Tokyo Haneda airport, landside,

on the bench outside the arrival gates.

I slept from 1 A.M. to 6A.M. soundly

without a single startle.  


I wouldn't mind giving the benches a 5 stars rating. 

No armrests, soft padded seat,

no hobo-hating security guards, very light announcements,

uncrowded (each of us took a row) ,

nice heating, clean toilets and drinking water.

Better sleep than most of the hostels I have been.



Only when a commotion of noise began at 6A.M. in front of the airline counter,

I woke up to a slightly amusing scene. 


It was touchingly funny when a group of 20 salarymen

in the same type of black office suits

and same pattern but different colours of ties

bowing at each other and greeted.


japan -bow



It didn't took long for me to figure out who were the

lower ranking ones and who were the bosses.

The bottom levels bowed deeply and

held the position for a few seconds,

and when the bosses returned the bow with a slight angle,

only then he resumed.

Then when they were introduced to another group member,

they repeated. 





Just then, a late comer came running in

small but rushing steps.

He was sweating mostly from panick and guilts,

his face was apologetic enough if not his very sincere bows.

It was at least seven huge and deep anxious bows

holding more than five seconds to each person in the group

when saying that he was sorry for being late.


I made a quick mental note, if I ever work in Japan,

NEVER, EVER, be late.


----------------------(this is my mind flow separation line)-------------------------


“Sorry, my English is very bad."

She said, sheepishly, when she slightly bowed and

avoided my eye contacts,  

as if she has just committed a national crime.


"Gomenasai, watashino nihongo mo totemo dame desu.

(Sorry, my Japanese is also very bad.)"

I reluctantly apologised too,

for something I didn't feel sorry at all.


Maybe I did, correspondingly sheepish.

Because I felt I wasn't humble enough

to feel guilty about me not being able to

speak her language that well.



"You don't have to apologise for your English,

I come to your country, I should learn to speak Japanese.

Sorry about my broken Japanese."

I apologised again, this time returning her bow,

secretly bravo-ing myself for being so Japanese.


I smiled, then she smiled. We both smiled.

Then she gave me 6 extra Takoyakis for free.



"Ah honto?? Domo arigatougozaimasu!!

(Ah really?? Thank you very much!!) "

I bowed, sincerely.




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