Friday, June 25, 2010

What I Learned in Japan

I went to Japan to lecture on LASIK but I'm the one who got an education. Today I ventured out to the Osaka Aquarium. I decided to take the subway, but of course, my first task was to find the station. I was surprised and delighted by the willingness of those around me who went out of their way to help without me asking. One lady riding a bike stopped to ask if she could help when she saw me studying my map. She got off her bike and walked with it several blocks so she could direct me to the station. She then left her bike at the entrance of the subway and walked me inside to make sure I got to the correct line. Another student made sure I got on the correct train. I had a great time at the Aquarium and was able to order my meal by pointing at pictures. All along the way I was greeted by a polite bow and a smile. I reflect back on my day with fond memories and am thankful that the only Japanese phrase I bothered to learn besides “kamichiwa” before leaving the hotel was “domo arigato” or thank-you.