With the hot weather looming here and my Canadian blood unable to cope with the heat, I decided that I needed to get some handkerchiefs to wipe the sweat from my brow while I am out and about. As I found one day taking the train, the stale air of the car made my face pour with sweat (as a little side note, due to voluntary power conservation as a result of the earthquake, much of the metros are not running AC nor escalators in much of the systems. The subway cars then become hermetically sealed steamers).
I decided I would hunt around Shibuya for a place for some handkerchiefs. A came across my now favourite place to buy any clothing here in Japan, Beam's. This place has it all from the daily comfort clothes to the slick suites of Ginza. At the display case I found some very nice designer handkerchiefs with various prints on them. Most ranged in price from $9 to $20 (and unfortunately I happened to purchase a $2 by accident).
As I was dealing with the formalities of the cash, one of the attendants packaged up my wares. In most places in North America they'll wrap some tissue paper around your goods, slap on a glossy sticker and put your goods in a standard bag. But here in Japan, at a store that is average in price range, took the packaging up a notch.
First my handkerchiefs were carefully refolded and put into a small orange envelop. Another larger orange bag was taken out and in it was placed a paid postage questionnaire about their services. On top of that was placed my handkerchief envelop and a 30th Anniversary Beam's catalogue.
All said and done, quite a lot of work (from a Canadian perspective) was taken into two pieces of cloth that will wipe the sweat from my brow. However, because of that service for just a minor commodity it will drive me to go to Beam's again. Simple ritual can alter a persons perspective a long way.
**as a side note that my mother will enjoy, the fabric of the hankercheifs are top notch with the silk screening occurring on both sides of the fabric.**