Tuesday, March 06, 2007


a suspicious person. As in, "Get your fishy fushinsha-ass out of here!"

Last year, walking back from Naruse station, we passed as usual the little mom-and-pop drugstore, with its displays of multicolored toilet paper on sale. Out popped a guy from the recesses of the shop, wearing some kind of school uniform and carrying a gym bag. He looked like he was in his late teens to early 20s. Accosting us, he let loose a barrage of words, at the same time brandishing a sack of potatoes.

"Sorry - wakarimasen." We didn't understand him, not at the rate he was going.
He effortlessly switched to English.
"Right now, we are in the middle of a national campaign! It is a very important cause that allows me to offer you these potatoes for only 300 yen!"

300 yen? The bag held about 5 sad little potatoes. I could buy the same bag at the market across the street for 150.

We tried to brush him off, saying we weren't interested, but he dogged us down the street for about half a block more. Finally he gave up, trailing off behind us.

We thought we had seen the last of him. But, telling the story that night, it turned out he had also approached C. in our neighborhood with the same line.

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