Saturday, January 23, 2010


Chopsticks... Yep, that is exactly what caught my attention while dining in my usual Jap restaurant last week.

Perhaps subconciously I had picked this up but never quite fully realized it, that is when I get served fully by a native Jap staff in Japanese, the whole dining experience is completely different as compared to being served by a Hk staff.

It isn't just about the soft mannerism, politeness and better service...its about attention to minor details down to chop sticks placement. The first difference I spotted was that I get served with proper chopsticks, not the disposable ones. Perhaps Japanese clients generally prefer not to use disposable chopsticks in restaurants, as such when I was conversing with her in Japanese throught out, I get the honor of extra attentive level. When she placed the chopsticks, it wasn't enough that it was on the holder, she made sure the pair had the logo faced up perfectly and aligned side by side. A Hk staff will not take the trouble trust me! I looked at the tables around me, no one else got the proper chopsticks except another Japanese table...hmmm. Secondly, In true Japanese style she would proactively apologised should she notice there be a longer delay between the dishes served. without being asked, the Jap waitress will check and informed the eta of the next dish. Again a trait sorely absent frm Hk staff. It would be hardpressed to expect any remote resemblance from the Hk counterparts. It is more likely for me to be flinging my arms desperately enquiring where is my next dish everytime I get a Hk service staff.

I like being served by Japanese staff because it completes the dining experience. Take a Japanese out of japan but the spirit of service lives on in them. When one goes to japan, people might complain about price or amenitie or language barrier but bad service? Almost unheard of.

When my dinner ended, she politely enquired if I had lived in japan. I have come to a conclusion that if a non Japanese is able to go beyond saying hello bye and thank you, they would always politely compliment that one's Japanese is very good. I know my spoken Jap is rusty and crap but they always tell me I am good... Feel so undeserving each time sigh...


yamizi said...

My Jap tutor also does the same thing of complimenting me during classes but I know for sure I am not that good lah!

But I like such politeness culture and to think that it seems to be embedded into them

P/S: do you mind me linking you in my blog?

Nomad said...

yeah, embedded or instilled is a good way to define their culture...

yup! feel free to link:)

ps: u sure have a lot of blogs! :)

yamizi said...

well...most of these blogs are inactive!