The Picture Says It All
This is one of the things about Japan that makes me laugh out loud:
In this carefully drawn illustration, the store would like customers to know the proper way to line up in order to pay for their purchases. Please be mindful to enter the line from the proper direction, and please queue around the aisles just so. I have no doubt that the Japanese consumers studied the sign as they happened upon it on their way to the checkout lines. I am positive that no one went the wrong way or bucked the system. Especially when the rules are outlined so clearly, no one would dare to ignore them. It’s just part of the Japanese ethos. It’s a part I greatly admire. Enjoy!
It wasn’t so when I was growing up.
Japanese people who went to Eastern countries were impressed by how you made a line in front of bank ATMs or toilets. We call it “Fork narabi” or a line like a fork. We used to make a line in front of each units. Fork narabi started in Tokyo and slowly spread through out Japan. At Narita Airport immigration, foreigners are in one line and Japanese are making lines for each stall. it makes me grumpy when other line goes faster.