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Temper Tantrum
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temperSometimes I just get tired of this whole Japan thing. You might think from my website that things are all happy-go-lucky but some days, (just some days mind you), everything here seems to get on my nerves. It's a bad habit I know. It's gotten me into trouble before and did so again the other day.

So I was biking home from the gym. I was on this narrow stretch of road, well all roads in Japan are narrow but this one was more like a bike path. I hear this guy zoom up behind me and he honks. God I hate being honked at, especially when I'm not even in a car. It just pisses me off that these car people, sitting in their car seat, comfortable, warm, not having to exert themselves in the slightest, feel the need to honk their horns at pedestrians or cyclists who are out in the cold, maybe wet, using their own power to get around. Anyway I do what I usually do when impatient people are trying to exert their will on a situation, I ignore them. Did he expect me to pull over because he needed the gas pedal to time travel to his destination? I've got a right to be on the road too bud. Not even 2 seconds passed before he honked again, damn! Just before we entered a small tunnel he decides, screw this guy (me), and roars past missing me by about 2 inches. No sooner had he passed me then he was stopped by another car in front of him. Of course I could have gotten by seeing how I was on a bike, but he cuts me off and leaves me to slam on my brakes behind him. It was just too much and the ol' dam burst. Without thinking about what I was doing I slammed my bike tire into his back bumper, gentle like of course, but enough to get his undivided attention. I then shouted at him. Can't remember exactly what I said but I think it might have been impolite. By this point he had already gotten out of his little van and was shouting at me, demanding to know why I'd hit his van. I pulled up to the driver door and continued to shout at him, telling him how he almost hit me, to be more careful, etc, alternating between English and Japanese. None of it got through to him though as he kept shouting the same thing at me, “Why did you run into me!!” Surprisingly things hadn't come to blows yet. He then headed to the rear of the vehicle to see if there was any damage (as if a bike tire could even leave a scratch) and suddenly all my anger vanished. I felt stupid. What was I thinking behaving in such a fashion? Not only did I feel stupid, I felt weak. A real man would have handled the situation calmly but instead I flew off the handle like a kid. I had reversed our roles and instead of me being the victim, now I was the bad guy. Ashamed of myself, I pedaled away quickly, hoping to be out of sight before he got back into his van and followed me home. I also had remembered that there was a police station not 30 seconds from the site of our little argument, and I was pretty sure my case against him was going to sound pretty lame if he wanted to involve the police.

My apartment was only a minute away and around several corners. When I pulled into the alley where I usually park my bike, I was sure I'd lost him. I hadn't heard him shouting or any kind of vehicle following me but I still wondered if it would have been better to take a more indirect route home just in case. I got off my bike and paused for a minute again replaying the scene in my mind. My day was off to a bad start, ruined perhaps. I slowly walked to the front of my building and headed to the elevator. As the door opened I turned my head and what did I see but the same guy running towards the front doors of my building! I hurriedly pushed the close door button and my floor number without thinking, I had spent my anger and I didn't want to start fighting again, especially since this time it looked like he wanted to get physical. Damn the guy knows where I live now! And even stupider of me, he knows my floor number. I watched through the peephole for a few minutes to see if he would try to follow me up and find my room number as well, but he never came up. It occurred to me a bit later that he might take some sort of revenge against my bike sitting outside. I went back downstairs to see if my bike had a flat tire or was knocked down or something, but it was ok, and the guy was nowhere to be seen....

It occured to me later on, that it's experiences like this that help to drive home the fact that I am a guest in this country, not a citizen, and it's in my best interests to be promoting a good image of foreign people here. Instead I most likely turned some Japanese guy against Caucasian people for life. Where's the sense in that?



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Temper Tantrum
My Cockroach Factory
Your Head is Like a Football
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Undercover Blues
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