Saturday, February 16, 2008

Car Trouble

Last night I had my first real accident in Japan. I was riding with Eph, who just moved here from Vancouver, and I got broadsided by a car. Luckily, we were both going fairly slow, so although the car didn't make the slightest effort to avoid me, there was no real harm done. I was knocked head over heels but amazingly there was no damage to my bike at all and my legs were only slightly banged up. (Strangely, my bike was more damaged in two previous collisions with other bikes than last night.)

I got knocked down in the middle on the intersection, so the first thing I did was get back on the bike and ride to the sidewalk. The driver just took off and while I was trying to shake it off a lady came up and started asking me, in thick Kansai-ben, if I was OK. I told her that I thought I might be and then she told us that if something happened, we should call the police. She was mostly talking to Eph, because he looks like he could be Japanese, and because I was a bit to shaken to pay much attention. At one point, she was telling him that we should tell the police the car's licence number and that it was 55768, or 55678, or maybe 55687.

After I got my breath back, we went to a nearby shop and had my rear wheel trued while I waited for the adrenaline to subside so I could determine if there was any long term damage to my legs. The stinging was pretty intense but I decided my legs were actually fine and to try to ride it off.

We ended up riding for about two hours, out east near Kyobashi (京橋) and around Osaka Castle. Here's a cute little Christmas love hotel that we saw along the way. In Japan, every night can be like Christmas, as long as you have someone to spend an hour or two with.

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