Generalizations

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Just when you think that ALL Japanese people are jerks because ONE Japanese person stole my bike (probably a Japanese person) suddenly you turn around and change your mind because ONE Japanese person did something nice. Now, you know that truly, ALL Japanese people are wonderful ;)

How's that for a generalization.

Which brings me to a list I have started compiling in my head since Sunday last week.

First, the short list. All the crap that I think makes the Japanese mean:
1. Some jerk stole my bike. Which isn't uncommon to hear of.
2. Umbrellas get stolen quite often as well.
3. Bratty students who do crap in class and get away with it.
4. Recycle-Nazis who refuse to take your trash when you make a mistake sorting it all out
5. paperwork

Now, the longer list. Things that makes the Japanese seem insanely nice:
1. School bikes, free to use for a short time
2. Company umbrellas, free to use for a short time
3. Inside slippers, placed at the door with me in mind
4. Good students who, no matter how bratty, will never talk back to me or really do anything VERY wrong (as far as I can see)
5. Customer service...

Good lord I could go on for days about how amazing customer service is here in Japan.

Let's see, let's see, here are some good examples:

Hair cut: I asked my hair dresser if I should make an appointment before coming in. She said that I could just walk in and I'd be fine. But the other day, I drove all the way there and she had just left on her break. When I told them I didn't have time to wait (I'll be attempting again...2 weeks later!) they gave me a $10 off coupon for the next time.

Convenience store: I would never THINK to get something to eat from a convenience store back in America unless it was a drink or otherwise prepackaged and even then it's a long shot. But convenience stores here in Japan are probably the cleanest places you can be. The toilets are always spotless and smelling fresh. The food for sale is fresh and always at its best. Some people been known to live on the stuff

Mistakes: Not too long ago I went shopping for some new winter clothes and I accidentally bought two red shirts when I only meant to get one. I came back the next day trying to think about how to word what I wanted to say. The woman not only remembered me, but completely understood the problem and apologized for not realizing the mistake when I was checking out the day before. When I told her it was my fault for having put them in the basket in the first place, she said " no no, it was all my fault, I should have noticed sooner!" I guess it's kind of annoying because she really wasn't at fault but it was so nice of her to treat me that way!

Bar service: I went to a Korean restaurant with some friends of mine the other day. My one friend said he only drank Guinness but I saw that it wasn't on the menu. I decided to ask the waiter anyway but just as I expected, he said there was none. (it's not a common drink in Japan anyway) So the guy took our orders without writing anything down! And about 10 minutes later he came by and said that he had managed to find 2 bottles of Guinness, just for my friend. That dude must have gone down the street and somehow tracked down a couple bottles of Guinness and no extra charge!!! And we couldn't even tip the guy for doing something like that!!! Those are the times you want to tip someone more than the actual price of the food; he went so far above and beyond what was required. It was amazing.

I'm going to really miss stuff like this!


The bike a student gave me after hearing me bitch about my stolen one. I made her chocolate pudding as a thank you gift.

2 shared their love:

Anonymous said...

Do they have bike locks there? Not for just ANYONE - just for the JERKS who steal bikes.

--mom

Nina said...

Yes, they have bike locks. This bike has an automatic lock. See the yellow dot on the back tire right under the seat? That's the keychain attached to the bike key. I stick the key in and unlock the bike but I can't take the key out again until I lock it. So the key stays in the bike while I ride it. It's a good system if you put any other important keys on that key chain...which I don't cuz I don't want them to get dirty ;)

 
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