June 27, 2011
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On my way home from work on Friday, I was waiting on my bike to cross the street, and a truck went by in the direction I had come from. It was pretty quick, but the driver honked his horn and said, “Hi,” and I could only see for a split second that it was some black guy possibly in his 40s or 50s that I didn’t know.
Confused, I ignored it and kept riding home, wondering if this guy was going to do what I thought he would. And I was right. About 3 minutes later, I’m riding up the hill, and from the corner of my eye I see this truck driving in the same direction, and he pulls over on the other side of the street to wait for me coming up the hill. As I pass him, he says, “Hi, excuse me,” I turned my head in his direction and freaked, and decided to keep pedaling. He yells louder, “Excuse me!” but I ignored him.
A small part of me felt a bit rude, because he may have had an honest and legitimate question about directions or something. But I highly doubted that. If this guy needed directions, he would’ve slowed down the first time instead of honking and saying hello as he whizzed by me. From my experience though, I had a feeling that this guy probably wanted to ask me some personal questions, eventually leading to a “I think you’re pretty, can we be friends?” type of thing. It’s happened so many times, both in Japan and the US, and I absolutely hate it.
Besides, if he was some gaijin in Japan honestly looking to talk to other foreigners in the area, he probably shouldn’t be trying to talk to a girl half his age on a bicycle during a hot summer afternoon. Who in the world wants to stop and talk to a stranger at a time like that?