My first overseas trip! –
I find Japanese people faithful, nice and kind. It was May 2nd 1988 when I flew by Thai Airways to Tokyo. I found the staff very friendly and they were really ‘Smooth As Silk’. I loved their every service they provided on board. I wrote a poem instantly for Thai Airways, the words I wrote were like this-
“If u want to reach for the sky, there is Thai, there is Thai.
Nice people always love to fly, there is Thai, there is Thai.
If u like a friendly airhostess don’t be shy, there is Thai.”
Soon I arrived into Tokyo-Japan at the Narita airport. It was late evening now and after the customs clearance, I collected my luggage and went outside. I found and hopped inside bus number 4 for the Narita railway station. It was the very first time that I noticed there was not a conductor for tickets, but only a box where every passenger was throwing their yen coins. I then realised something very important, I had forgotten to change my money at the airport for some yen. I was a little upset and the bus started moving so I gave a $10 to the driver. He refused to take it and talked in Japanese, which of course I could not understand.
I then thought to myself that I had made a big mistake by not changing my money. In saying the truth, I did not have any idea or any travel experience at this stage and had thought that maybe dollars could be used all around? Of course I was wrong! Anyway, watching my situation was a kind Japanese lady who looked like a doll. She called me and I went to her quickly and she gave me some coins and told me to throw them in that box. I did as she said and went again towards that kind doll, thanked her and said, “Please take these 10 dollars in exchange for your coins”. She kindly refused to take them, I really thanked her again and sat back on my seat. I was now worried though, for if I could not get my money exchanged at the Narita Railway Station than what would happen, because I had a lot of travel still ahead of me!
The bus had now reached Narita Railway Station. I ran to the booking office for the Skyliner Train and again I was disappointed, as they did not accept my dollars. I moved quickly and came close to a taxi and asked him to go to the airport. The driver could not understand my words, so I simply said to him ‘airport’. “Oh my God”, I now thought, as suddenly a policeman approached and said to me ‘Passaporto’. I showed my passport to the policeman and said, “Sir I am coming from Pakistan right now, you can check my entry, in fact I really have no idea about travelling, so I could not change my money. Now I am thinking of going back to the airport, because I think the bank there will be working for 24 hours”. He took a long time to understand the situation and then he guided me back to bus number 4. He went close to the driver and gave him some coins for the bus fare back to the airport.
While the bus took me back to the airport I gazed at the buildings of Tokyo that reached towards the sky. I looked at the lights and the sign boards that made it appear to me, that a wedding ceremony was taking place all over the city! During this time I was also thinking that if I were a foreigner in Pakistan, than what would have happened if the same situation had occurred there? I thought about those policemen who are not kind and what they could do to you. They may have punished me, maybe I could have been taken to a cell without committing a crime! They can do anything, as they have their own rights, they may have even snatched my money.
Then I thought no! There are many kind and nice policeman in my country and if I had met with one of them what would he have done? I thought to myself, he would have taken me to a bus and would have said to the driver. “Mr driver, take this passenger to the airport please and remember he is like my friend, so don’t take the bus fare from this person”, and……………………….. then I laughed. 🙂