It is often quite frustrating for me to go shopping for clothes and footwear here in Aizuwakamatsu. There are some very nice, fashionable items in the shops at reasonable prices but almost always the sizes are too small for me. When I go back to England I am just a fairly average sized person, standing at just under 180cms tall and I take a standard size 9.5 or 10 shoe in the UK which is a size 28 in Japan. The other day I really wanted to buy some stylish dock shoes for summer that I saw in some local shoe shops. They were not expensive either, just under 3,000 (GBP20). The same shoes in the UK would probably cost double that price. However, in all three shops I tried their biggest size was 27. It was so annoying. I felt it was unfair. I felt it was discrimination against all those people who take a size 28,29,30 etc shoe. Surely these days as younger Japanese men are getting taller and more Japanese men are getting broader, many of them need shoes larger than size 27? What do they do? Where and how do they buy fashionable shoes at reasonable prices? Do they have to settle for the very limited range of mostly unfashionable size 28,29,30 shoes that are available here? Buying shoes online is not a good idea as you really need to try shoes on for size and comfort. For me, I can order some clothes like shirts my size online. Otherwise going abroad is still a necessity to stock up on clothing and footwear which fits!
Surely most of us, if offered the choice, would prefer to fly business class on a long flight of 11 or 12 hours; business class seats are much larger and more comfortable, there is much more legroom, the service is more personal and attentive, the food and beverages are of a much superior quality. Who would not prefer business class?
I now know one person who would prefer to fly economy class, even he were offered a business class ticket. He is my father, John. After he flew business class from London Heathrow to Tokyo Narita on April 16th, he confessed to me that he would actually prefer an economy seat next time!
Last year when I contacted ANA about booking a flight for my father with my air miles, they told me that a business class ticket would only be 33% more expensive in terms of miles needed than an economy seat. In addition to that, they did not have an economy seat available on the return flight I requested. As a result of this information, I reserved a business class ticket for him. I had to use up almost all the air miles I had saved for the last 4-5 years to do so but, as he is quite old now, I wanted to treat him to a more comfortable flight.
However, when he arrived at Narita he told me that he could not sleep on the flight and he felt a little lonely as there were partitions between the passengers in business class which hindered conversation between passengers and besides, the other passengers did not appear to want to chat much, either. During the flight he only talked to the flight attendants. Once, when he got out of his seat to stretch his legs and drew back the dividing curtain between the business and economy classes, he saw the passengers in economy sitting side by side and some were chatting to each other merrily.
On arrival he said that, if he flew to Japan again he would prefer to fly in economy class!
天栄村にある神田外語グループの British Hills!
Hope to come here again next year!
今年も早いもので、半年が過ぎようとしております。Time flies so quickly!
It never fails to surprise me how quickly the weather changes in Aizu. Just a month ago we had snow on April 21st around the time the cherry trees were blossoming. Admittedly this is rather a rare occurrence but it happened and I have a nice photo of Aizu’s famous ancient cherry tree, the Ishibezakura on that day to prove it.