Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Traveling Man

September 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Feature

By Jordan Bailey

I was hoping to improve my language skills, but I discovered much more. It was a whirlwind month: the memorial at Hiroshima, the breakneck pace of the Tokyo Tuna Auction and numerous ancient historical sites. I attended summer school with Japanese students in Osaka and marveled at their dedication as we rode trains for more than an hour to get to school each day. I visited Buddhist monasteries and ancient temples, but the splendor of these treasures paled in comparison to the warmth of the Japanese people and the way they welcome foreign visitors. The most striking gesture occurred in Tokyo, when I needed directions but had trouble reading Japanese characters. I asked for help from a man who was rushing by. Imagine my surprise when he not only gave me directions, but stopped what he was doing and offered to walk me to my destination. It was one of many acts of kindness that made a teenager far from home feel very welcome.

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