Bike Lot Machine

Bike Lot Machine, Near the Kamo River, Kyoto.

In Japan, machines often gently prod you to behave or pay or act in a certain way. On elevators, a woman's mechanical voice warns the elevator door is closing, and when the elevator stops at, for example, the 12th floor, there will be an announcement - "We are now at the 12th floor."

Escalators in train stations encourage you not to run, to hold on, to stand to the side, for those with small children to be careful. In public schools, there are constant announcements, from the morning greeting (the events of the day, the weather), to music alerting that it is recess time.

Bicycle parking lot, Japan.

At a bike lot in Kyoto, I paid my day ticket. You can hear the change going into the machine--and the soothing but firm voice of the machine guiding me.

"For those who need a receipt, press the receipt button. Please pay with cash or a pre-paid card. After paying, please take your ticket."

Amazing and efficient. Creepy and Pavlovian.

June 21, 2006.

Ticket dispensing machine in a bicycle parking lot, Japan.

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