Since I suspect most of us had had our fill of micro-aggressions, what about micro-joys, to shamelessly steal an idea from a comment by David K.? These are the small interactions where you feel you’ve had a successful interaction, you’ve put the smile on the face of a native, or you’ve turned a micro-aggression into a positive experience. Here is one of mine, to get the ball rolling and maybe to start a discussion on whether such should be seen as a win, or just as part of normal human interaction:
- Being recognised as a regular at restaurants and getting special service. For instance, just last week in two different places they remembered our faces and pushed two tables together instead of just being squashed up at a single, despite being busy. I’d like to think it’s partially because being foreign it is easier for them to remember my face.
- Giving up your train seat to someone older, and getting a smile of thanks, which I attest to them having a "foreign gentleman" image.
- Being asked where I’m from, as it gives me an excuse to talk about Scotland.
I reserve the right to pinch anyone’s input and use it in a Japan Times article.