Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 1

Japanese Peculiarities #6

One of the things I love best about being here in Japan is the lack of crime. Or should I say surface crime. I know I have talked about this before, somewhere in my ramblings, but let me fire off a few examples. It is perfectly safe here for a woman to walk down a dark and empty street alone and still feel secure in knowing that a rapist isn’t hiding in that alley. It is perfectly safe for tiny elementary kids to walk home by themselves, catching the train home all alone, and know that no one will snag them calling for an AMBER alert. You can park your bike in front of a store, either forget to or just don’t chain it, and know that it will still be waiting for you right where you left it. I have even gotten so lax as to walk around with my purse unzipped or use a purse that doesn’t even have a closure of sorts and know that sticky fingers won’t be pilfering my wallet. Of course, all this is the great part about a relatively crime free society, but it does make me lose some of the past American street smarts I had, which isn’t entirely a good thing. Because, I certainly am not going to be living here forever.

And to be honest… there are parts of Japan that are less safe. Tokyo is a major metropolitan city with plenty of influences from outside cultures. You can still feel pretty secure there, but it pays to not walk around like a blundering idiot with blinders on.

And a bit more honesty, there is plenty of crime under the surface. But since I am not a cop, this crime and violence isn’t readily apparent to people like myself. Certainly no place is entirely crime free and I am well aware that there are these ‘hidden’ crimes happening on a daily basis even here in Japan. Frankly, I’m just glad that it is indeed mostly under the surface and stalking me from behind every corner like pretty much most of the streets in a city like, say, New York City.

Where am I going with all of this? Well, the other day I was driving home and caught a great picture of a beer and alcohol delivery truck. Now, back home, this truck would be enclosed and, most assuredly, it would be securely locked. But in Japan… it’s just not necessary. Here is this open-bed truck loaded to the gills with beer, sake and various other libations and the only thing securing it is a few stretchy ropes! Can you imagine parking this truck on a street in NYC? That thing would be cleaned out before the delivery guy walked out of the store of his first daily delivery! Here… just wouldn’t happen.

Who wouldn’t like a country where an ever important commodity like alcohol is perfectly safe without placing it in a heavily secured bank truck?

1 comment:

Ginny said...

I love that about Japan, too. Another bonus to that is you don't read the papers of listen to the news so you don't hear anything. Once I got back to the states I was a little paranoid. Love your blog!