Ok the photo isn’t so go good but you will get the idea. I knowwww, each of my posts have become more and more spread out, I realize this. But as I attempted to get up and get a move on today (only thing on the agenda- homework) I looked out the window and we were having the most peculiar rain storm. I’ve never really experienced one like it here, but it was the most Japanese rain storm I’ve ever seen.
What do I mean by a Japanese rain storm? How can rain be Japanese? In many ways. First, it started ever so slightly. It was cloudy out, but more in a, perhaps it might rain, maybe not sort of way. During the summer time working at the YMCA, we would play this sort of “game” to get the kids to quiet down at the beginning of the day. First we would rub our hands together. One counselor would start it, and as each person saw they would start rubbing their hands together too, and eventually, all the kids were rubbing their hands together. The rain begins. Then the leader would change to snapping. The whole room snaps. Then hitting your legs Then an outrageous burst of clapping and stomps. Then pats, then snaps, then rubbing. Peacefulness, and a weird sort of smile would spread across some of the kids faces- we had captured a rain storm. And it was cool.
But what does this have to do with the Japanese rain storm I was talking about? Well, because it was perfect. It built up, and then worked its way back down, and it was peaceful. It lasted for the perfect amount of time and left everything greener than it was before it started, complete with birds chirping, kids playing and the sun peeking through the clouds.
Great great Alex you can explain a rain storm. More of a shower if you will. But you still haven’t said anything that makes it Japanese. Well really I have- the Japanese are perfect.
1. They are quiet. I know what you’re thinking now- OK you have to be one of the more loud people I know. How can I put quiet into a list of things that are perfect? But really. When I arrived here I was shocked, where is all the noise? There are plenty of cars and people. But no noise. It wasnt that sort of eerie silence, just content silence. And thats how the Japanese are - contently silent. On the bus, on the train, in class. Just minding their own business, going about their day, no need for that static of useless noise.
2. They are compact. Yes, its true. The Japanese are tiny. When I see a tall person I have to make a comment or at least stare for an uncomfortable amount of time (I think I’m turning Japanese). But not only are the people themselves small, everything they have is small! This may have something to do with the so called “over crowding” problem in Japan. But really there is plenty of space for the Japanese to go, its just that Japan is 80% mountainous, and that other 20% is where the people swarm to and live. They have small houses for one. They have everything they need and nothing else. Of course some people have larger homes, but even then the house is filled with the bare necessities and simple elegance. Small cars for another. To go along with their small houses… its funny to see the crazy spots people can fit their cars into. I also turn my head when I see an “American” sized car on the road. The food/beverages. Now this is something I don’t understand- OK, have your small portions. Thats absolutely fine, in fact I believe I prefer it that way. But please just give me a drink that is more than 3 gulps. I’m not in kindergarten anymore, juice-boxes aren’t going to cut it. I mean, how do you stay hydrated?! Bottom line- everything is smaller and more compact here, and it has its pros and cons.
3. They are considerate. They really care about the environment and people around them. Like the rain storm leaving everything more green, Japan is absolutely immaculate. There is no trash anywhere. Not even a scrap of paper, or a wad of gum. That being said-they also do not have an abundance of trash cans. They are just trash-less people. Who knows where all that trash is going, but it is definitely not littering the environment. And when you do stumble across a trash can, it is not a trash can at all but rather multiple bins on for PET bottles, plastic, cans, glass, and “burnables”. PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) bottles are what most of the drinks you buy in a vending machine or store come in, and they are plastic bottles that are recycled and the material gets reused for a gazillion different things. I tried to get a better explanation but it got too scientific- all I know is PET=good. Not only do the Japanese not like trash, but they love cleanliness in general- we have people on our campus that sweep everywhere, weed daily. Our campus looks brand spanking new, like no one has ever touched it.
The Japanese also love plants. Every (I really mean every) house you pass there are potted plants and flowers surrounding it. Hanging on the fence, sitting outside the door, resting on top of a railing. Nicer houses even have their own zen gardens. Or even when you pass an empty lot of land among apartment buildings, there lies a community garden.
So you see- the Japanese are perfectly polite compact quite environment lovers. Like the rain storm- they just live. But live gently.