Thursday, May 17, 2007

Please Order Hope of Cleaning

or: Big in Japan, part 2

The line I've used as the title comes from a little, laminated card that I found in my room today (actually, I probably has been here all week, but only tonight I've noticed it). The full text goes like:
"Please order hope of cleaning to the front desk between 2:00 p.m from 9:00 am"

(anybody any idea what this might mean ....?)

I just thought I let you in on some of the things I've notes here in Japan over the last couple of days.

First of, one thing I really like about Japan is that here I have the feeling that I'm actually tall. With a height of 5'4ish, I'm at the shorter end of the scale when I'm in Europe or the US. I usually don't mind too much, but here, here I enjoy it in a way that half the people on the train at shorter than I am :)

Speaking of trains - usually the trains in Japan are not quite as crowded that one seen on the tv. Yes, sure, at rush hour in Tokyo you might get a little bit closer to your neighbor than you'd like, but I for once have never seen any guys with white gloves pushing the crowd in so they can close that door.
And, normally, the trains are very punctual - I was quite shocked then I saw that the 21:50 train from Kumagaya was 20min late (at least that what I think is what happened - it was past 22:05 and there was a sign that the next train is the 21:50 and there was something, something 20 something written in Japanese. Which I don't read very well (hmm, who do I kid - I can identify maybe 2 to 3 symbols, and it's only because I know the second symbol in Kumagaya is that little house with the funny roof, that I know which train I have to pick)

Japanese people, on priciple, are pretty much living by the clock. The bus, leaving the station to go for the factory, leaves at 8:50. Not at 8:49 or at 8:51, and if you are there 10 seconds too late, you can bow all the way you want, the driver will not stop and let you in.
Or at lunch time: it's at 12:00, so you drop whatever you do and go to lunch - never mind that half the fab is also going and there are long lines to the food. Would you go 10, 15 minutes later, there's no line and everything would be much more relaxed, but, no, 12:00 is lunch time, and it's at 12:00 you're going to stand in line for your Ramen soup of whatever there is today with the rice.
BTW, the other half of the factory goes at 12:30 - perfect repeat of the first round.

Japanese food, by the way, I do love. It is not as expensive as one would think - though, of course, there are ways to spend loads of money, if you want. And normally it's also very good. Of course, if you don't like fish, it might get a bit more difficult to find something, but there is plenty of other stuff than Sushi and Sashimi. What I love is to order (or rather point at the pictures of the menue and holding up fingers on how many of whatever you want) loads of little stuff and then share around. Most stuff is brought at the same time (no matter if there's enought space on the table or not) and you just pick and choose what you like. Sometimes, you might get something you don't like (like Nato ... brrrr), but if you're lucky somebody else at the table is more than willing to take it.

There's a lot more stuff on Japan, like the three store parking garage next to the hotel I'm in, which is only for bicycles, or my pondering that only a man could have designed the school uniforms for girls - really, those mini skirts can't be healthy - but for today I think this is enough.

Ah, one more thing. I've finished the little Kiwi bird last night and started on the Penguin.


1 comment:

stitcherw said...

What a fun entry to read, glad you're having fun.