I caught a cold this past week and got initiated into mask-wearing. In Japan it is completely normal to wear a surgical mask in public. Like wearing a beanie. No one bats an eyelash. Or wonders if I have some dreadful disease. If anything I blend in far better, especially with a beanie and blonde hair tucked in my coat – if I don’t try to speak, I could be just another Toyaman making my way through the market.

It’s just another mark of the incredible courtesy of the Japanese. They do not let their vanity come before the greater good. But if vanity is of concern, the mask comes in handy yet again. Need to run to the store but don’t feel like putting on makeup? Wear a mask! Put a beanie on too if it’s a bad hair day. If it’s frigid out, pop that baby on an you’re in your own private sauna. Apparently masks are pimp with the kids now too. So not only am I scoring on time, but scoring points with the younger generation. AND, you can get reusable ones so you’re caring for the environment as well. It’s a win all around. I really don’t see any downside. Except the fogging of the glasses. I can’t seem to work that one out.

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