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Monday, September 22, 2008

A City of Qs


From afar, we surmised there must have been a festival going on at the Ginza area. Ginza is Tokyo’s fashion mecca, Japan’s Beverly Hills or whatever you call those places where the outrageously expensive brands are sold.



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 SALE???!



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 Europe. What we barged into was its opening sale.



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.




33 comments:

The Gasoline Dude said...

Hindi mo nabanggit sa post mo kung naki-pila ka din sa SALE na 'yan o hindi. AMIMIN! Nyehehe! *LOLz*

R-yo said...

Gasdude: Idol, gustuhin ko man bumili, hindi talaga pwede. Una, wala akong pasensiya sa pila. Pila pa nga lang sa cashier atras na ko, eto pa? Nasa kalsada pa lang, super haba na. Pangalawa, wala din akong pera he he.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry but i do not agree with your comment.. i still believe in filipino's hardwork. i've learned that already....we can get ahead....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

R-yo said...

anonymous: did you really read my post? anlayo kasi ng comment mo, he he. i said nothing about pinoy work ethics. read again and you'll see that I complemented the Filipinos for being more rational when it comes to joining the popularity game. :-)

enrico said...

Grabe ang haba ng pila. Para lang palang UAAP Championship game ng Ateneo-La Salle 'yan a. Hindi ko rin kaya pumila ng ganyan.

Btw, ngayon ko lang napansin 'yung bagong header mo. Nice. :9

totomai said...

atty, actually i dont know if amusing is the right word, but i find the dedication of japanese amusing. i mean, as long as they want it (be in restos, events, pachinkos, products) they dont really care about what the others would say.

kumbaga, walang pakialaman, lol :-)

hay buhay japan, pipila din ako... san kaya haha

ScIoN said...

That is still a picture-worthy venue. You should've taken lots of random people pics. :P

Turismoboi said...

lol@anonymous

basta may masabi lang! ang daming blogger na ganyan. AlIW!

wala lang trip ko lang sumabat hehe!

fyi i know h&m, they have nice sweaters and cardigans

u should try it, of course when the excitement and curiosity of the crowd has passed since u dont like long lines

enrico said...

hey, september's ur birth month d ba? was it ur bday that u celbrated last saturday. neway, happy birthday! :9

Abaniko said...

Iakw naman, sayang din yung 5% discount.

R-yo said...

enrico: he he. talo pa yata nito UAAP games. dahan-dahan kasi ang pasok kaya patagalan talaga sa labas. :-)

R-yo said...

Totomai: tama ka dun. wlang pakialaman. pag gusto, gusto. kesehodang mukhang tanga sa pila. :-)

R-yo said...

scion: takot pa ko magkukuha ng pics ng tao. baka ipahuli ako sa pulis. :-)

R-yo said...

enrico: yep. twas my bday. ok lang. he he. salamat.

R-yo said...

abaniko: 5% talaga! he he

aajao said...

malamang fashion magazine yung dala ng H&M? kung opening yun ng FHM Magazine tapos sa shop eh puro FHM models, ayun! maiintindihan ko pa kung bakit magiging ganun kahaba at kakapal ang tao sa pila. :p

PS. biro lang :)

BlogusVox said...

Ganyan na ganyan ang dami ng tao sa Midnight market doon sa Hongkong. Two street blocks where closed every night just for that. Ang kaibahan lang puro peke ang binibenta doon.

"Brand" consious din pala ang mga hapon no, at mahilig din sa sales.

Everlito (ever) Villacruz said...

H & M,..nag open din yan dito sa kuwait last year at ang nag gupit ng ribbon si madonna..hanep!

joaqui_miguel said...

Belated happy birthday!!!

That's an interesting cultural similarity.

If Japanese would line up to a new clothes store, Filipinos would do that to a restaurant.

slim whale said...

i read somewhere that the japanese think of themselves as merely part of a larger whole. they are not individualists as europeans are. maybe that has something to do wtih this obsession, too? just thinking aloud

Lawstude said...

panyero, ibang career ka na din ah. the last shot was great.

dazedblu* said...

Haha, sale galore XD

blue arden said...

haha, wow that's just wrong. i wonder if it'll be like that when H&M opens here soon.

R-yo said...

aajao: never heard talaga sa akin ang H&M. Yun pala, sikat siya. :-)

R-yo said...

Blogus: The night markets of Hongkong, Taiwan, Korea and Thailand look the same. Normally side streets. Eto buong EDSA ang katapat! :-)

R-yo said...

ever: si madonna lang? grabe. big time pala yang H&M. Just the same, di pa rin ako pipila ng ganun kahaba.

R-yo said...

Joaqui: Maraming salamat po sa pagbati!

R-yo said...

slim whale: i guess you're right in saying that they try to blend with the bigger universe of humanity. but maybe it's also their competitive nature that pushes them to keep abreast with world trends.

R-yo said...

Lawstude: takot nga ako kumuha niyan. buti hindi lumingon. he he

R-yo said...

bluearden: at me balak bang mag open diyan sa Pinas? :-)

blue arden said...

ah yep :-) Henry Sy is bringing it over, just not sure when it'll open.

Musicero said...

The first picture is awesome. It shows two disturbing objects contrasting on a single picture, the empty street and the other one crammed with people.

Tornadoes28 said...

That is pretty sick to wait in lines like that to shop.

On weekends in Ginza the main street is always closed.