Sunday morning in Jakarta is my day for writing the first draft of my evaluation report.
I am psyching myself for this, recalling what many prolific writers have told me when I asked them about their methods. “Writers find all possible excuses to avoid writing. Just write.”
I don’t. I first read my e-mails. Then Facebook. Then my blogsite, including the comments and the links.
After reading a couple of blogs about the presidential candidates for the May 2010 elections, I read a very short blog from Seth Godin about Ogori, a unique cafe in Japan.
Ogori (and generosity)
(Someone) writes about a cafe in Japan with a simple rule: You get what the person before you ordered (and paid for), and the next person gets what you ordered.
Take a few moments to think about that.
Would you go?
What would you order?
Is this an opportunity to give, or an opportunity to take…
I think we have Ogori opportunities daily.
Intrigued by the idea, I checked the blog that he cites. Here are excerpts, slightly edited:
The Ogori cafe looks innocuous enough, but holds a surprise in store for its patrons. In a nutshell, you get what the person before you ordered, and the next person gets what you ordered. Thus, if you’re in on the game, you can choose to be either a generous benefactor, and treat those that come after you – or try your luck at being cheap. Either way, it’s an interesting experiment that explores surprise, kindness and encourages interactions.
As I (the blogger) sat down to enjoy my surprise Appletizer, a Japanese woman approached the cafe. She could read the large sign at the front, and got advanced warning of what she was in for. Before deciding on what to order, she quietly snuck up to me to ask me what I had ordered, knowing that it would be her unwavering refreshment destiny. The staff put a quick stop to her trickery, and I didn’t answer.
Regardless of what she ordered, she got the orange juice I ordered a few minutes earlier. But here’s one of the moments that make this experiment cool: She actually chose orange juice, just like I did. So she got what she wanted. Ogori cafe synchronicity!
Before we left, there was one last thing that had to be done.
Mike went up to the cafe, slapped down a couple thousand yen (~$25), and ordered a little bit of everything: some ice cream, some snacks, some candy, some drinks, a Japanese horn-of-mysterious-plenty intentionally set up as a shocking surprise for the next lucky customer. (After his order, Mike received single iced coffee.)
As we walked away from the cafe, with just the right amount of delay, we heard an extremely excited “Arigato goazimasu!! Thank you so much!!” yelled in our direction, from an ecstatic mom and her equally excited young son. They truly appreciated the surprise.
It was so worth it.
If the Philippine presidency were an Ogori resto, the next occupant of Malacanang would get what GMA has ordered, and the president after the 2016 elections would get what the 2010 winner would order.
That’s their problem.
But it is also our problem, since we pay.