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most surprising

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RE: most surprising

Postby Mike Cash » Tue 01.29.2008 6:21 am

Shirasagi wrote:
Mike Cash wrote:
Was he an unlicensed driver or had he merely forgotten to take his driver's license along with him?


My fault for not being more precise. He was driving on a suspended license.


And suspended for what previous multiple displays of disregard for the safety of his fellow motorists, exactly?
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RE: most surprising

Postby Shirasagi » Tue 01.29.2008 9:17 am

Mike Cash wrote:
Shirasagi wrote:
Mike Cash wrote:
Was he an unlicensed driver or had he merely forgotten to take his driver's license along with him?


My fault for not being more precise. He was driving on a suspended license.


And suspended for what previous multiple displays of disregard for the safety of his fellow motorists, exactly?


Speeding, it would seem.

Let me head off something at the pass here. I was only commenting on my reaction to the cultural differences here. One could very well argue that penalties for speeding and/or driving on a suspended license are too lax in the U.S. (and indeed in Japan, as well, since Matsuzaka was only fined 200,000 yen by the legal system), and I wouldn't necessarily disagree. My surprise was based on the additional reaction of his team and sponsors. Again, once can certainly make an argument that Matsuzaka's behavior justified it, and again, I wouldn't necessarily disagree. However, particularly in 2000, it would have been unprecedented for a Major League baseball team to suspend their player and confine him to his home, and for all sponsors to cancel their endorsements because of a misdemeanor moving violation. Even be it driving on a suspended license. Thus, my surprise at the reaction.

And if you take issue with my describing the charges as "penny-ante", well, yes, compared to, say, grand theft auto, drug possession, and dog fighting (other common illegal activities engaged in by pro athletes), a charge that brings a less-than $2000 fine and no jail-time or even community service fits the bill.
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RE: most surprising

Postby Mike Cash » Tue 01.29.2008 9:52 am

MLB and Japanese baseball: Apples and oranges.....but I suppose that is the purpose of the thread, isn't it?
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RE: most surprising

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 01.29.2008 12:17 pm

My first reaction to Japan. Upon arriving in Tokyo and waiting in line to get through customs. I thought, well, here's another country where you hurry up and wait. But at least in Japan, there was someone pointing you where to go.

I would think the most surprising thing to me was seeing all the electric style trains in the big cities and then seeing the single or double gas lines used to travel around the inaka areas. There are alot of these in Tohoku.
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RE: most surprising

Postby stevie » Sun 02.03.2008 5:53 am

My first reaction to Japan was actually how quick and painless getting through customs was. Getting from the plane to the terminal exit must have taken like ten minutes maximum. On the other hand I didn't exactly go in high tourist season, and my flight wasn't fully booked. I maybe got lucky with the officials too, the first girl just asked where I was staying (didn't even ask how long), and then some guy patted my bag a few times and let me through. Really quick and painless. In contrast, the first time I went to the US the customs guy asked me about ten questions and then they hauled me off into some room to the side with a big picture of George W Bush on the wall and a few police officers... who asked me maybe two questions then let me through... this was at JFK airport. (second time out to the US it wasn't nearly as bad as that - still takes bloody ages though).

Most surprising thing in Japan... hard to say really... My mind is fairly open, especially when I travel, so I just take things in stride. There were some surprising things but not many that made me go "whoa what the hell?". In contrast to that though, almost everything was very interesting to me. Whatever happened in Japan, I wasn't bored for a minute.

I suppose I was actually surprised when I found food I didn't enjoy, because it took about half of my trip to find it - the food in question was Udon... and I put it down to being bad Udon, because I've had Udon since and dug it.
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RE: most surprising

Postby caroline » Sun 02.03.2008 8:42 am

Most surprising? In Tokyo, the huge amount of people nearly everywhere at any time.
Coming from a country not known for its sense of service to customers, how smooth are interactions with customers came as a surprise... and so difficult to get back to the usual "why do you disturb me" relationship here.
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RE: most surprising

Postby OitaFish » Sun 02.03.2008 9:15 am

My first time to Japan, I flew into Nagoya. We had to take a taxi from the airport to a train station to pick up the Shinkansen. The taxi ride frightened the heck out me. The roads were so narrow and it seemed like we were going so fast. I remember once we were on a road between rice fields. The road was very narrow and there were no lines on it. A truck was coming the other way. I thought for sure we were going to have a head on collision and when the truck hit and shattered the side mirror of the taxi, I thought I was dead. :o The taxi driver stopped and shouted a few choice words (which I still haven't learned) but the truck never even slowed down.

So, my first surprise, and one of the biggest still, is how narrow the roads are here.
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RE: most surprising

Postby Cratz » Fri 02.08.2008 10:00 am

I'm still shocked, after all these years, about the OVER-use of human workers.

By that, I mean - when I'm driving to a shopping mall that has a highly organized parking garage, complete with automated ticket and payment machines, there are humans along every step of the way.

There's the guy waving me into the parking garage from the street - as if I didn't see the massive concrete structure on the side of the street and the access road that leads to it.

Then there's the guy to take the ticket out of the parking ticket machine and hand it to me - even though it's designed to be operated from within a vehicle by a simple, single button.

After that, there's another guy waving me towards one part of the parking complex, despite the fact that there are lighted arrows pointing me in the direction of vacant areas of the garage.

Once I get to my spot, low and behold, there's a dude waving a lighted wand in the direction of the open parking space that is within naked view of my vehicle.

And last, but not least, you have the two or three guys directing me out of the parking lot (despite all the arrows labeled 'EXIT'), and the guy standing by the payment machine to take your cash out of your hand, feed it into the machine that is directly in front of you, scoop up your change and hand it to you before you are baton-waved out of the garage.

Shopping malls must be bleeding money at the seams just in Parking Service Attendant salaries alone. I mean, really, why do you automate and otherwise idiot-proof an area only to then populate it with an army of glorified crossing guards?

I still don't get it.
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RE: most surprising

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 02.08.2008 1:28 pm

with a country of that population, you need to employ them somewhere. why not in a parking garage?
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RE: most surprising

Postby Mike Cash » Fri 02.08.2008 9:08 pm

I don't know why you're so worried about the shopping mall operators, Cratz. After all, they're passing along those costs to you, the customer.

I loathe all these damned American-style mega-malls that are going up recently.
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