The ultimate purpose of this trip to Nagoya was to attend Yukun’s wedding. Inside me, I had 2 motives: to reconnect with the 3 Japan-resident cousins, and to re-explore Nippon again. I am now happy to say, I’ve done just that. I will divide the trip into 3 categories that summarize my experience: the service, the consensus, and the organize.
Starting with the service. This I’ve known. In fact, everyone with the slightest bit of idea would know. The Japanese devote enthusiastically into their jobs as if their lives depend on it. The sensation of “you’re our guest” is so prominent and undeniable, it’s like an aroma in the air that like it or not you just have to breath in and out with it. The moment we stepped into the hotel “Sofitel-Nagoya,” it’s there. It’s there in every nod of the clerk when I presented anything to them, and it’s there when another clerk press the elevator bottom for us. Did I think it was necessary to get the elevator for us? Absolutely not. Did I feel their hospitality? Definitely. But just when I thought these were all under my expectations, like I’ve always said, “Japanese have never ceased to amaze me,” I was blown away once more.
It was at the end of the 4+ hour wedding, when the “Tsai” side of the family are all waiting outside of “the wedding palace.” We saw a paper bag sitting alone on the landing just outside of the side exit. After exchanging a few words with the family and the staffs, we concluded that it should belonged to an earlier group of youngsters who must had left it behind. Since I couldn’t understand a word of Japanese (I was pretty much in “nodding/hai” mode if I really didn’t have to verbally communicate), I just strolled outside and waited with everyone else for the taxi. A few moments later, I heard some very hasty steps of running-in-heels, as it was rapid and short. Just within a few turn heads of time, I saw a staff in her uniform (that means shirts, knee-high skirts and mid-heels) from the wedding sprinting in her full speed from the opposite block down to our end, pausing only for traffic light, and went straight into the building. My uncle “Akezu” shouted something in question and got a short response from the lady. “She’s found it” “Found what?” I asked. “The owner of the bag, his purse is in the bag, that’s why she was in such a hurry.” I was amazed, impressed, and could have bowed down at anytime. I could not have imagined anyone sprinting after a group of semi-drunk post-wedding men in full speed just to return one of their belonging, especially when they’ve already gone out of sight. It showed how much this lady staff had cared about her(their) guests. If I had been in charge, I would had found a way to contact the owner, and have him/her retrieve it in person or mail it back, whatever. But to have a lady in her skirts and mid-heels sprinting down the block just to see if she could return it within the instant? No way. But there’s so much more. What I witnessed was only half of the story, and actually the even MORE impressive side of it. Because evidently, I heard and saw the lady sprinting “toward” us, which meant she was eagerly returning to her JOB!!! You cannot be serious. Can you imagine a cop, wait, put an NYPD identity on it (because the Japanese work ethic has exceeded my predictability), after chasing down on foot and handcuff the thief, turn around and sprint his/her way back to the post?? I could still conjure the imagine of that lady swinging her arms heavily with her head bent slightly forward with that faint of flash on her cheek as she blew past me like a gust of wind. Service with pride and ethic, indeed.