Blog - Give-and-take

Japan Give-and-take

While I was on vacation, my bicycle which always stays in the bike parking at work had its gears messed up. The gear wire was like fully pulled out the shifter. I blame the big mess of bikes falling over each other in that parking.

So, today I went to a small bicycle shop to get it fixed. The man at the shop asked me if I had a bit of time, and I thought he meant because it would take a little while to fix it.
He was done in 5 minutes though, and then he asked me if I would help him leave a message to his wife at a hotel in Australia because he couldn't get through the front desk since he can't speak any English at all.

So I was able to help him through this and I got my speed box fixed for free! :)
He said "'Give-and-take', ね!" and told me to come back anytime I needed something.

Now I just hope that his wife checks her voice mail...!

Posted on April 21, 2004 at 14:00 | Tweet |


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this is nice post! :)
at least he asked right person! I was asked to help someone in Toronto. so I said sure, then... she broght Chinese girl over at my place... I explained something to that girl IN ENGLISH. hahaha...

Posted by Atsuko on April 21, 2004 at 18:42

Haha, that's too bad! I think that people in North America and Europe, even worst outside of big cities, tend to think that all Asian are one and the same...!

Posted by Patrick on April 21, 2004 at 21:57


in New York we tried to help a couple from Sweden at the airport. They did not speak a word english, so we went to the SAS booth. But there was nobody who could speak swedish...
Now guess, who came for help:
A japanese SAS passenger...

Funny world

Posted by Markus on April 22, 2004 at 01:46

Haha, funny!
You'd think they'd hire staff that speaks at least a slight bit of Swedish!... Nej. (The only word I know:

Posted by Patrick on April 22, 2004 at 14:04

The SAS staff was really a shame. The children of the old couple booked some help for them to switch flights in New York. But nobody showed up. The old couple was really lost and nervous.

We tried to speak with hands and feet. But they only always pointed to their clock. We always said to them: time enough to reach your flight. And they keep speak swedisch and looked nervous.

The japanase man later translated what the couple wanted to say... They had been nervous that we, theire helpers, could miss the plane while helping them... Nice people there in sweden ;-) Overall I like whole scandinavia.

Posted by Markus on April 22, 2004 at 23:47

Your site is really a good one.

Posted by neoneo on April 23, 2004 at 23:23

And thank you for reanimating MySQL prompty!

Posted by Patrick on April 23, 2004 at 23:29

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