The Power of Sushi, Sumo and a Little Bit of Kindness

When I was a little kid, my family used to travel internationally to visit family. We invariably had to do a layover somewhere in Japan, Korea or Taiwan.

On one trip, we were in the Tokyo airport when I got lost. I was 8 years old at the time and didn’t think to tell anyone I was lost, I just wondered.

Somehow I wandered into the super VIP waiting lounge. I saw an old man sitting on a couch, watching sumo wrestling/reading a newspaper, and I decided to go sit with him. He gave me a curt nod, and went back to his paper.

After a few minutes, he asked me something, but he didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Japanese. He signaled over a lounge host and said something to her.

A few minutes later, she brought over a smorgasbord of sushi. He pushed some over to me but there were no forks, and I’d never used chopsticks before. Without saying anything he placed the chopsticks properly in my hand and then used his own to show me the technique.

We sat and ate sushi and watched sumo wrestling for the next 20 minutes until the lounge attendant walked up with my mom.

Apparently the guy had thought I was lost, and asked the attendant to find my family and had told her he’d hang out with me until then.

Nice guy. Never saw him again.

by ~ CMHunta


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