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Exchange students struck by Japanese punctuality

As part of the Abe's visit to India, 10 alumni — two from each decade since 70s — will interact with the first lady of Japan on Wednesday.

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Exchange students struck by Japanese punctuality
Vikas Chitlangia and Ashutosh Rawal
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On the eve of their meeting with Japan's first lady Akie Abe on Thursday, members of the India Japan Friendship Association, who are also alumni of the exchange programme between Gujarat University and Otemon Gakuin University of Japan, reminsced about their time in Japan and said that the county's work discipline, humility, value systems and hard work would make one fall in love with the land of the rising sun. As part of the Abe's visit to India, 10 alumni — two from each decade since 70s — will interact with the first lady of Japan on Wednesday.

Sharing his experience, Ashutosh Rawal an alumni of 1992 batch said that in Japan, one can't be late for even for a minute for meetings. "I couldn't adjust to Japanese punctuality even by the third week of my first visit there. I missed the train by five seconds and realised the value of time," he said. Recently, he was coming from Osaka to Kyoto in a train when Kyoto had unprecedented snowfall. Railway tracks were covered with two feet of snow so the train reached about nine minutes late. "Even in such conditions, each and every member of the staff said sorry to all the passengers. They stood with their heads down as if they had committed a grave crime. In India, airlines don't even announce if the delay is less than 15 minutes," he said.

Meanwhile, Vikas Chitlangia, of the 2014 batch, said that he had difficulties in explaining vegetarian food to his host. To them, vegetarian means salad. "By default, their food is non-vegetarian. My host would then prepare vegetarian noodles for me," said Vikas.

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