As I was walking through Shibuya this morning a man in robes, who appeared to be offering me something shiny and gold, approached me. Like a gullible magpie I accepted his gift and was then presented with a book, in which to sign my name and request a wish. He appeared to be collecting money for renovations to a Thai temple, and for some reason quickly became disappointed when he found out that I was not German. He then presented me with a beaded bracelet and pointed to the column in his book marked ‘Financial Contributions’, as well as to the large sums (upwards of ¥10000) that had been donated by others, people who were no doubt more generous and Germanic than I.
As I explained/lied that I only had ¥500 on me, he simply kept pointing to the list of larger sums and nodding his head. Eventually he took the bracelet back from me, explained that a minimum ‘financial contribution’ of ¥1000 was required for such a lavish gift, and wished me a good day, leaving me dazed, confused, and holding a piece of religious merchandising which seemed to suggest that I had donated to a religion which encourages the worship of an automobile-themed mono deity.
There was a small earthquake in Tokyo this afternoon, registering a 2 on the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) Seismic Intensity scale, which means that ‘Shocks are felt by most persons, with a slight shaking of doors and Japanese sliding doors’. I can confirm that my Japanese sliding doors did indeed shake, although I wager that this had more to do with the decrepit nature of my apartment, than because of any real intensity from the earthquake. After all, breathing heavily causes them to shake slightly, whilst the reverberations when I smash my head into their frame every morning last throughout the remainder of the day.