A Bag Full of Wasted Trees and A Broken Suitcase Full of Unwanted Clothes: Thursday 23rd February

Today I had to go and register for the Tokyo Marathon, which is due to take place on Sunday. Hopefully the weather wasn’t an omen, as it was raining cats and dogs, and the prospect of running 26.2 miles whilst being repeatedly bludgeoned by gale-force winds and horizontal rain doesn’t really appeal. After registering I was forced to do one lap of the Marathon Expo, meaning that I needed to come up with a myriad of excuses as to why I didn’t want, or indeed need, to buy X from Y. On my way out of that capitalist hellhole I had to pick up my free official T-shirt, where I realised that the medium, which I had requested, would probably be too large. I asked for a small but was told that there wasn’t enough. There then followed a 2-minute exchange where I kept telling the organiser that it was okay, meaning that a medium would be fine, but which they interpreted as me insisting that ‘No it will be fine, you do have enough small T-shirts for me’. Eventually I managed to navigate my way out of the building, with a medium T-shirt, a bag full of wasted trees and a heightened sense of shame; a great start to any day.

The Tokyo Marathon registration: where bureaucracy and advertising combine to the delight of seemingly everyone but me.

Now that I know I shall definitely be returning to the UK, it is important that I succeed in emptying my apartment by the end of March. I have put up all of my items of furniture for sale on Craig’s list, and have already had interest in some of the items; ironically enough having to advise one would-be buyer that a car would be essential for their intended purchases. The rest of my stuff: books, clothes etc. I will be shipping home to the UK, but rather than pay for the transport of clothes I will probably never wear, I thought it more prudent to attempt to sell them at one of the second hand clothes shops in Shibuya. I obviously had the look of a man who was carrying a broken suitcase full of unwanted clothes, as no sooner had I crosses the threshold than I was asked what it was exactly that I wanted to sell. I left the clothes in the capable hands of the shop assistant and was told to report back in about an hour’s time, and after doing so was offered the not insubstantial sum of ¥2710 (£21.54) for clothes that I would otherwise have thrown away. Now if only they’d take my washing machine…


About truehamlet

Sam is a senior lecturer in Science Communication, who researches the different ways in which media such as poetry and film can be used to communicate science to new audiences.
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