As you may have noticed, for the last week I've been in Japan. I was sent here by Hayes for training in spoke making with Asahi Spoke Co. and will be here for two more weeks. This is my first time outside the U.S. and so far the trip has been unbelievable. Everything is amazingly clean, the people are very accomodating and the food is excellent. Sushi, Tempura, Udon and Okonomiyaki are all very good and I've become quite proficient at using chopsticks!
What strikes me most though, is the culture here. The values, traditions and work ethic is unmatched. The Japanese don't necessarily work harder than most Americans, they are just more organized and take great pride in everything they do. From 8 o'clock to 4:30 we make spokes. We make spokes the best way we know how. There isn't socializing or waiting around for the next coffee break. It sounds simple but, really people just do what is expected of them and things get done. In that aspect Japan is really self governed. I have seen very little law enforcement since I arrived here. Trust and respect are very strong values in Japan. There are millions of bicycles(primary transportation here) parked everywhere in the cities and train stations and no one owns a lock. In some ways the society is almost Utopic.
It also saddens me to think our country once held core values such as these but has since been on the backslide. Don't get me wrong, I love America and Japan isn't perfect, but my genereration has grown up having to watch our backs, and when I hear older generations like my parents and grandparents talk about the degradation of society I now have an idea what they meant.
Anyway, today is Sunday and I have the day off so I'm going to visit Kyoto with a friend. I'll update again when I have time. Take care back home.
Ja, mata !