I Expected Bowing in Japan But I Didn’t Expect

all the friendly waving. Today in the elevator at a museum people actually waved good-bye when we got off. And said “Welcome to Japan!”

I expected politeness but I didn’t expect universal friendliness, people–official and not–offering help. A med student getting us on the right train. Waiters practicing their English. People offering a seat.

I expected to make cultural mistakes but I didn’t expect to be greeted with friendly joking and laughter when I fumbled something. It also seems that if I smile I am communicating well enough.

Things that are not polite: Drivers. Wind. Japanese card only ATMS.

Very polite things: special umbrella stands with take one for free or leave one for free. Plastic coverings for your very own wet umbrella when entering a mall.

Mysterious things: why are pansies and narcissus blooming in this freezing cold weather? Oranges even? Pepper plants? The ingredients of some sushi pieces on the conveyor belt–for example, a tiny hamburger with mayo on top of the rice!

Unmysterious things: fabric and craft stores which bear an uncanny resemblance to Joann’s or Michael’s in the US, if you ignore the kimono remnants.

Photo by Isabel Winson-Sagan

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged by Miriam Sagan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well (https://miriamswell.wordpress.com). The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s