I am setting at the doctors waiting to get my bill. Doctors have to pass a tough English test so most of them speak enough English to be helpful. My doctor is easy to talk to and we have no communication problems.
Only one guy at the front speaks English and he left hours ago. A staff woman will call to me in Japanese in a few minutes and say Zack san and I will approach the counter. She will give me the little speech they give to everyone. I will give her a nice look and pretend to understand. Then she will show me the printed bill and I will take out cash and put it on the plastic tray everyone uses here. Giving me change, I won't understand the numbers she says but will be able to count it in her hand. Putting the receipt and the change on the plastic tray and pushing it forward she will say thank you which I will understand.
Thanking her I will take those items as she bows and I bow back to her. Leaving the clinic she will call out words I don't understand but always assume to be something like, "Thanks so much for coming! We will see you soon." For all I know it could be, "Don't let the door hit on your way out." When in doubt in Japan I always assume that people are saying good things.
Love from Japan,
-ZackaryLabels: Japanese Culture