Today’s post is all about the bicycle. Why bicycles? For one, it’s a machine that I’ve always loved. My family still remembers me outracing the bigger kids in the neighbourhood…at 5 years old! For two, it’s how I mostly get around Kurume. It’s so fun to bike in Japan because there are very few laws (or at least lax enforcement). Not that it’s anything goes, but most of the time you can freely switch between the sidewalk and road shoulder in areas with no bike lanes. Drivers will always stop for you, and you can share the road with motorists and very few people will direct their rage towards you. Aside from students, people also don’t wear helmets. Why this is, I’m not really sure. I feel that biking is just a part of everyday culture, just like how if tipping was required at restaurants the number of people in Japan who go out to eat on a regular basis would drop drastically. I’m not condoning the non-use of helmets, but not having to carry around one is one less thing to worry about. Stay safe!
For three, as I wrote in the last post, I’m moving to Yangon, Myanmar. Bicycles, or any form of two-wheel transportation, is illegal in Yangon. I heard that this is because before the country opened up a few years ago, the old military regime wanted to suppress movement within the city. It’s kind of weird because in virtually all major cities on that side of Asia motorbikes and scooters are king. I’m going to miss getting around by bike, and I only hope that they overturn that law while I’m still there. Then I’ll have to deal with the cars.
Seoul, South Korea
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia