a The Transit Lounge: Round 2: Why Do People...?

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Monday, October 9

Round 2: Why Do People...?

" Why do people, especially tourists in Cairns, wander across the road aimlessly regardless of the colour of the traffic light, or the speed of the traffic or if a bloody mack truck is going to run them down and expect for the car to just stop! And when they are let loose on scooters they are really taking their lives into their own hands..." - The Divine Miss M

Dear Miss M,

Seeing that many of the tourists you would be referring to would actually be Japanese and due to my living experience in Japan, where wandering aimlessly over the road regardless of anything, including such extreme events as death, is an inborn (or is that inbred?) vice, and all kinds from salarymen to geisha to young fashionistas scoot about town as often as they use chopsticks, I feel I am well qualified to answer your query.

The Traffic Dodging thing
could come down to a couple of points. In Japan, the law dictates that if there is some sort of accident involving any transport of any kind and/or pedestrians, the 'smaller' component of the accident is always in the right. So if a drunk person randomly wobbles out onto a 100km/hr section of road and into the path of an oncoming Mack Truck, said Mack Truck is automatically at fault. If a person on a scooter cannot control their scooter and as a result falls off, only to be run over by a small car seconds later, said small car is at fault (this really happened to a student of mine driving behind an elderly scooter driver who was probably to frail to adequately handle the scooter!). So relating back to your query, wandering aimlessly over the road is always going to be a win-win situation for the pedestrian here in Japan at least. Either you make it to the other side of the road in one piece - or you don't but as a result you (or your family depending on how many pieces you are in) will be a shitload richer. Therefore they don't really care.

And this is when ignorance and stupidity come into play, where tourists from particular countries that I don't care to list, simply assume things are the same in other countries - whether this is to do with the law (as above) or just being so damn idiotic not to realise that things are different outside of their own piece of world. You say to-may-to. I say tomato - and that driving occurs on the left side of the road as opposed to the right. We all know assumption is the mother of all fuckups, and in this case could leave one for dead.

As for the scooters
, I think the problem is people view them as a cute accessory much like a mobile tag or a handbagged Chihuahua, and nothing bad happens to cute, right? That is until they wind up wedged bitween the bitumen and the underbelly of a anything bigger than a go-kart, with no skin and no hope, after attempting to floor 'cute' round a U-turn that landed them in oncoming traffic.

Auntie Kisses.

I am happy to answer any Why Do People....? queries you may have, just drop 'em in the comments.



Blogger Divine Miss M said...

Thanks for that little insight Aunty Kisses! That shreds more than just a little light on the subject... I often wonder why they peer through the car window with a look of shocked disbelief when they are abused for riding their scooter down the wrong side of Mulgrave Road in peak hour traffic... Now I know that it's all the fault of the traffic laws in Japan! I swear sometime they think they are in Bali, not Cairns!
Lots of Love
Pimp Mama Tease :)

8:08 am

Blogger Gitte said...

Why do people (read tradesmen) never ever ever ever ever ever ever return your calls? I can't bloody GIVE my money away to any of them at the moment. Oh then the one that does quotes $13K for my bathroom and laundry (combined total floor space of 30 cm sq). If you don't want the ob, don't waste my time! Oh and hide the bum crack

10:31 am

Anonymous danski said...

Why do women (particularly at this time of year - Spring Racing Season) feel the need to wear open toed shoes with stockings, despite knowing that it is, and always has been, a fashion faux par! They spend thousands on dresses, hats, shoes - glorious shoes, and ruin the whole ensemble in one foul swoop with bloody open toed shoes with stockings! arh!

8:40 am


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