Since I’ve been here, I’ve felt more mindful of my behavior than I’ve ever been before. I feel really uneasy about sticking out at all, and nervous that I might bump into someone, or knock something over, or cause some other kind of scene.
This morning I was at a buffet-style restaurant, and there were a lot of people trying to get food at the same time… but everyone was moving SO slowly, trying not to accidentally get in each other’s way. Literally, the pace was about one step every two seconds, with everyone packed in there like sardines but trying not to accidentally touch. I felt trapped in slow motion, and in my head I was just thinking “Oh goddd please don’t knock anything over…”
In conclusion, I can definitely see how the extreme desire for social harmony and politeness can be contagious in certain cultures, as I’m already beginning to buy into it!