Saturday, April 28, 2018

Small Adventure 61

We get traffic cops at some of the busier intersections between Amu Plaza and down into Tenmonkan during evening rush hour. I never thought about them much, but there's no place for parking patrol cars nearby; I just kind of figured they walked over from neighboring police boxes (koban).

Well, the other day, I had to go to the Yamada Denki electronics store half a mile upstream, the other side of Kotsuki river. There's a major intersection just one block from the apartment, and when I got there at 5:30 PM, there were four beat cops directing traffic to allow pedestrians to cross at the lights. I walk to Yamada, taking my time and taking photos of birds down in the river. I get to Yamada, pick up my new camera battery, which had been on order for one week, then turn around and head back for the apartment. I get to the same intersection at about 6 PM, and the cops are gone. I don't really think much of this, as I keep walking in the general direction of Tenmonkan in order to get to the Shiroyama supermarket to buy juice for the next day.

About halfway between the apartment and Shiroyama is another busy through street, and on the other side, about 20 feet short of the end of the block is a senior care clinic. When I reached that street, I saw a whole bunch of people in uniforms standing on the sidewalk in front of the clinic, and my immediate thought was that one of the patients inside had suffered some kind of emergency and they'd summoned an ambulance, or that there was a fire in the building. As I got closer, I could make out the word "Police" on their jackets, and that they were wearing the crossing guard reflective vests. Then, I recognized one of the guards I'd seen at the other intersection 30 minutes earlier. So now, I'm figuring that they have a regular drop off and pick up schedule, and this is their main pick-up point.

I get to the corner about 30 feet past the loitering cops, and prepare to cross the street to their side to continue up the cross street to Shiroyama. As I do, a bus prepares to make a left turn in front of me, and the driver, another cop, waves me through the crosswalk in front of him. Which I thought was funny - the driver is another crossing guard, giving pedestrians the right of way from inside the vehicle. I get to the other side of the street, and the bus makes its turn, reaches the waiting crowd of cops, stops and lets them on.

On the back of the bus was the stamp, in metal, silver-plated letters - Citizen.

No comments: