Life with cars is cruel as it is in dating. Sometimes, you just don’t know you how good you have it until it’s gone. Or, maybe those are the lucky ones, because they actually had some time with their soul mate, no matter how brief. Others never met them to begin with, or were a minute to late to make that call asking them to prom before they were picked up by someone else.
Which JNC was the one that got away?
What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your best Japanese taxi story?”
It was an extremely hard choice between this week’s two finalists. Mike RL411 had a great story about a harrowing cab ride in an actual classic Nissan taxi in 1962, which included yet another brilliant reason for why fender mirrors are superior to door mirrors. However, by a hair, the winner this week was Leon Dixon for his tale of the ultimate car-based faux pas and its insight into Japanese culture:
Ahhh, yes. I had been to Nihon many times, but I learned an important lesson one day in Hiroshima when I hopped into the first taxi available as I arrived. At the time I was working for Mazda (North America) and there were corporate/business subtleties in Japan of which I was unaware as an American.
The taxi was, of course, immaculate and driver very courteous. But as we neared the gates of Mazda headquarters where I was headed, suddenly the driver began to look and act a bit nervous. I wondered what was wrong? Ignorant foreigner that I was, I had hopped into a Mitsubishi taxi and no way was the driver going onto the hallowed grounds of Toyo Kogyo Mazda in a Fuji Heavy Industries product!
I asked the driver to continue on, but the guards at the gate gave us a rather forboding stare and the driver abruptly braked and then made a U-turn! What the? He politely told me that I must exit the taxi here and that he could go no further. And that was that. I ended up walking a long way to the building where I was expecting to go with my suitcases (in very hot and humid weather)… never realizing I had broken protocol.
One of my Japanese counterparts had a chuckle when I told him the story. “Leon-san, next time it will be best choice to select Mazda taxi!” I followed that advice in Hiroshima with great success. And from that day forward, if another make of taxi would pull up and open the door for me, I would always politely inform the driver, “Mat-soo-da, please”…and it worked.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!