Click HERE for today’s photos. Its a small set of images that I took during my most reent trip to Kyoto (November 2008).
I REALLY didn’t need to read this news story today.
I’ll be flying to Chicago for a business meeting next week, and could very likely be flying on that same plane. In all likelihood that Air Force Sgt saved the lives of everyone on board. The flight crew might have diverted based on the fact that they did recognize that they seemed to be loosing fuel, but then again they might have chalked it up to a gauge malfunction and pressed on. We might have all ended up watching this on an episode of “Air Crash Investigation”.
I shudder to think how it could have worked out differently had it been a plane full of Japanese people, with no gaijins around. I’m not bashing Japanese people, and it is a very gross generalization, but I am also thinking that it just might have turned out very differently.
After more than nine years in Japan I can’t remember how many times I have seen Japanese people do their best to ignore a situation that they either did not want to get involved with, or thought that someone else would or should handle. Granted, any person does who is riding an airplane has a vested interest to make sure that plane continues to fly, and not drop out of the sky like a stone. But Japanese people, more than any other culture I have seen, are extremely good at ignoring things.
Those of you who have experienced the culture know exactly what I am talking about. Especially when it comes to people in positions of power or prestige. Doctors for example are treated as all-knowing gods. A second opinion is basically unheard of in Japan, with patients taking their doctors word as gospel. I don’t know about you, but it does not instill a great amount of confidence in me when, no matter how long a doctor has been working, you still refer to it as “Practicing” medicine. The same thing holds true for lawyers.
Again, I know I am making some gross generalizations. I guess that’s just the kind of mood I am in today.