14 June, 2010

The penny dropped

Well, maybe the yen dropped. I connected two things I knew about Japan today as I had lunch with friends who've supported us for a long time and just recently went to Japan. They said - as most short-term visitors do - that "Japan was a wonderful place. And that if they hadn't heard about the many difficulties (like suicide, mental health issues etc.) from us, they would never have known."

It occurred to me that Japanese are all about presentation - making it look good. They do this with food, with shops, with relationships, and, obviously with tourism too. It is a clean, efficient, polite country. Perfect for tourists.

It just annoys long-termers like us, when people breeze in and out of the country and rave about it, but see only the good stuff. We, who see the difficulties, the two-faced-ness and the inefficiencies. The desperation, sadness and loneliness. Who get tired of the politeness and want true friendship.

But now I know why - the Japanese have done their usual trick of putting on a good "outside face" and beguiled the tourists.

1 comment:

Footprints Australia said...

Yes it's all about saving face ...