Three months after leaving Tokyo, I was back. A whole week in Tokyo, mostly business, but with a weekend in the middle.
Truth is… it felt like home. No problem giving the taxi drivers directions in Japanese, no need for a map to get around and a general feeling of ease and familiarity. Yes, I know it’s only been three months, but given my hectic work schedule of late and the incessant running around getting settled back in Israel, it seemed like much more.
The Japanese are as polite and as service-oriented as ever. No big suprise here, but now that I’m back living in Israel, the contrast is even starker. Nobody tried to jump a queue; nobody ignored me when I stepped up to a service counter (be it in a shop, a hotel, a train station… anywhere); and most importantly, nobody pushed, shoved and shouted his/her way through. In a way it’s ironic: a metropolis triple the size (in population) with merely a fraction of the stress and tension so common on Israeli streets.
But I ramble… It was great to be back, if only for a short while.