The typhoon that blew through Japan south and west of Kanto seems to have taken the last of the rainy season with it. It has been hot and humid, as one expects from summer weather here, and the local disaster prevention sections of the city offices have returned to broadcasting warnings about avoiding heat stroke.
A couple of weeks ago, though, the rainy season was still with us, and was complicated by interactions with a couple of typhoons. My part of Kanto managed to escape most of the really dangerous downpours that caused flooding and landslide damage elsewhere, but there were plenty of days with very robust rainfall and terrible visibility for drivers.
Just before dawn on one of those days, when it was light but the sun hadn't quite risen, I was driving to work, paying my usual careful attention to drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians around me. One older guy on a motor scooter almost escaped my vigilant eye, though, as he came up to--illegally--pass me in the narrow space left in the lane between my car and the curb. That's not unusual by any means, but I usually see them coming earlier. This guy was on a gray bike, wearing full rain gear, including the hood of his parka pulled over his helmet.
It was raining pretty hard, and as I've done a lot of motorcycle and scooter riding in wet weather, I certainly applaud his decision to dress for the weather. Choosing rain gear in a shades-of-gray urban camouflage pattern, and riding his gray bike, though, may not have been the wisest course unless he actually wanted to be nearly invisible.
Home Truths column for February
1 week ago