With airplanes, satellite television, the Internet, and the global sourcing of American goods and services, my world has shrunk. I remember when all I knew about a foreign culture was what they taught me in school or I heard on the nightly news. And I assume the same was true of the denizens living in a country on the other side of the globe.
Today, I have first-hand knowledge of much more. I can travel anywhere in cyberspace literally with my fingertips. There are TV shows coming at me from everywhere in the world. I can pick up the telephone, dial a local number for assistance of some sort, and speak to someone in a foreign country. The brochures that come with the products I buy are not only written in eight languages, they are actually written in India, China, Mexico, and who-knows-where-else.
In many ways, this is all a good thing. But as foreign became less "foreign," it lost a lot of its charm along the way. The following is a little piece of that charm, coming your way from 1962. Thanks to Roland Brown of Motorcycle Classics for publishing it.
*******From a 1962 Honda Motor Cycle Owner’s Manual are the following riding suggestions, translated by Honda for the “American Motorcycle Rider.”
- At the rise of the hand by Policeman, stop rapidly. Do not pass him by or otherwise disrespect him.
- When a passenger of the foot, hooves in tight, tootel the horn trumpet melodiously at first, if he still obstacles your passage, tootel him with vigor and express by word of mouth, warning Hi, Hi.
- Beware of the wandering horse that he shall not take fright as you pass him. Do not explode the exhaust box at him. Go soothingly by.
- Give big space to the festive dog that makes sport in roadway. Avoid entanglement of dog with wheel spokes.
- Go soothingly on the grease, mud, as there lurks the skid demon! Press the brake foot as you roll around the corners, and save the collapse and tie up.