Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ode to Quiet Shopping

There's a place in Japan I dread going. It sucks the breath of me when I know I must. No, it's not the dentist or even the immigration office (that is an experience, though). It's the large chain electronic store.

Visitors to Japan will quickly notice that quiet shopping is hard to come by in Japan. The worst "offenders" by far are electronic stores. It seems that each store has its own unique theme song promoting it's outstanding prices, great service, thoughtful employees, and so forth. The one I visited yesterday pumped out this information at 2 minute intervals to the tune of "My Eyes Have Seen the Glory."

These infomercials are blasted quite loudly and so repeatedly that one wonders how the employees are able to endure their workday. I suppose like the person living next to the railroad tracks that never hears trains anymore, one eventually grows acclimated to even this environment. Still, I can't believe it can be very psychologically or physically healthy to be exposed to the decibels and repetition. As for myself, I make a beeline for what I need (an ink cartridge, some batteries, an audio cable) and get out as soon as I can.

Lately I've that is a much quieter (and often cheaper) option. Now if only I could make the gas pump stop giving me instructions and promoting items to the Japanese pop tunes. That is a topic for another day.

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