I have been living in Japan since 2004. In that time I have had some incredible moments, and, of course, moments that have been rather frustrating. Japan does excel at many things. Compared to where I was born, the USA, it would be hard to argue against the notion that when it comes to service, Japan often holds the edge in politeness.
However, that politeness does often come with a drawback. In many ways extreme politeness, especially between client and customer, is used as a wedge to keep others at a distance.
So, when someone does cross that line and actually open themselves up a bit, it can be very surprising.
I was certainly surprised tonight when in the middle of cooking dinner, the doorbell rang and a postman called out. I answered, expecting it to be the normal routine of sign for the package, receive it, say goodbye. But, after I took the package, the postman noticed the Ergobaby we have hanging in the entrance. He excitedly mentioned that he had the same one.
Suddenly we started talking about having kids and fatherhood. His little one is only 7 months. His first child. I showed my my daughter, who was curled up in a baby sling against my chest. He gushed.
He was such happy father and I told him how it only gets better as they start to learn and grow. He continued to open up and say how he felt his child was helping him learn and grow. He wanted to do more, be better.
I assured him that if he keeps showing love, then the results will be spectacular.
All in all it was less than five minutes. But you could feel something in the air. Just two happy dads talking about how good it is to be a dad.
I don’t want to say things like this don’t happen in Japan, because obviously they do. But they are much more rare over here. And maybe that makes it feel more powerful.
Or maybe there is just something about the obvious love for a child that can offer a quick bond between those in the throes of parenthood.
Either way, thank you postman. You really made the evening something special.
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