Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Holy Green Phone Batman!
One of the funnier stories I have commonly come across, because it's not a rare occurance, is that the Japanese who come to America often times have a hard time finding a mail box, or as they call it "posto."
You see, the American post is a dark navy blue canister which is conveniently placed in, well, random locations. There is no rhyme or reason to where the U.S. postal service puts one of its blue cans, but to a foreigner the big blue can looks like a trash basket. I have heard from numerous Japanese friends that they all thought the same, and the little eagle head logo on the side with the small print doesn't always make it clear what it is. In Japan, as you can see, the post is extremely clear, and also often in front of Seven Eleven. Every Seven Eleven has a post box in front of it, making your mailing convenient and near.
Unlike the U.S. which is slowly trying to phase out public pay phones, Japan has an abundance of them. There is no lack of communication in Japan, and even though everybody (98%) of the people own cell phones, about four times more than the U.S. they still have a need for public service phones. I personally can't help but feel the pay phones add to Japans sense of public safety. There is always one within walking distance from wherever you are at, and when you never have to worry about an emergency call. Everything in Japan seems to be set up to its maximum convienence setting, just another joy of getting to know the Japanese culture!