From afar, we surmised there must have been a festival going on at the
Armed with our cameras, we ran towards the area for what could be a great photo event. But only to find this – a sea of people just standing in the middle of the avenue, the entire stretch of which was closed to vehicular traffic.
With nothing hinting us about the mysterious congregation, we asked the policemen controlling the crowd. In halting English they said: “line”, “discount” “H&M open”.
WTF!! Did we get it right? These people were lining up for a
Imagine the entire stretch of EDSA, from Robinson’s Galleria to SM. Filled with people. Most of them going to just one shop.
And what was the shop again? H&M.
What again? Forgive the fashion moron that I am, but it doesn’t sound like Gucci, Armani, Prada, Hermes….
Apparently, H&M is the new kid on the block, now very popular in
Okay then. But still, lining up for hours under the heat of the sun just to buy stuff? That’s crazy, and that’s to put it mildly.
I was really amazed with I saw. But then again, I did know that the Japanese are just like that. They line up for everything. We Pinoys sometimes deride ourselves for being constant victims to the bandwagon effect, but now I realize we are still more rational than the Japanese when it comes to pushing ourselves to the in-crowd. For them, every thing patronized by many must be good, so everyone joins the mad rush there. From ramen, to rice cakes, to gadgets – you all see them joining kilometric lines. Patiently.
Maybe it’s not actually negative though. This cultural quirk simply showcases Japanese determination, their conviction to be ahead, to be where the best is. They tell us that they could humble themselves to fulfill their desire to obtain what their counterparts also aim for. But they don’t stop there. Oftentimes, after knowing what pleases the many, they produce things far better than what is on the table. And that’s probably why they’re among the world’s leading economies.