Sunday, December 11, 2011

Always Be Polite

Everyone I’ve met so far has been very polite.  When I hear people talking, I don’t know what they are saying, but I recognize the word “kudasai” (please) at least once in every sentence and “arigato gozaimasu” (thank you) at the end of everything. A few examples of the politeness I’ve encountered:

 My flight from Chicago to Tokyo was an hour and 15 minutes late. After going through Immigration and Customs I was sure I had missed my flight to Sapporo.  It was 6:19 pm when I finally made it to security and my flight was scheduled to leave at 6:25 pm.  There were six waiting security people and me.  They started sending my carry on through, while I pulled out my lap top and took off my coats (two with full pockets).

Very politely one asked if I had scissors.  I said no, I put them in my checked luggage.  He said, you have four. Then I remembered – At RDU my checked luggage was too heavy, so I had to move things to my carry on. I must have moved projects with scissors!  The six were taking everything out of every little bag and running it through again and again.  One man measured my non-pointy airport scissors and okayed them.  He measured my little pointy hardanger scissors and okayed them.  He found a pair of Creative Memories scissors and after measuring them  he said,

“May I keep these?”

 How polite!  As if I really had a choice about him taking my scissors. I said of course and he thanked me.

They couldn’t find the fourth pair they saw on their machine. They started shoving stuff into a shopping bag because there was no way it was all going back into the backpack the way it was.  They rushed me to the waiting bus full of people going out to the plane.  The bus (and the plane) were waiting for me!  No one said anything mean to me about making them late to Sapporo, not that I would have understood anyway.  They smiled and said Konbanwa (Good Evening).

 A delivery man brought a box to the door.  I didn’t know what exactly he was saying, but he was handing me the pen, pointing to a box on the form, and saying kudasai, so I figured he was asking me to sign.  After I did, he gave me the package, bowed and said arigato gozaimasu several times. He didn't seem to mind having to carry the box up to the third floor.

 When I went to City Hall to apply for my alien card, the woman put the form down in front of me with both hands and pointed to the boxes I needed to fill out.  I knew she was saying please and thank you, but I didn’t know what else, so I was glad Ted and Maeda Sensei were with me to translate.  We were there after 5 pm and the office closed at 5:30 pm, but she didn’t try to rush us or tell us to come back another time.  She thanked us for coming in.

 Why am I so surprised that people are so polite and nice?  Sadly, I haven't encountered such politeness in the US.  This I will remember - Always be polite.

 What am I stitching?

I haven’t unpacked my projects and stash yet.  I did just start a little ornament today that I hope to finish in time to give as a gift.  It doesn’t look like much yet.

The design is by Liz Irvine.  I’m stitching over one on an oatmeal colored 28 count evenweave, using  one strand of DMC floss (319, 3772, 3773, 3774).

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