Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Sweetest Pocky

My day hadn't started well. It had me feeling sad and full of regret. I needed a good dose of quiet and calm to know where and how to step next.

I was in Kyoto at the time so headed off for Ohara, in the Kyoto hinterlands. Getting on the bus, I was happy to have gotten the last seat for the hour long ride. After a couple of stops, three sweet old ladies hopped on. I have to confess, I did consider staying in my seat, my feet sore from two days of walking. Instead, I got up and offered my treasured spot to one of the women. After a short protest, she gladly took it.

The bus was crowded but I was lucky enough to have a good view out the window. I watched the landscape change from bustling city centre, to city outskirts, to rural towns to the wooded mountains.

When we finally arrived at our destination, the lovely old lady who had accepted my seat rummaged through her bag. She produced a box of Pocky, a Japanese snack of chocolate coated biscuit sticks. She handed it to me, telling me it was to thank me for the seat. I was so touched and the gesture really made my day. Pocky has never tasted so sweet.

21 comments:

Fuji Mama said...

I love this story. What a sweet memory!

billywest said...

Do people really give out Pocky in Kyoto? Man, Tokyo people are sooo cold.

Tornadoes28 said...

I love Pocky. We just received some from a friend recently also. we can also get them at the Japanese grocery store in downtown LA.

DBR said...

And now you've passed on the Pocky by writing this post. Thanks - it was lovely to read. :)

Chris (i-cjw.com) said...

Dang, now I need to go an buy some Pocky.

Men's Pocky, you understand. Not the pink strawberry ones...

erinchan said...

That is such a sweet story!! I love it when a nice act is rewarded with another nice act! Its like Pay It Forward. That story seriously just made me smile! =)

lina said...

A sweet story. Yeah, sometimes the act of kindness returned really makes your day.

nobu said...

Oh, pocky can makes heart warm.
I think the lady put a lot of "Kimochi" into the pocky.

Jess said...

More random acts of kindness are what this world needs! In my experience, one good turn always receives another!

Syahiran Samsuddin said...

She's so sweet!! She even had POCKY !!

chocolate flavour is the BEST!!

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Thanks fujimama - it really made my day!

Hey billywest - yep, see there are advantages for living outside of Tokyo :)

Hey tornadoes28 - luckily, back in my hometown there is a place that sells Pocky - I miss it too much when I'm living there.

Hey dbr - :)

Hey Chris - yeh sure.... I know you want the girly strawberry Pocky

Hey erinchan - how wonderful to know that the smile has been passed along :)

Hey lina - how right you are!

Hey Nobu - :)

Hey Jess - right you are!

Hey syahiran - yep, it's always chocolate for me!

K and S said...

chocolate with almonds is my favorite, what a great post!

Michael John Grist said...

This encourages me to give up my seat on trains in the future more readily. Pocky FTW.

Very sweet story.

faz said...

Pocky!! woot! hehe great story!

kisna said...

What an emotional story it is. I think Japanese people are very sweet people. I had a similar experience too when I was in Tokyo.

yellowman said...

How come this has never happened to me? Oh wait, I look like a Japanese person even though I'm a foreigner. All I get is a head nod and maybe a arigatou or domo (which rarely happens).

I just hope the old woman gave you the Pocky because of your gesture and not because of your skin colour.

Megane~kun said...

Sorry for the late comment!

This happens a lot to me too, minus the Pocky though. It's as if they aren't used to the polite gesture, and that any display of respect towards the elders are quite a rarity.

It really feels good when you open the elevators for an old woman carrying humongous amounts of stuff and then getting a supremely affectionate gratitude (albeit in Japanese) all throughout the ride up/down.

She said that "it's really good to see people so young and yet so kind these days". But now that I chew on that thought a bit, it feels rather sad...

PS: Heyo there Mel! Been a month since your last post, is everything fine and dandy? I'm getting a bit worried

nakayoshilife said...

Hey Mel,
Someone wrote about this post on another blog here http://chibadailyphoto.blogspot.com/2008/10/pocky.html

Seems you're famous for writing about pocky! ;)

malinda said...

what a lovely story!

billywest said...

You know, Melanie...
Your blogging friends are still your friends. They worry about you when you drop out of the blogosphere.

Megane~kun said...

I agree... where are you?

We miss you! And not because of your posts, rather the aura that your presence radiates!

No really, me is getting worried...