A DOG'S LESSON
Marlie was my dog - an adoring Doberman
Pinscher - now long gone. I took her with me
everywhere I could, but a trip to Japan seemed impractical. I'd named
her after Marlene Dietrich, the motion picture actress of a generation ago. Marlie, like Marlene, had sexy legs and both came from Germany.
Marlie had taught me how to behave in Japan. While
she enjoyed people at her own pace, she did not like to be aggressively
approached. It was then she'd snarl and threaten to bite. But, left alone, she'd
soon approach with friendship, sometimes bordering on affection.
So it was, I had learned,
with the Japanese. A hardy handshake and a slap on the back was
tolerated with a disdain never shown. Marlie had
taught me to stand back and wait. In Japan, things were never done in a
rush except for catching the subway. Restrained courtesy came first, then a
general conversation and finally business was discussed