For those of you living in Japan, allow me to ask you a question…
In a land where alcohol and cigarettes are served up in vending machine format (mind you the cigarette machines have been ID’ing people lately…), it’s not entirely rare to see a group of 17-19 year-olds sitting in an Izakaya (Japanese-style… bar/restaurant), yelling out ‘Kanpai!” (Cheers!) as they raise their beer glasses in the air. [Just a note... The Japanese legal age of drinking is 20]
And while this isn’t something that particularly bugs me, I couldn’t help but be taken back last night when I went to the local, Konbini (Convenience Store) to grab some alcoholic beverages and was asked by the store clerk (who was about 15) to touch the ‘Yes’ button on a digital screen confirming that I am old enough to drink.
And that was it.
The screen asked me “Are you old enough to drink?”, I push the button for “Yes”, and I’m on my way.
And while there is slim chance that I look younger than 20 years old, I still cant help but feel that the whole setup nothing more than an exercise in futility…
Now, if I were to think of this from the perspective of an 18-year-old university student living on my own in a city that prompts people to write “ranting” blogs, I would think this to be a wonderful feature of the city and culture that I live in. But sadly, not everyone is going to see it that way..
Now… I have additional anecdotes, and photos that I WILL be adding within the next week or so… But, were off to a start at least!
And so once again I open up the floor to you. What are your thoughts?