Friday, December 31, 2010

Won't Miss #272 - no express checkout

Back home, you find people complaining that someone is always trying to get into the "10 items or less" express checkout with more items than the maximum. In Japan, no one complains about this because there aren't any express checkout lanes at any of the places I have ever shopped at. Quite often, I'll be approaching the check-out clerk with one item in hand when someone a half step in front of me with an overloaded shopping basket who was, just moments ago, intensely preoccupied with studying the molecular structure of a tomato to ensure the highest quality, will suddenly rush to get to the clerk before me. I have no recourse but to wait while the clerk methodically scans in 30 items while my carton of milk warms in my hand.

I won't miss the fact that there are no express check-out areas, and that people who have a ton of stuff not only almost never let those with an item or two go first (this courtesy has been offered to me twice in 21 years of shopping in Tokyo), but actively try to cut them off and get in front of them at check-out.