Carry bags the Japanese way (2004-05-30)

Japanese women have a unique way of holding their bags.  I first noticed this on the day we arrived in Japan almost five years ago.  After we finished the check-in procedure at the hotel reception, a female staff proceeded to take us to our room.  She was tiny and looked about 105 lb (48 kg).  I was carrying this giant duffle bag which weighed a hefty 22 lb (10kg) on the airport scale and this lady insisted on carrying the bag for me.  Instead of holding the bag in her hand, she hooked it on her skinny little arm which she held it bent at the elbow with her palm facing up.  She basically dangled the bag, which must have weighed more than all her limbs combined, on her arm all the way from the lobby to our room.  I was worried her elbow was going to come right out of its joint!  I don't know how she did it but this woman had arms like steel.  She made it to our room without breaking a sweat. 

Since then I've been noticing that women here like to carry their bags the way that hotel staff did.  I've seen them carry big bags, small bags, multiple bags on the arm, even kids hook their bags on the arm just like the adults.  That's probably why a skinny woman seems to have no trouble carrying a heavy bag on her arm, she's been trained well from an early age.

Besides some minor shortcomings such as discomfort, pain and cutting off circulation in the arm, the biggest drawback I find carrying bags this way is that the handles create a lot of creases on the sleeve.  But it gets worse when you wear a short-sleeve shirt and the creases are embedded straight on the skin, PINCH! OUCH!  Anyway handbags should be called armbags in Japan.

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