Giving Blood

Jeremy Hedley discovers that foreigners are now allowed to donate blood in Japan:

One of the questions on the form was whether I have Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Really, how would I know? I sway a bit and dribble occasionally but I think I’m OK. I said no.

And when he was done, they gave him a towel:

(You get these small bath towels — good for hot springs — on all sorts of occasions in Japan. Open a bank account, get a towel. Bump into a stranger on the street, get a towel. Sneeze, towel.)

Well, you know, they are massively useful.

5 replies on “Giving Blood”

  1. The best part of this post was the link to towel-land 😉

    I can actually understand why foreigners wouldn’t be allowed to donate blood. I’d not recommend it, but:
    different countries have different health standards — Japan’s, I’m assuming, are higher than those of some nearby countries
    each nationality [especially such racially homogenous societies like Japan] shares some genetic material. this isn’t as true for a ‘melting pot’ society like the US [rumor has it, they’re teaching kids that it’s a ‘tossed salad’ now, because a ‘melting pot’ implies that all the different cultures are forced to conform, and that doesn’t ever happen in the wonderful US…]

  2. My sister spent two years in Japan. one of her favorite annecdotes was that they gave her the wrong change at the post office once for mailing a package, and had someone go to her house to give her a towel by way of apology. Though she never said whether they gave her the proper change back.

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