People Who Impress Me

Do you know who really impresses me in Japan? Actually, pretty much everyone does. Some of the nicest people I have ever met, I met during my time here in Japan. For a prime example you can go back and read my blog entry about gaijin traps, the story of the random Japanese men that lifted my friends car out of the ditch for her. For a few recent examples, keep reading. Although I should warn you, you may end up doubting whether you yourself are actually a nice enough person.

Today I was impressed by the ramen shop owner who gave my friend and I an umbrella when we were caught without one after eating lunch at his shop. We would have been drenched without it. He even had the audacity to apologize that he only had one to give us, and we would have to share. Impressed!

Also today, I made an appointment for an electrician to come an fix my intercom. He was at my door at 3:58, quickly analyzed the intercom, removed it, and put a rental in its place. He was done in less than 20 minutes. When he finishes the repairs he said he will bring mine back and install it. The rental may I add is much better than the one I have. It even has a camera so I can spy on people outside. Impressed!

I was impressed by my 11 year old student the other day. He attends the disability school that I teach at, and is in and out of hospital on a regular basis for his illness. Most of the students at that school have long term illnesses that require them to miss a lot of school, and prevents them from attending a regular school. So, I was chatting to him at lunch and I told him that I was to have my first class with some of the junior high school students that afternoon, and that I was a little nervous. Upon hearing this, he spent the rest of lunch cheering me on, and telling me that I was going to do great. Impressed!

Aside from being impressed by the kindness shown to me on a regular basis, I am also impressed by the strength and skill of many Japanese people that I have met. Japanese people seem to have an unbelievable power to keep on going, even when they have seemingly reached their limit. I was laughing about this with some ALTs the other day because from a foreigners perspective it seems crazy as we would have given up long ago. The focus of our conversation was a speech that we heard at the local high school speech contest. A girl described a moment in her school life when she was living on less than three hours of sleep a day, broke her ankle, and was close to a breakdown. However, in her own words, she decided that she had no choice but to keep going, so she did, and somehow in the end she finished the school year and made it to this point. Impressed!

The last thing that I will mention, is something that still impresses me on a regular basis. It is the skill with which Japanese people can take off and put on their shoes at entrances with ease. The two men who delivered my couch for me, managed to take off their shoes while trying to maneuver the couch around a corner and through the door.They didn't even put the couch down for a second. Impressed!

Of course, there are many many more stories I could tell you. I have two years worth of stories to share now. However, I think I will leave it at that for today, and recommend that you come to Japan, and find your own stories instead. Trust me, you'll have no choice but to be impressed.  

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