*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Monday 13 February 2012


No, I am not serious about the picture. I could see it work for crossing an open plain, with wider tires.
I don't mind hills.  I've even climbed over 2500m in a day.  Headwinds?  I have no use for them.  I've also no use for the Japanese blind-spot over trees.  Trees break-up winds.  Trees also cause shade, so your neighbour can get you fined for casting shade on his property, or for the clean-up of leaves?  No joke.  So much for consensus-oriented thinking, eh?  What Tokyo and Kanto need is far more tree cover: break up the wind, shade the (ubiquitous!) concrete, freshen the air, and relieve the eyes.  Make them all deciduous so winter warmth is not shaded, but summer is, and get over picking up a few leaves.  Never going to happen.  Look at this ugly!

View Larger Map
I've been thinking about it because the NW winter winds in Kanto are constant, and the tree cover and scenery minimal in NE Tokyo riding north on the Edogawa towards Satte.  Not helped by the only path worth riding away from a thousand stoplights suspended up in the winds atop the levées.  It's become quite demotivating: grind into the wind for a couple hours; zip home in something like half the time.  Rinse and repeat.  Maybe I need to get over my misanthropy and join a peloton...

I ran into a building-neighbour when I got back from my Sunday ride, and we laughed about how bad a ride I'd had, and that he'd decided against one: steady 30km/hr NW wind.  The more amusing part of the conversation is that he was thoughtful enough to refer to me (in Japanese) as the "gentleman from upstairs", instead of as "the foreign gentleman, married to the Japanese daughter of the building owner".  Clearly a more thoughtful than average local.  I referred to him as "the gentleman who does triathlon."  Showing what?  I know they do not all look alike?

The better solution is to get a train into the Boso-Hanto interior (map bottom-right) away from winds and among trees, where there is no snow and ice cover this time of year.  That means I have to get organized with trains, and the like.  Sigh...

Friday 3 February 2012

Nobody tells you THIS about 'culture shock':

If you're open-minded, you'll learn to hate your own people as much as the ones you went to live with.
It's my British (father), Japanese (residence) and Canadian (birth and most of life) experience that makes me despise most people of each; why does nobody love me?
Every international organization, from the UN to JET to the deracinated couplings in Roppongi, professional and freelance, put it out in their copy that the experience is a melodious choir of 'kumbaya'.  Lies.  The problem isn't that there aren't an equal number of good and thoughtful people in all cultures: there probably are so few in each.  It's not because there aren't beautiful women, or men, to fall in love with wherever you go: there are (but obesity doesn't help, N.America).  No.  There's just two nagging problems that nobody wants to address: most people are ugly inside and out no matter where you go, and often that ugliness is manifested in ways unique to their culture.

I'm not going to enumerate the sins of assholes from the cultures I know well, because those of you who know these cultures know the sins as well as I do; if you don't you should learn on your own rather than let me bias you.  The reason I put up this post is not because I feel guilty about some of what I have written about Japan, because I have written worse about Canada (and I feel no guilt at all for what I have said about the French fleeing Tokyo).  Yet this post is motivated by guilt, atheist lapsed-Catholic that I am.  I have linked an interesting blogger on my blog roll: a Japanese guy blogging in English, which I'll never have 'the stones' to do in his language.  If he came to see my blog he'd think I hate Japanese people, unless he read further along to see I hate most Canadians.  You see...

I'm not bigoted or racist: I just hate the idiots in each culture I've known.