Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The kindness of strangers

Coming off the plane, it is immediately reinforced why it is "asia ex-
japan". This place is fully immersive, it scoops you up and you're
along for the ride and nothing works like anywhere else. This causes
the only problmayo have encountered so far - the complete confusion
which sets in when trying to interact with anyone or anything.
Thankfully, strangers are exceedingly helpful. So far a man on the
subway helped make sure we got off at the right stop, another called
the hotel for directions, and yet two more pulled out maps and walked
us to the ryokan after we got lost again. This was promptly followed
by two students explaining that you don't order from a waiter but a
machine in the corner of the restaurant. Thank you to all of you - New
Yorkers should be so kind.

As I write this I am on a tatami mat in the ryokan - while not
uncomfortable, I am a bit curious about the communal stool height
shower tomorrow morning...

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