What is the opposite of Police Brutality?

Yesterday, a necessary bike ride from the confines of Odaiba back to our neighbourhood (10km as the crow flies, 20km in practice, thanks to the freaking Rainbow Bridge being closed to bikes) yielded my first police bike check of the year. To be fair, they stopped me because of the headphones (with a very unconvinced “危ないよ”), but hey, why miss an occasion to check on the vehicle’s papers.

As always in my interactions with the Japanese police, this one was extremely courteous and friendly. In fact, it took a slightly unusual turn when the conversation went from the perfunctory “Where are you from/How long have you been in Japan/日本語はうまいですね” to the slightly more personal “やっぱりヨロッパ、ヨロッパ人はかっこういいですね”…

And then it got weird.

The one young cop not busy checking my bike’s registration number inquired if I was riding back from the local gym. I told him that not, and that the lycra tank top I was rocking was merely in some vain hope of not entirely melting during the one-hour bike ride in the Tokyo Summer. “But you do work out, right? Yea, I could totally tell”…

A new string of gushing (and comically undeserved) comments on my cool European demeanour and style were interrupted by the other cop confirming that everything was in order and I was free to go.

Beside both policemen being roughly my height and weight (and just as unlikely to ever succeed as male strippers), the only thing missing to the softcore gay porn scenario was the boom-tchiki-boom music.

Filed under: Only in Japan


  1. I’ve been biking to work for about a year now, and haven’t been stopped yet. Well, that isn’t strictly true; I got yelled at once for making a right turn on the green arrow with the cars instead of crossing at the cross walks. The guy just let me off with a warning.

    About a week later, a friend of mine at work who also bikes in said a cop stopped him and said “hey, didn’t I warn you about that last week?”

    We look nothing alike.

  2. “boom-tchiki-boom music”…. hehehehe, excellent finishing touch! that made me laugh a lot

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