Mind the gap

I am usually quite shy and doesn't make much fuss out there in what most call life which is typically Nordic introvert behavior. But I have a story I experienced while working in Tokyo for a month that opened my eye's in a new way. It turned out that I became friends with a Finish couple and as they live in Tokyo they guided me to different restaurants, night clubs and pubs there. There is a lot to be said about this wonderful city, but I will focus on one main aspect. How my friends approached the service workers there. As I now understand, lot's of people out there thinks service workers are of a lower kind of humans, like "there to serve the masters". However with my friends I experienced what happens when you socialize with them, like between fellow humans, asking questions, listening to their story, laugh together, share experiences, learn and share. Of cause there must be room for a chat, and in stressful environments, you cannot do this, but many times there was time to socialize and we all had a good time eating fantastic food enjoying ourselves. I'm still shy, but now I always try to express some kind of kindness out there and even if people may think it's odd (I do not try to take up much time, just a short sentence to express warmth), I find life is colored a bit more than before by just a simple "Thank you, I Hope you will get a pleasant day" to the waitress and many times this lead to more words and maybe a laugh or two.