Today as I was coming back home something very interesting happened, one of those learnings from living abroad. It was around 11:00pm, I get on the bus, which has half empty, and a Japanese guy (tourist I suppose) came down from the back seats all the way to the driver and stood up next to him silently while giving the impression that he wanted to ask for directions for some place.
A couple of uncomfortable minutes passed while I was observing if the guy was maybe shy to ask (as in many places, a bus driver can even make your day or blow it off depending on his mood). So once the bus stopped at a red light and asked him for the directions. What I understood, is that he was actually very conscious that as a general rule you can’t talk to a driver because you can district him from, well… driving. So I was wondering if in the mind of the Japanese guy he thought that if he distracted the driver, there were a couple dozens people’s life at risk if he got him distracted and had an accident.
Maybe I’m exaggerating or over thinking the scene, but I thought it was a nice example of a lot of respect and education since I have the stereotype of Japanese people being this way. Then as I got off, I noticed that a man was a bit lost asking for directions, so I asked him if I could help. It turns that I indeed knew the place he had to go and pointed him which bus he had to take at the stop across the street. Apart of being motivated by the Japanese lesson, I though I could also use some good karma, since I haven’t been a very nice guy lately.