Friday, March 18, 2011

Bicycle Parking (OR Why I love the Japanese)

The Japanese have a reputation for being exceedingly particular. I appreciate this quality immensely; maybe I am a bit like that myself. But sometimes, they surpass themselves.

I keep my bicycle in our hotel’s bicycle parking lot, and they assigned me a number and a stand. I found this amusing, not least because there are few bicycles and plenty of empty stands. A few days back I got a letter from the front desk saying that my stand was broken, and requesting me to move my bike to another stand. I could see nothing wrong with my old stand, but I complied.

A few days later, I got another letter.


They also attached a copy of the previous letter “for my reference”.


And lastly, they attached a diagram.


Now perhaps you have been following the news for the last week (or perhaps, like me, you have been watching MTV), but Japan has not been going through the best of times. Thousands of lives were lost in the Tōhoku earthquake and ensuing tsunami, thousands more were left homeless. There are power shortages and fuel shortages. Fears of nuclear radiation are spreading across the nation. But Japanese hotel staff still find time to write detailed instructions – incredibly detailed instructions – for parking a bicycle.

13 comments:

Abhiroop said...

But they still spell English wrong: Check the word Entrance mis-spelt Enterance :)

Karthy said...

tsk tsk...don't listen to lahiri. You must continue to love the Japanese...they made a diagram! just for you! or do they have standard building utility diagrams for just about everything. Oh...how the mind boggles!

relativelytruthful said...

why mtv? is japanese mtv any good?

beej said...

< reads Karthy's comment and fakes a myocardial infarction >

Sroyon said...

@Lahiri: Yes, another endearing trait.

@Karthy: This looks like a customised diagram.

@relativelytruthful: No, it's as mindless as anywhere else. :D

The Reluctant Rebel said...

ou ust have loved this attention to detail, you listmaker!

Ravis said...

I love Japan.

Anonymous said...

Hadn't you been cured of earthquake related flippancy? That MTV joke wasn't even remotely amusing.

Sroyon said...

@Anonymous: It wasn't a joke (I would have thought that's clear enough from the tone of the paragraph). People have different ways of dealing with stress. And I personally think there are better ways of contributing to relief efforts than by staying glued to news channels showing endless reruns of the same scenes.

(I usually don't bother replying to anonymous comments, but I thought it was good to clear up the point.)

arzkiya said...

I. Like. This. Post :)

Sroyon said...

@arzkiya: Thank you. And just for that little piece of flattery, I'm putting you on my blogroll. :D

arzkiya said...

Dude!!! Not the blasted brinjal!! Or the equally blasted lizards!! Anything but those!

Anasua said...

i wonder how do they manage to do this much of detailing for such trivial issues! You are certainly not that important to them, are you? :P