Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

It’s the little things..


One of the big things I really like about travelling in Asia is the quality of service you (usually) get, particularly in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan- China hasn’t really got used to the service thing yet. When you travel a significant amount and spend a lot of life on flights and in hotels you really do appreciate good quality service, more specifically the little touches.
It’s amazing, for example, the difference an Asian cabin staff makes compared to a European one. Little things, like a smile or passing remark (Virgin cabin staff post-security after landing talking to me and telling me to have a nice trip) really do make a difference. I’ve boarded flights before tired and in a bad mood due to an earlier event and come off a 12hr flight feeling relaxed and in a good mood just because of tiny little things. Other examples are in HK being brought a choice of reading material when they notice you are alone and have nothing to read.
A couple of things that happened today are examples of how good it gets:
Cathay Pacific Flight (Seoul to Taipei)
Having breakfast (excellent as usual). I must admit I was a little surprised to be passed this at 9:25AM (or 8:25AM at my destination):

I almost felt I had to have a glass just for the sake of it ! Anyways, digressing. I had a croissant with a side of honey (very nice combination, must try again). Later on, the attendant came round again and offered bread, I picked another croissant. After a couple of minutes she comes back with a side of honey. That just would never happen in Europe, you’d be asked for bread choice and that’s what you’d get – they’d never bother to look at your sides and actually replenish them automatically without even asking.
Taiwan Post Office
So I decided that my bag was too full (and slightly overweight) so decided to offload some stuff at the post office and send back. Of course there’s the added requirement of the likelihood of making purchases in HK requiring space in my case (I know myself all too well). Arrived at the Taipei office and enquired about sending some stuff, turns out the post office was very nearby. Discussion goes as follows:
Craig: Okay, so we need to send this stuff. Do you have a box ?
Office Manager: Why do you need a box ?
Craig: To post it in
OM: They will supply a box
Craig: Okay, what about pen and sellotape ?
OM: The service is pretty good in Taiwan
So we arrive at the Post Office. The guy comes over and starts helping us, provides a box, packs my stuff (way better than I would of course do), sellotapes up the box. Job done. I did feel a little guilty being the ‘foreigner in the queue’ keeping everyone behind me. However, superb service.
As I’m waiting, I start to look around and spot something (apologies for poor image, but taken on Blackberry and very quickly to avoid looking stupid):
Craig: What are the glasses for, do they sell them ?
OM: For old people
Craig: ??
OM: Well they can’t see well and use the post office often, so there are glasses to help them
Does it really get any better than that ?

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