Please and thank you are the magic words!
Arigato gozaimasu! They say good service is hard to come by, but the Japanese do it with so much finesse that it’s embarrassing how rude Americans are. Even with the language barrier they are still very helpful people. They do not get upset or turn away when they don’t understand you; they try their best to serve you. From asking for directions in a part of town to ordering McDonalds their politeness is overflowing. On a visit to Ginza on my own I was trying to find a chopstick store, so I stop to ask the police station on the corner. With the little Japanese I knew and the little English he knew he was still able to help me make it to the chopstick store. The Officer even pulled out a map and mapped out the directions to get there. In America if that was to happen, the officer would probably get frustrated and may even give the wrong directions. I have heard stories of normal Americans visiting New York City and getting lost from directions from the people who live there.
Ordering from McDonalds I received the best service I’ve ever had than in American and I could actually call it “fast food.” The workers were so attentive, happy, and polite and had no problem waiting on you to order or pointing at what you wanted. Having been to many McDonalds in America you know that the service is terrible and the food will either be at its best or its worst. And the workers in America will get upset and frustrated when they can’t understand someone foreign. Even without the language being a problem I have had terrible service.
Living in Japan for two weeks and living in America for 21 years and witnessing the difference in how I was treated is amazing, but makes me feel shame at the same time. Americans, we have to do better.