Friday, October 10, 2008

Hot wheels

Check out my sweet new ride. It is a sleek, shiny, single-speed, cruising machine. I think I am a little bit in love.

I bought it this afternoon. For the low, low price of 9,800 yen (which sounds expensive in Japanese yen but is a steal in Canadian dollars). It was the cheapest bike in the store. Unfortunately, bargain bikes do not come in inspiring colours. It was either black, white or silver. I went with black because the black bike was the shiniest and I like shiny things.

One of my favourite features of the bike is that the chain is entirely covered. This means no more tucking of pant legs into socks. Tucking my pant legs into my socks makes me feel like a dork. Now I can be fashionable while riding my bike. Not that I'm particularly stylish, but at least my pant legs can flap in the wind and my socks can remain hidden underneath where they belong.

As I was taking these pictures, I didn't notice that a Japanese woman was staring at me until her curiosity got the better of her.

"What are you doing?" she asked in a tone that implied complete bewilderment.

"I'm taking pictures of my bike," I said.

"Why?" she asked, sounding even more confused than before.

I told her that I had just bought it and I wanted to take some pictures to show friends and family back home. This explanation seemed to satisfy her. She told me it was a nice bike. But that if I was going to send pictures of it back to my friends and family, it would be better if I was in the picture.

"Give me your camera," she said. "I will take a picture of you with the bike."

I did as she asked and that is how this picture came into existence.

Back in my apartment, I flipped through the owner's manual to learn about my new bike. Unfortunately, the manual was entirely in Japanese.

However, the front cover helpfully reminded me that it's okay to have trouble understanding the manual. Because I am an alien. And bikes are different on our planet.

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