Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy Bicycle to You

I got on my bike with the intention of lazing by the river, but not two peddles  and the sound of the chain reminded me of a chore I had meant to do today:  get a tune-up before my two-year maintenance expired.  I went to Asahi bike shop and realized that my vocabulary has not taught me the words for "tune-up" and pronouncing in Japanese didn't seem to yield much either.  However, a magical wild card appeared in the form of a middle-aged customer who saw me fumbling and said in perfect English, "Perhaps I can be of some assistance."  If only I could conjure him at other junctures in my time in Japan, but I'm thankful that my bike can be the beneficiary of such sudden luck.

Instead of my lazing, I walked around the area for the thirty minutes that they were working on my bike and found a new path to the river.  I realized that perhaps two years I may have walked part of this way with Christy, my friend-to-be.  She was showing me the area, and I remember being enchanted by the smell of the rice paddies we went through, a phenomenon totally unknown to me at the time.  It has been two years since I walked that way.  What happened?  And there, beyond the rice paddies and the green park with a stream and the golf nets, was another view of the river and a new way to watch the sunset.

Will I remember to find this enchantment again?

They called my phone to tell me the bike was done.  I understood a little more than I did two years ago, but perhaps the most notable change was knowing that all I would have to say was, "Hai," and not to get too worried about the details.  All would be ok.  

I returned to the shop and the clerk had a few parts they wanted to change on the bike, one that needed to be ordered; she spoke to me in bits of English to help and we worked through the communication.  
I'll need to go back to the bike shop, and perhaps I will need to wait another thirty minutes, and perhaps I will go for another walk and find another new thing that has been there all along.  

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