Anyone who thinks the Japanese are nice and polite has never seen them wait for booze.
Tonight was the farewell party for the teachers who are leaving the school where I work. This usually involves shockingly precise timing and those who arrive fashionably late miss the opening toasts and at least one course.
The toasts are important because, technically, no one can drink or eat until the toasts are made.
However, tonight, the toasts were delayed because beer arrived quickly, but the mixed drinks didn’t arrive for quite a long time. As a result, we just stared at empty glasses or slowly warming beer.
As the beer degraded, several staff members began to complain. This didn’t hurry things along as two large parties and the regular guests were being served by only three staff.
Eventually drinks arrived and toasts were made and we then enjoyed the tradition of slowly starving whilst waiting for the various courses.
A few of us were wise enough to meet before the party to have a few beers and eat some food. This meant we were more polite than many of the Japanese, which was a bit odd.
Now school is out and we won’t have to be polite again for a few weeks.