Japanese woman’s uncomfortable experience on train actually turns out to be something much more positive.

With the spread of the coronavirus dominating the news, bleak stories have been popping up all over the Internet. Events are being cancelled, people are committing crimes, and Asian people both in Japan and elsewhere have experienced discrimination. And sure, it’s easy to get bogged down in all the negative news, but one Twitter user shared a story that will remind you that the world isn’t so bad after all.

Today’s uplifting story comes from Twitter user @tomomi_dk. Tomomi is a Japanese woman living in Denmark, and she shared a recent experience that she had on a train.

“I was on a train and an old lady kept staring at me. I thought ‘She must think I have the coronavirus’.”

While Tomomi’s initial instinct might seem unusual, there have been reports of discriminatory behaviour towards Asian people in some parts of Europe, so her conclusion is somewhat understandable. But what happened next was much more heartwarming –

“As she was getting off the train, the woman came up to me and said ‘Your dress is really nice! It really suits you. With the weather like it is today, thank you for brightening up this dull train carriage! I wanted to tell you that for a while now. Anyway, have a good weekend! See you!”

In a wholesome twist, the Danish woman was actually staring because of the beautiful dress Tomomi was wearing.

Japanese Twitter was all abuzz for Tomomi and her encounter with the Danish grandma –

“It’s really important to stay positive!”
“I want to see the dress!”
“I got goosebumps reading this story! Thanks for sharing! It made me want to be someone who makes others happy with my words.”

“This story feels like a sunbeam piercing through the dark corona-coloured clouds. I think we should all try to be more like the old lady.”
“Wow, that warmed my heart! We should be careful not to judge too quickly.”
“What a lovely old lady! You brightened up the inside of the train and society, too!”

Twitter user @skyblue543211 appears to have had a similar experience to Tomomi, which she shared in this tweet.

“I had a similar experience! I live in the US, and at a restaurant, a woman in the table next to me kept staring at me. I felt kind of nervous, like I had done something rude. As she left to go home, I was sure she was going to give me a hard time, but actually she said ‘Your kids are so well behaved! How do you do it?’ I was so relieved!”

In a follow-up tweet, Tomomi added that the compliment made her reconsider her outlook on life.

“It got me thinking, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t be so mistrusting of things I don’t know. I should take a more optimistic approach to life and be more positive.’ I replied to the old woman, ‘Your comment has already made my weekend so much better, thank you!'” 

While some readers were relived that the encounter had a happy ending, it got some Japanese Twitter users talking about how Japanese people deal with complimenting strangers, with Twitter user @Okojo8686 saying –

“I always get a little jealous when I hear about these kinds of stories in other countries. I’m the kind of person that, if I pass someone in the street and see something worth complimenting, I’ll go ahead and say it. But there are many Japanese who refuse to give compliments, even if it kills them. Doing good things, making others feel great – wouldn’t society be better if we could all live positively?”

While some agreed with @Okojo8686’s comment, others were quick to refute it, claiming that people in Osaka tend to be much more friendly to strangers than in Tokyo. Either way, in the end, Tomomi’s train experience serves to remind us all of something important: to never judge too quickly, and to stay positive. Maybe the next time you pass someone in the street, try to give them a compliment and see what happens! You might just make their day!

Source: Twitter@tomomi_dk via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso

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