Leaving the Matsue Castle grounds, I passed lots of taxis and decided to walk back to my hotel.
Soon into my walk, it began to rain, darkness fell and a cold chill wind whipped up. I like to walk in the rain but this was pushing it.
Besides that I wasn’t finding the way. When I saw an older teen boy, I asked him to direct me to my hotel. He either hadn’t heard of it or he didn’t understand my pronunciation.
Since the hotel was across the street from the JR train station, I asked him how to get to the train station. This he knew and on my map he seemed to saying that I was heading for a different train station on the opposite side of town.
He walked along with me showing me the way and speaking English to me. At one point when the cold and wind and rain were particularly fierce, I said,
It could be worse!
He repeated that phrase a few times. He seemed surprised that I was out alone and that I traveled alone. That is an unusual concept to many Japanese, I think.
The way he studied my face caused me to think, he was wondering if I were a senile person who wandered away.
He walked with me the entire distance. It was over a half an hour. I felt very touched by this. I am a miser with my time and this person was so generous with his. I hear others tell of rudeness and price gouging on trips they take in other countries. One of the things I love in Japan, is their nobility of character and how well they treat others, even strangers.
When we arrived at JR station, he asked me what time my train left. I said tomorrow and crossed the street and pointed out my hotel. Now he really seemed to be wondering if I were senile. I didn’t know how to explain to him that getting to the train station was my way to get to the hotel.
I looked in my purse, wishing I had something I could gift him with. I thought that money might be offensive. When you travel to Japan, bring lots of gifts.
He accepted my thanks and left. He has someone praying for him.
© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.