Tokyo Quiet

So what did I mean in my last post when I said a metropolis of over 10 million is, in some ways, quiet? Well, people don’t seem to talk to one another on the trains and in many other places. In fact the train conductors are heard announcing to refrain from talking, this includes on their cell phones. It is not rare at all to see rows and rows of people absorbed in their cell phone world. People seem to ALWAYS be looking at their phones, especially when they are on the metro. I once saw two rows of people sitting so closely together that their bodies were in contact, but their minds were miles apart carried away by fast fiber optic cables. I’ve heard people don’t generally talk that much until they are close to you. To the outside, they are helpful and courteous.

People in Tokyo are often working six days a week. Perhaps this is because everything is so expensive here. The prices here are nearly the same if not the same as American prices. I’ve heard from others who have traveled extensively around Asia that it is the most expensive Asian country they’ve ever been to. I can believe it.

People here are so hard working. Not only that, they put a lot of pride in their work. They do it well and they make you feel very welcomed and respected. Respect ✊🏻 is huge here. Respect towards your colleagues, respect towards your customers, respect towards strangers, etc. They are always seen bowing or standing up when guests show up to recognize their presence.

But perhaps they work so hard because prices of everything is so high here. If they are not working, then they may be in debt or homeless. I’ve actually seen a handful of homeless people here in Tokyo. I’ve been surprised each time I’ve seen it because Tokyo seems more advance than a lot of western nations. They have an extremely sophisticated public transportation that is down to the minute on-time. Their trains and streets, for the most part, are very tidy and clean. Moral is high amongst the population where people don’t just throw garbage or spit everywhere. As I was wheeling around yesterday, I heard a man clear his throat and expected him to spit on the street, but he did not. When people can utilize self-restraint for the common good of the whole, it is a sign of a superior society.

I wish U.S. multinational companies would learn a thing or two about thinking about what’s good for every group of the common public. For Instance, McDonalds and Starbucks are very popular here, but they are not always accessible for people with mobility disabilities. In the U.S. they have to abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act, but since there are no comparable laws here or are not enforced, they don’t build the necessary ramps or elevators and make accessibility and inclusion a priority. They preach one set of values and principles in the U.S., and abide by another one (aka profit) in other countries. I continue to be hurt and disappointed by these companies and their lack of desire to disseminate good U.S. values and principles to the rest of the world with their brand recognition and wealth.

That’s a wrap from me for now. Tomorrow I’ll share my Sasagawak Peace Foundation visit with you!

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