Saturday, 18 July 2009

Milk of human kindness

Japan has to be the kindest and friendliest nation on the planet. Honestly. I have never been made to feel as welcome as I have here; not just by my colleagues but also by complete strangers.

If you ask someone for help, advice or directions (even in my garbled version of Japanese) they go completely out of their way to help you. When I was in Ginza the other night, I asked a guy who was walking home at work where a restaurant was. He wasn't entirely sure but wanted to make sure that I got there, so walked around for 20 minutes with me, trying to find the place! When I eventually did find somewhere to eat, the guy sitting next to me at the bar thought I was such a novelty that he bough me pudding and another iced tea. Turns out he was a big fan of golf and was so excited when I told him that I went to university in St Andrews!

And again today, I sit down at the bar and order some food and instantly attract attention from randoms. Alone, female, short, with very pale skin and freckles, taking photographs of the food - I kind of stand out like a sore thumb. The elderly couple next to me insisted that I tried some of their food and, when I told them that it tasted great, proceeded to order more specifically for me!! The more I protested it seemed the more they ordered! And they bought me more iced tea too. The old lady kept smiling at me and calling me kawaii (cute) and congratulating me on getting into university and getting a job in Tokyo.

This is one of the reasons why Tokyo is easily the safest city I've ever been to. I feel as though everybody is looking out for me and wants to make sure that I'm okay.

Can you imagine anyone back home being anywhere near as nice?

No comments:

Post a Comment