My morning commute took a turn for the violent and bloody, and the thinnest, barest thread of luck kept me intact. What a way to start a Monday.
I bike every morning from my apartment on the border of Nakano, Shibuya and Shinjuku Wards up the hill to Shinjuku Station, en route to Edogawa Ward, the eastern unwashed armpit of Tokyo.
The ride itself up Ome-Kaido St. is easy. The challenge is in dodging the cars (if I bike in the street,) or the people (if I bike on the sidewalk.) So, the one time so far that I nearly get hit, and where does it happen?
In the pedestrian intersection. In front of the police station.
I was biking on the sidewalk this morning, and happily minding my own business zipping through on a green light when I see out of the corner of my eye a van making a right turn.
The only reason I’m writing this and not a bloody street-smear is that our lead-footed and apparently blind truck driver discovered his brake pedal. So as he slowed down, he clipped the front tire of my bike.
The rest of the story was nothing but luck. No physical injuries. Barely any damage to the bike. A police detective walking to work saw the accident, and hauled both of us into the station. He took our statements, scolded the driver for not looking before he turned, and sent us on our way.
And I got to work only 30 minutes late, plenty of time to prep and teach my first class. And unlike Nova, which would’ve docked my pay by several thousands of yen or more, my boss simply asked, “Are you okay?”
What a difference a company makes.