Saturday, June 18, 2005

Where's Panch?

I cruised up alongside, and lo and behold, it's CHiPs!!

This guy, who later turned out to work for Bank America (Tokyo Branch) was riding a complete Kawasaki Police 1000, with everything included, right down to the mounted nightstick (you can just barely see the end of it).

I asked if I could take his picture, and he posed here for it. We rode alongside each other for a few more miles, before I had to peel off on a smaller street. Luckily for the traffic lights, I was able to catch up with him after the first sighting.

Needless to say, he was turning heads. One such head belonged to a small child who was holding his father's hand. The father leaned down to his child's level and pointed to the bike as we rode by, and I heard him say, (in Japanese) "Son, look at that!"

With folks imitating, copying, and admiring with this level of detail, is it any wonder that the best plastic models in the world come from two Japanese companies, Tamiya and Hasegawa?

I once saw a California Highway Patrol Chevy Caprice. Fully done. Everything. Even had a (toy?) shotgun mounted barrel up on the dash. The guy driving it was, unlike this Kawasaki owner, wearing normal street clothes.

In the U.S. it would be illegal to drive around in a police car or motorbike. But not here, where niches and obsessions and "getting into character" are as normal as putting on a suit and going to the office.


ML_TS290118.JPG, originally uploaded by supercublogger.


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