Sunday, September 10, 2006

#33 Super Frog Saves Tokyo

Tomorrow, September 12, we dock in Kobe after a couple weeks spent crossing the Pacific Ocean.

We’ve been reading and learning a lot about Japan in preparation for our 5-day visit. One collection of short stories - After the Quake by Haruki Murakami – was especially good reading. These six short stories were all set at the time of the 1995 Kobe earthquake. Super Frog Saves Tokyo is my favorite.

Each day on the ship, all activities stop for an hour and a half, so that faculty, staff, and students can attend a Global Studies class. All faculty contribute to this class so that we can learn the art, architecture, culture, history, and political systems of each country.

Now a list of the important things we’ve learned about Japan.
• Don’t point with your finger.
• Take off your shoes when entering a home.
• Use separate slippers when entering a bathroom.
• Beckon with palm down rather than palm up.
• Don’t use rice to sop up the liquid on your plate.
• Don’t point with your chopsticks.
• Don’t spear food with your chopsticks.
• It’s OK to slurp soup when drinking out of a bowl.
• Don’t ask the recipient to open a gift in front of you.
• Always wrap a gift.
• Show respect by bowing.
Yours in focusing on the important stuff,

Ship time: September 11, 8:30 am
Indy time: September 10, 7:30 pm

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