Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Helpful people.

In Tokyo for three days now, just to see if I like it (no I don't mean to sound like a rich brat, haha.) and so far, I really do! Like the taxi driver from Belfast who said that it's the people you live with that make somewhere a nice place to live in, it's the lovely people in Japan who are making my first few days so pleasant.

You know I don't like unhelpful people -- they make you feel like you are just an annoying bug on their windshield. And to have come back straight from the Netherlands, where it's usually so hard to ask people working in the service sector for some help, straight into Japan, it's like paradise for interpersonal interactions.

People bow to each other as a form of greeting, farewell, thanks, gratitude, and so on. And with the smiles on their faces it seems sincere! Having to smile at people sure put me in a good mood all day. We were walking in the food department of Tokyu mall and I took a picture of an elaborately-decorated fruit tart. The woman behind the counter thanked me (for taking the picture? for appreciating her awesome products?)!

I feel safe walking around, no men are staring at me, and even though I can't speak a word of Japanese people smile when you pass them. Especially the elderly. Speaking of which, there are so many of them walking around, fit as fiddles, without nary a walking stick.

There's also soothing street music (yesterday we passed by an instrumental version of 'The Lion King') piped into the streets. I didn't even realise it was public -- I thought it was coming out of one of the shops -- until our friend pointed it out. What a way to keep people calm and nice to each other, instead of using annoying sounds to prevent teenagers from loitering in public spaces.

The place we're staying in, Hiyoshi, reminds me a lot of Bangkok. Except that here it's really, really clean. I mean, the only dirt I see on the street is drain water.

Photos coming soon. (:

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