During my stay in Seoul, South Korea, years back, I was once late at night, back in my hotel, called by a staff member of the Metro company.
What turned out: During my ride in the subway my wallet was slipped out of my pocket.I didn’t have a lot of it, got out and walked back to my hotel.
The wallet is left untouched until the end of the line, 13 stops further, is finally noticed by a cleaners and brought to its supervisor after which the wallet is searched for contact details of the owner.Great luck: They found a business card of myself with my phone number on it.
It was also not necessary to stop by.An hour later, a staff member came along nicely in the hotel to personally hand my wallet. (State-) Company policy. I was perplexed.
I am once in A’dam in Metro line 51 stupid enough my driver’s license and debit card lost.
When I reported this to a staff member asking me to call when they find something, he shot in the laugh. No, I was able to whistle. Block the card and request a new driving licence. Indeed, I have never heard anything about it.
All beautiful stories from far away, but closer to home also happen such things.
On holiday in Germany, on the way to a bungalow park in the north of Germany, my girlfriend and me came across the following.
We had planned a route and had seen that we could get far by train.We had to switch to a small station and then to a bus. So we stepped out of that station. We walked forward to get off the platform, when the train driver suddenly appealed to us (in German, but for the convenience I give everything in Dutch again):
“Do you know for sure that you should be out of here?”
‘ Yes, we have chosen! ‘
In The Netherlands, this would have ended the conversation.Not here.
“Where should you go?”
‘ < name of the Bungalow Park > ‘
‘ Then get in again, at the end of the day a bus is ready that goes there! ‘
Meanwhile, his departure time was a few minutes ago, but apparently that didn’t make him out.He saw something that went wrong in his eyes and did something about it. So we stepped in again and the train left again. With delay.
Indeed, that bus stood there and had even waited on the train.But that bus also stopped on the way to that small station where we had already stepped out. We found this to be funny. The friendly operator had only wanted to protect us from what was an error in his eyes, so we felt very kind of him. We could laugh about it, too.
Here, however, the story does not stop there. A lot later a whole horde of schoolchildren in the otherwise during the ride continued completely empty bus.The driver reported himself on the intercom:
‘ If the newly stepped children want to leave this bus again, I can deliver the tourists I have already from the starting point with me directly at their destination!There is another bus that you can take! ‘
My mouth fell open.That would never happen in the Netherlands. Even stronger, all children stepped out without a word of protest and without any action against the driver, or against us, again. Even stronger, the children who were sitting near us said nicely and wished us a nice holiday!
The people in the north of Germany are very friendly, pleasant and helpful people, who can cope with sudden changes, we have learned from this.
India is a country where you experience this feeling at least 3 x a day.If you speak to an Indier, they often laugh. Even for the inhabitants it is recognizable and has even a word for it; ‘ Jugaard ‘. The best translation of this is ‘ do it yourself ‘. Because of the relatively low disposable income, ‘ Jugaard ‘ projects can come the most crazy things. Think of homemade cars up to engines used to pump water from the ground. Here are some examples
Actually, I have had that feeling very often, but still particularly in Japan.
I went there to a public toilet at the Shibuya station (extremely crowded, like other stations being served by the JR line).
It was very crowded so I stood in line. When I was in turn, I saw an umbrella of Louis Vuitton lying on the shelf. I opened the door to the lady who had been to me, pointing at the umbrella. Not of her, so let it lie. About 4 hours later, I took the train again from the same station. Again to the toilet, same box… Just to see if the thing is still there long. Yes so… Untouched.
I once read a passage from the book The Sun in My eyes of (I mean) Josie Dew.She describes a situation in which a small path along the road (somewhere in Japan) hangs with a golden Rolex. It was found on the ground, without the pouch. The Finder had done the pouch around it and hung it on the little.
I do not see this happening in the Netherlands.But that goes for 1000-and-1 things that happen in Japan that testify of ways and respect. The silence in the OV, no mess on the street throwing, not voord, standing in line on the train platform, really giving room to outstepping passengers, shopping and hospitality staff that really greet everyone (at the McDonalds the service and friendliness is ample Better than for example at the Beehive), etcetera.
I like to come, but after returning home I find it very confrontational that it is not so clean here and that it actually seems to smell everywhere (urine), that the OV is so nasty and I therefore sometimes prefer to stand, that children of 15 have a far too large mouth , that there are empty cans and other rubbish on the street, that I have to put on the pavement space for a 4-year-old because Mama/Papa have a Prince/ES and no average child and so the list can continue:)
On tour of his huge factory in Pakistan, the male owner grabbed my hand and held it on a walking while we were talking.I have said nothing about it. It was an excellent conversation and a wondrous experience with a different culture.
Not on Teis, but when I lived as a child in the Middle East.In the years 70 I lived in Sharjah. I got my parents on my thunder when I left the garden gate open. My parents did not find it nice to have a few cows, goats, or camels in the garden, which the weing plants that were standing there, and the garden completely full.
In Kenya.During the extremely violent presidential elections in Kenya in 2007, I walked on my own (because of work) through a suburb of Nairobi. There I saw from one side a pack of followers from one party and the other side of the other. Both were armed with billets and machetes. I quickly walked into a hotel. That turned out to be not a good choice as it was the local headquarters of one of the parties. I came there in a scene that could come from the film “The Last King of Scotland”. There was a drug and drink orgie going on. It sat there full of fat-sniffed party banging and women at various stages of degarments, drugs and weapons. I was seized in my neck and dragged to the chief who was stiff with the cocaine. I was subjected to an interrogation. What I did there as Mzungu (Witmens), or I was a spy? What I liked about the incumbent president?
Somehow I gave the most socially desirable answers and was eventually mired by head and butt.
Been to the US two years in a while in the summer.Last year I was able to look at a showcase full of bullets for firearms, which they had in the grocery store. Literally in the middle of the supermarket, not too far from the children’s Department, there was a mega showcase full of bullets, followed by two more showcases with shotguns, hand weapons and rifles. Not expensive too, most weapons were between 30 and 40. This is of course also related to law, but this would never happen in the Netherlands.
If you take a taxi in Kathmandu, you will be negotiated with the driver about the fare.Often you come out between the 300 and 500 rupees for half an hour drive. This is converted from 3 to 5 euros.
There is often no seatbelt In the cab.Sometimes you see a part of a seatbelt that comes out of the back seat and enters it again. You cannot do so. Also one is often with several in one place: by being pushed on each other’s lap, I have sometimes sat in a taxi with about 9 people.