08 November, 2016

Courteous cyclists and decorous drivers

This is the bike/pedestrian path near our church. It's fairly spacious but there
 isn't much room to pass if two people are walking side-by-side or a bike
is haphazardly parked.*
By the way, if you squint a little, you can see Mt Fuji under the powerlines.
When riding on Saturday with my Australian friend from Taiwan, we stopped a few times for her to take photos of things that struck her as interesting, especially when on the bike tracks (not so much when we were on the road portion of our journey). I suggested once or twice that she pull her bike further off the track so that we didn't block anyone else. She complied but noted that that's not something Chinese people bother about: taking care not to block other people.
Japanese drivers are generally very law abiding, different to what I've seen
in some other parts of Asia.

She was also shocked at how polite the drivers were: they gave way to us many times even at intersections. We saw none of the pushiness you see in Australian drivers and, apparently, Taiwanese drivers too.

Both of these aspects of life here are almost second nature to us (I mentioned the golden rule of life in Japan in this post in April). When out and about we're usually on alert for being a bother to other people. But we also expect that drivers will be fairly polite (though Australian win in stopping at pedestrian crossings, but I guess that is a law difference).

*I really wanted to add "polite pedestrians" into the title, but that might have been a bit much, especially as I didn't really talk about those. But polite pedestrians will not block the whole path if they are walking as a group, or will keep their ears open to hear a bike bell and move to one side.

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