression of the kohai couldn't have been angrier if I'd exposed myself to his daughter's kindergarten class.

"We did no such thing," he tells me. He tries to maintain this even when I ask him why I'm currently getting pulled over every other day. "Before we pulled you over, there was no way for us to tell whether you were foreign or Japanese."

"I'm a different height and a different colour and you couldn't spot that I'm not Japanese?" I query.

"We stopped you because you don't have lights," he responds testily.

"I don't need lights, this is a lit street."

"There are dark places further down the road," chimes in the sempai.

"No there aren't, this is Midosuji," I say.

A Japanese person goes past on a bike.

"Oi, that guy was making a- no, sorry- using a cellular phone; isn't that dangerous?"

"When we have finished this conversation, we will be vigilant," announces kohai, as if he has rehearsed this line.

"Yes, you'll be vigilant for foreigners on bikes."


Even though I had no lights, I'd been drinking and I'd accused the police of racism, I was able to ride the bike home. I got the feeling that they found me a bit much to handle.

"They let you ride off because they knew what you were saying was true," Andrew said when I dropped by his room for a whisky and a rant.


Incidentally, kohai's last disingenuous words could also be translated as: if we finish this conversation.

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