The city of Tsukuba spent quite a sum of money to provide special bicycles in key locations to help people get around in this city with less than adequate public transportation. It was a great idea and very convenient, as all you had to do was put a 100 yen coin in the slot, and then you could ride off somewhere, even leaving the bike at some other drop-off point (where you could retrieve the coin someone else had left for a different bicycle.)
Where have all the bicycles gone? It seems that more than a few of these brightly colored bikes have been seen parked and locked in front of the residence of certain foreigners who apparently think they have "bought" a nice bike for 100 yen! Such selfish thinking, however, defeats the whole purpose of having these bikes available for the temporary (less than 24 hours!) use of Tsukuba citizens. Plenty of cheap bikes are available, and if you look around, you can often find abandoned bikes that can be rehabilitated easily. So if you've "checked out" a bike from the local "open air library", please return it immediately! Likewise, if you see such a bike (smaller than average, "solid" front wheel brightly colored) parked in front of an apartment somewhere, please point this out. Such selfish action on the part of a few reflects very badly on us all.
The International Women's Network (IWN) is a group of women who enjoy chatting with people from all over the world. We hold a monthly potluck dinner where we exchange information about the local community while eating a variety of foods. No reservation is needed to attend the potluck. Just bring one dish of food and show up at the meeting. Newcomers are always welcome! Take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy the international city of Tsukuba with us!
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