(First of all, if you’re paying attention, yes, I’m writing this at nearly 3am…)
So I left the office a bit “early” today – 5pm – and stopped in the local watering hole on the first floor to enjoy the company of a coworker. Technically you could have really considered it an extension of the work day because at least 75% of the time was talking about work, but that’s why I’m writing this post. I’m writing this post because of what we casually observed happening on the street this evening.
I, with my back to the street, heard a car horn bleat, which is a bit odd, in combination with my companion’s exclamation of “ohhh.” I turned, noticed a bicyclist in an odd part of the street and a stopped vehicle. It seems the bike had come in contact with the car in some manner, but the bike was still on two wheels, so I didn’t think an awful lot of it.
And then it got interesting.
The car, something along the lines of a Lexus Hybrid, pulled to the curb and the back door swung open with some urgency. Out stepped the gentleman passenger, at which point he called out to the bicyclist to return and converse about the situation.
So, about our gentleman passenger. He was probably mid-thirties, wearing long shorts with a wild pattern and had an odd haircut for Japan – sort of a faux-hawk / buzzed on the sides thing. Yet, despite this rather modern style, he had a certain air of money and status about him.
Yes… it seems likely he was a member of a well known Japanese social organization that will go unnamed. If you’re not familiar, well… let’s say it would be similar to the subject of a well known and classically acclaimed trio of movies that starred Marlon Brando amongst many others. Capisce?
So the gentleman, his driver, and the bicyclist had a nice, close quarters conversation on the side of the street. I’m sure it was completely polite and gentlemanly. As the trio were having said conversation, the police happened to drive by. (Yes, happened – completely and utterly random, I’m quite certain of that.)
As a quite aside, there is a funny thing about the cops around here… they drive around with their lights flashing. No siren, no rush, just cruising with traffic with their (red) light bars activated. Odd.
Anyway, the cops approach as part of their normal patrol of the area and we cringe in anticipation of the result. “Don’t stop, don’t stop, don’t stop.”
They slow down next to the conversation.
They move on.
A few moments later, the conversation breaks up and they go their separate ways. The small, quiet crowds that have gathered nearby go their separate ways as well. One of the guys in the bar – he appeared to be an American, and I presume he’s “just off the boat” – expressed shock in the way it was handled. My coworker and I reminded him that it’s not often men in surf-attire have expensive cars with drivers. After a moment, the concept seemed to click for him.
Oh yeah – that’s another amusing thing. Like I mentioned, these guys were in a Lexus hybrid. It was a four-door sedan, which is quite commonly, but usually it’s a Toyota Century with curtains in the back. (Note – WOW. You really have to read at least introduction to that Wiki article linked for the Century.) Apparently, though, the hybrid luxury cars are more expensive than any other cars, so it has become more a status symbol, at least for that particular crowd.
This is Japan, as they say.