Letters by Kenny Mah

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Let’s ride!

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July 4, 2013

Hey you,

Couples discuss stuff or, in our case, negotiate:

“No,” I say.

“Come on,” you tell me, “it’d be fun! We haven’t cycled in, what, ten years?”


“We’ve never cycled t-o-g-e-t-h-e-r before…”

And with that, any discussion was over. How could I refuse you? Especially when you make those Bambi eyes, those Antonio-Banderas-Puss-in-Boots eyes?

We find ourselves a bicycle rental shop run by an old man who spoke only Japanese. Sign language and much tapping away later at a decrepit calculator, we are the proud owners of the battery-assisted bicycles, for four hours anyway.

I’m convinced I’m going to fall off my two-wheeler and get crushed by a passing truck. I don’t, to my surprise. It’s true what they say about having learnt to ride a bike and all. (It helped that doesn’t seem to be any trucks or even much traffic in Biei.)

I lead. Partly because I’m the navigator by default when we travel (map-reading skills not included in your vast repertoire of talents unfortunately); and partly because you’d have a better chance of swerving and avoiding me if I fly from my bike or get thrown into a ditch.

But I fret too much.

Nothing goes wrong. Instead the weather is perfectly sunny, the view of the green sloping hills (dotted with strategically picturesque trees) is stunning, and I don’t get us lost, not once.

Along the way, we laugh and hoot and simply enjoy the breeze caressing our faces, wondering why we’ve not done this earlier?

Cycling over slopes
We, the first boys this summer
breeze gently kisses.

Yours always and always,

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