Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday drivin' and the fuzz.

Today I started my day with a delicious breakfast. Thanks to my car, I was able to buy food I typically wouldn't be able to carry home on my bike. I made myself pancakes this morning and it sure did hit the spot with a cool glass of Meiji milk. I've been having eggs and toast every morning for breakfast for the past couple months and it was a nice change of pace.

I ended up getting out of my apartment around noon. I didn't set any goals or destination but I knew I needed to explore, and that is just what I did. I went beyond where I have explored by bike by many miles, to the point where I got lost actually. I somehow wandered my way into Chuo City, which is south of my city by about 15 kilometers or so.

As I just about regained my bearings and turned myself around thanks to my natural sense of direction (although it can put me many miles off course at times), I passed by a speed trap or something. Of course I didn't have anything to worry about because I wasn't speeding but I was the only person on the road at the time. So when I passed the police car, I thought nothing of it and continued on down the road. To my surprise the police car caught up with me about a half a kilometer down the road at a traffic light. At that moment one of the police in the car got out of the car and approached my passenger side window. So I rolled down the window and the police officer kindly asked me to pull into the convenience store parking lot across from where I was stopped. So without any hesitation, I parked in the parking lot and waited to find out what exactly they wanted.

Apparently my car is brand new and I am a foreigner so that was all the cause they needed to check me out. They asked for my alien card and driver's licence. During this whole experience I didn't feel any anxiety or anxiousness at all, as a matter of fact I felt pretty comfortable. Japanese police just aren't as intimidating or scary as California traffic cops, so that is probably why I felt so comfortable getting stopped randomly by them. After the police looked over my ID and asked me a couple of questions in Japanese they kindly apologised for stopping me and wasting my time and let me go without any other word. All in all the police were pretty friendly and I ended up thanking them even though they stopped me. Go figure.

So after my time with the police I found my way back to a familiar main road and decided to wander around a bit more. I ended up driving all the way to downtown Kofu and then back home. On the way home I bought some cheap NewBalance running shoes at a local shoe shop on sale for about 2,800 yen which is pretty cheap. I am also shocked I found a pair of shoes my size for so cheap, must have been destiny.

So that was the end of my Sunday drive, except for the police encounter it wasn't that interesting. I'll probably buy a map or download one sometime this week so I can find stuff easier next time I meander off onto a side road and loose track of where I am going. I think I have finally adjusted to driving in Japan, my last and biggest skill test will be on the toll highway. I'm not sure when I will try that out but when I do I am sure it will be just as trouble free as my first couple days driving. I should be fine.

This week at school will be interesting because its midterms week and most of my classes are cancelled. I also will be participating in a school marathon on Wednesday, which is the main reason I wanted running shoes. The marathon will be about nine kilometers, which I am sure I can survive because it's not a true marathon. I'm looking forward to running on Wednesday.

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