Okay… seriously japan?! 5 minutes ago my door bell rang, it’s now past 9 pm. I open the door and there is a man saying he’s from the post office. I’m thinking to myself “what did I now do?”…. I went there after school to send a small package home to my family in Sweden. I filled in a little form, with instructions in english, with what was inside of the package. I wrote “makeup”, thinking that would be good enough. It was chap sticks. The postoffice dude didn’t understand what “makeup” meant, so I tried to explain it using gestures. To my surprise the word wasn’t the same in japanese katakana. Anyway, he proceeded handling my package, I payed and left. *fast forward 4h* So now this dude is standing in my doorway. He explains he’s sorry that he didn’t understand what I had written on the form and that he didn’t know english. “Dame desu” means that something is not allowed or that something is bad. When saying that something is “dame desu” the japanese love use their arms and form a big X in front of them. Anyway, that was a side note. But there are a lot of “dame desu”s when it comes to sending packages abroad from Japan. So the post office man came to my house after having looked up where I lived (I wrote my address on the back of the package), after his working hours just to tell me that the package might not arrive to the recipient (he thought the products might contain alcohol or was hair spray). Wow. I’m in shock. Customer service?! INSANE! I applaud that guy. Wish my japanese was better so I could have said something more to him. He didn’t blame me at all, he said it was his fault for not asking more about what was inside.
Another weird thing happened to me in Nagano last week. I had bought my ticket for tokyo and there was about 1h to kill before the train left. Later when we go to board the train, about 5 minutes before departure, the guy I bought the ticket from was standing there. He explained that he had calculated wrong when giving me my change back. I had payed too little. He had made some calculations on a piece of paper, showing me what he had done wrong, saying “i’m sorry” in a million ways a million times. I wonder how long he had been standing there in the freezing cold waiting for me. This second example I understand why he did what he did since he otherwise probably would have ended up in a lot of trouble for calculating wrong. But the post office man…. that’s just amazing.