Tonight I worked VERY late --till 3am-- at the local MacDonalds finishing up some editing. I don't work tomorrow, so on the way home I figured I'd earned a few glasses of red. I stopped in at the convenience store and got a bottle of Chianti.As much as I complain about corporate Japan, Japanese people remind me from time to time why I'm still here after almost 20 years. As usual, the way to my heart is through alcohol.
As they often do, there was a "chuusen" (抽選) -- a lottery where you stick your hand in a box, pull out a card, and you either lose, or you win a beer (if you choose the alcohol option, which, of course, I always do). I lost.
Not to worry.
The owner, who knows that I always go to that convenience store rather than the 2 others in the area, reaches in the box, pulls out a handful of cards and finds a winner for me. And this is the beer.
It was a small gesture. But in Japan, which is a decidedly anti-social place, small gestures seem like so much more. Japanese people are very nice, indeed.