Freebies (2004-04-28)

Who says there is no free lunch?  Well may be not literally lunch, but in Japan people give you free stuff all the time.  It is common to see company staff give out packets of tissue paper with advertisement printed on the cover in busy districts.  When a new type of pear hit the market one year, the pear growers' association sent young women dressed in pretty dresses, boots and cross-the-shoulder sashes to give out little gift bags of a single large pear to passersby, how generous of them considering the high cost of fruits in Japan.

The freebies companies give away aren't tacky either.  I was outside Takashimaya (kanji) Department Store in Shinjuku (kanji) a few months ago and there was this lady handing out nice mini tote bags. I passed up on them though since I had no use for it.  Others weren't swarming all over her to get the free bags either, orderly and polite Japanese women approached her bashfully, almost as if receiving such a nice freebie without paying is embarrassing.

I have been given a lot of freebies all these years.  They are all pretty good stuff but none as welcoming as free money if you ask me.

Back to toparrow up image    Copyright