Notes on Japan

Another entry of fun cultural differences, and everyday things.
I have come across a startling number of Japanese people who drink champagne on flights, I am starting to wonder if it is a cultural thing. Those face masks are not because of SARS, they wear them when they are sick as a courtesy to others so they dont make everyone else sick. They sell some pretty snazzy ones too. They always grab a glass of water when leaving the bathroom, yah I dont know either. Everyone uses their cell phone on the metro, to text, always texting not talking. There will be an entire row of people sitting there, maybe 7 across, each on texting away, and no one talks to each other on the subway, its like quiet time until foreigners jump in the car. Japan has these insane vending machines, and they are everywhere. They actually serve hot chocolate in a can from these machines along with a variety of other hot and cold drinks. The hot chocolate from a can is actually good. All of the women carry mini hand towels in their purses because they dont have paper towels in any of the bathrooms. Ramen restuarants are really interesting. You order on a machine outside where there is a display of food, literally plastic food, then pick on the machine and then put the money in. You get a receipt which you hand to the person at the door and then they seat you and bring you your food. It is fantastically efficient, and kind of a form of portion control. The food displays in the windows are quite accurate. I got an egg in my soup the other day and I swear it looked exactly like the mock up. I am sure there is more of these fun things, actually I know there is, but I have been awake far to long to think of any more right now.