I went to an exhibit of Hokusai paintings this week. I got to see The Wave and the other "36 Views of Mt. Fuji." It was spectacular.
But the weirdest thing happened while in line. A man heard me and my friend Marie speaking in English. He asked me where I was from. I told him America. And then he said, "Thank you. Thank you." Very emphatically, he said it. And then he hurried back to his place in line before I could ask for what or even say "uh, you're welcome?"
Another American was in line behind me. "That's not the typical response you get when you go abroad," he said with a chuckle.
"Definitely not," I agreed, remembering the little old Belgian lady in Europe who shook her finger at me and said "shame on you" in a menacing tone. There was an anti-war protest going on outside so I suppose that's what prompted his odd display of gratitude, but it was totally random.