As I headed towards baggage claim at Japan’s Narita Airport I began to notice the handful of people going to and fro adorning surgical masks. Though it struck me as strange at the time; With a fourteen hour flight behind me, retrieving my bags and embarking on the final trip to our resting place in Hayama was of the upmost importance.
The next day as we traveled to Asakusa to visit one of the famous Buddhist temples. As we navigated the subway and streets leading to our destination, I noticed more and more of what seemed bizarre to these foreign eyes. Was the air unsafe? Was there an airborne virus I was not made aware of? Perhaps a Michael Jackson flash mob waiting to spring into action? Or was it preparation for the coming Mayan Apocalypse? Whatever it was, it was starting to make me feel unsettled. My wife gave me a number of possibilities that would explain this phenomenon; but it wasn’t until I sat down with her sister Chisato that night until it all came to make sense. I’ll leave this article to better explain things. After reading this you can decide for yourself if their very cautious, crazy or amazingly courteous. For me personally. After living in and around New York City most of my life and experiencing the disgusting habits of many of my fellow citizens, I’d choose the latter. http://boingboing.net/2009/02/13/japanese-surgical-ma.html