Tokyo is not an easy city to find one's way around. And I am particularly weak in navigation skills. But I have been constantly blessed by all sorts of people on the street in Japan. So much so that asking for directions here has, itself, become a curosity and activity of interest to me.
I must ask someone at least 3 times each day where to go here, and each time I receive the most extraordinary responses--people walking me 2 miles out of their way in the cold and dark because they cant communicate the directions in the same language; Starbucks barristas patiently helping me when there are lines for coffee, policemen, and EVEN TEENAGERS!!! It goes on and on.
Why? Are these people just super nice? Do
they feel it is part of their oblgation as a host or a citizen of Tokyo?
Are they grateful to Americans for their help during their disastrous
year? Is it just another example of the behavior that was exemplied after the tsunami?
Maybe all of the above....
In any case I have never encountered
anything like this in all my travels. And when I offer to reciprocate in some way (ie. buy them
something, give them money, have tea with them etc), they will have no
part of it. They evaporate after they help and appear grateful to have
been given the opportunity. Here are a couple of my angels
|And this young lady also gave me the name or her hair dresser and had a beautiful Shibori Scarf|
|Even teenagers were nice!|
|Here is a taxi driver who dropped me off and wasn't sure it was at the right place....about 15 minutes later he came back because he had found the correct spot a few doors down and wanted to take me there|