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  • Trafalgar Tours-Splendors of Japan April 2015

    1/23/2018 11:07:23 AM Link 0 comments | Add comment

    "Kim, you have got to take this trip. Japan is beautiful with exciting food, wonderfully friendly people, mountains everywhere. I would never have gone to Japan if not to visit my daughter who is teaching there. And I would have missed so much. As usual, Trafalgar tour was great with a wonderful Tour Director by the name of Mimi. In Japan one has to study hard and take an annual test to become a certified English speaking tour guide. This woman, who is 51 and so delightful and helpful, actually took the test for 10 years before becoming certified. She said she cried a lot after failing, then went back to studying, and just kept on until she got it all right. Can you imagine an American who wanted to do something like this actually spending 10 years trying. I know I would have given up after four or five years.

    The Japanese people are so wonderful, helpful if one is in trouble knowing what to do next, and surprisingly generous. After the Trafalgar tour my daughter and I went to a kite festival in Hamamatsu that has only been going on annually for either 200 or 400 years, I just can’t remember. So while I am there I meet a man in his 50s I would guess who was with some other men. He walks up to me and starts talking in Japanese. Obviously, I had no idea what he was saying, but he was smiling so I guessed it was something good. I told him I did not speak Japanese, then he reached into his pocket and brought out a piece of cloth with a paper wrapping indicating is was new. He was wearing a piece of cloth over his head, tied at the back in a knot. He handed me this thing and said, “Present.” As far as I know that is the only English word he knew, although I suspect he knew others as Japanese are reluctant to embarrass themselves by trying to speak English. I nodded, bowed slightly, took it and asked him to help me tie it onto my head. He did. My daughter was so totally surprised, as I was not with her when I met the man, she couldn’t stop laughing at me with this strange headpiece tied around my head. Can you imagine any one of us going up to a foreign visitor and giving them a present worth probably two or three dollars and so welcoming them to our country?

    Wonderful place, Japan, you should go. Gary"

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