Oh, so you like riding your bicycle through rainstorms, do you? Hmm, holding an umbrella while riding doesn’t sounds too safe. Unless you’re in Japan:
Yes, the see-through umbrella, yet another Japanese fixture that once again makes me question why something that’s perfectly sensible in Japan is found nowhere else I’ve been.
When I first arrived, I thought that clear, plastic umbrellas might have been a feminine thing but no, they’re a standard item in every convenience store. One can be yours for around $5 AUD, and if it’s raining, the ultra-polite staff will even ask you if you want it unwrapped from its plastic sheath immediately and the garbage disposed of.
While perfectly designed for bike riding, they do prove to have a short lifespan. Eventually, a hole will wear through near one of the struts, or the slightly flimsy frame will be blown inside-out during the next typhoon. For a city where you rarely see litter, typhoon season sees the streets lined with the abandoned umbrella corpses, discarded by their no-doubt damp former owners.