Monday, October 21, 2013

Subtle Influence

I was hoping to cut-back on blog post about having a bike from Japan that I roll around with in a small city in Southern Italy, I was almost able to do that until this past weekend.  I must admit that my bike is a little goofy looking when taken out of context of Japan and even more so, I must also look a little goofy when I'm riding it.

The bar that serves as a meeting point for me and most of my friends and coworkers has bike parking right in front of the out door seating area, along the sidewalk curb.  Usually when I rollup, park my bike and sit down, someone ask "what is that?"  And I respond "that's my bike, it's from Japan."  And after a few seconds someone looks at me and ask, "why don't you get a normal bike, with larger wheels."  In response "It is a normal bike, in Japan."  And this answer usually leads to someone telling me something I know about how I'm not in Japan, this is in fact Italy.

For a minute I started to concede that maybe my bike was not cool... Until this past Sunday when I was walking from my apartment to Old Town Grottaglie and noticed some new graffiti.
 Someone made an image of a folding bike, that looks a lot like my bike on a stone wall with the word  'Grazia' or 'grace' in English above the bike.  Unfortunately this Italian Banksy did not tag his or her name on the wall.
Anyways, subtle influence, obviously riding this bike around Grottaglie has raised its unconscious popularity to the cultural level of someone painting it on a brick wall... I looked all over Grottaglie and yet to see a normal Italian bike gratified on a wall.