Sunday, March 23, 2008

the japanese are losing it

today is both a happy as well as a sad day for me.

this is my 5th trip to tokyo in 3 year, and i realized that the japanese are slowly losing their manners and homogeous nature.

example, when i took the train from airport to the hotel, i spotted litter (!) in the 'always have been clean and spotless' train. then within the next few days, it became a common sight. bits and pieces of litter on the train floor and seats. yesterday, i even witnessed a mother and daughter pair, drank their starbucks drinks and left the empty plastic cups on the platform. horrors!!

then today, something traumatizing happened to me. as i was strolling along the yanak ginza (a typical 商店街), i was shouted by the owner of one stall for wanting to take a picture. and i was not even close to the stall. he literally shouted, OI, TORU NA!!! you can imagine the loudness, cos i was standing 2m away from his stall. luckily or unluckily for me, i knew exactly what he was saying, as my sensei had taught me in school.

i assume his business must have been very bad that day, cos other stall owners were busy attending to customers, and he had the time to shout at me.

anyway, i really didnt understand what his problem was, or why he could not have told me nicely. there are plain and even polite forms (which, of course, was taught to me in school). what he used was outright commanding and demanding form of speech.

so that is the sad news.

good news is - i saw many cats today. i went to a cat cafe, had lunch with a black cat sitting beside me, went to a cat goods shop which had 4 cats. i even saw a cat on the street!

well, all i can say is, the japanese are definitely changing, and are not so polite or conscious about manners anymore. i wonder if it's because of the influx of foreigners, or their society is growing tired of being righteous and polite all the time.

heck, i am going to miss the old japan.


auntie p said...

The Japanese are saying the same thing about society losing their good manners in a recent press report.

I've not been to Jp but I'm sure as you go further away from the city, you'll find the folks are still polite, warm and charming. It was the same for me in UK, Pakistan or parts of China.

kuro.shiro.neko said...

thats true, auntie p.

its time to stay away from the cities!!