As civilized humans, most of us are raised to believe that it is the “high road” to ignore or be polite to other people’s rudeness. But what happens when you live in a society where it is expected? You end-up with a percentage of the population exploiting the good heartedness of those who follow the rule. Yesterday was a good example of this observation. We were experiencing one of the most beautiful summer days we have had in a while. While driving down the main strip in Mihama, a local female pulled out of a side parking lot into the middle of the oncoming traffic. I don’t know where she thought she was going to go. The traffic in the lane going the opposite direction was stacked-up and at a total stop. Instead of backing up and waiting for a clearance, she just sat there in the middle of our lane, blocking us and all the traffic behind us. As she sat there, all she did was flash a smile in our direction. This in itself was irritating, but within the next five minutes and four blocks two more local females pulled their cars halfway into the oncoming traffic lane, all the while just sitting there with smiles on their faces. It is almost as if they were saying, “I’m smiling so you have to excuse my rudeness!” It got so ridiculous even my husband, an Okinawan, stated “What is wrong with these women? They just sit there with smiles on their faces, every single one of them!” Has the belief that the recipient is suppose to take the “high road” given rise to a smile as the passport to rudeness on Okinawa?
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