Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sayonara sale

Today I hauled a bunch of stuff out on a little patio adjacent to my apartment and had a Sayonara Sale. While I don't know any of my neighbors, except to bow slightly and say a quick hello, they seemed most eager to see what I had on offer.

One neighbor has a cute little 3-year-old grandchild who came to see what was going on. I had anticipated her interest and had saved a pink pig bathroom set for her (no, I didn't buy it, it was given to me by one of my zany friends) and she was thrilled. She, her grandparents, and her mom and dad took the bulk of my things. Almost everything was free but they insisted on giving me a little money nevertheless.

Then I was totally surprised when one of their other grandchildren handed me a bag with two cans of chilled beer inside! I didn't realize until much later that the grandfather had dropped a 500 yen coin inside the bag. I do remember that he beamed as he watched his grandson hand it to me. Nobody spoke much English, and of course I don't speak Japanese, but it will be one of my fondest memories of Japan.

While I've heard--and seen firsthand--that most Japanese just toss their unwanted items in the trash, it made me feel good knowing that I wasn't adding too much to the massive landfills that must exist around Japan. Everyone who walked down my street stopped to dig through items and usually found a few things to take home. One lady came back about five times, as did the grandparents and their grandchild.

All in all, I think everyone felt a little happier with the "treasures" they took home, and I know I felt a little bit of an ache in my heart as I realized that in about a week I will be leaving Japan. Today erased some of the memories of the irritating things about Tokyo, and reminded me that no matter what country or city, people can interract with kindness and friendship. And best of all, today showed me once again that language is no barrier to what the heart can feel.

Segoi! (セゴイ!)


anne said...

I wish you all the best for your new-old life in America! I remember the time I travelled home from Japan to Germany and although I stayed in Japan for only three months I was absolutely crashed! And still I miss my time there and I still want to travel back to Japan to experience more about the country and the people,...! Wish you all the best!
P.S.: I totally enjoyed reading your blog about your time in Japan!

Greetings from Germany! ^-^

Anonymous said...

OMG! That little girl is too cute. I am so happy people came to your sale and that you had such a good time. I can't imagine how this last week must be feeling - so many ups and downs and just being so busy. Well, I hope the rest of the week goes well as your time is winding down there. Speaking of time, I love the sushi clock! First time I've noticed it - is it new?? Love and everything-must-go sale hugs, BB

Absolutely Tokyo! said...

Anne--thank you for your nice comments and good wishes. I haven't decided yet what to do about my blog since I won't be in Japan, but will probably keep blogging about, well, who knows? I hope you get to come back to Japan some day because it really is a fascinating place!

BB--yeah, she's pretty darn cute and you should hear her say "hello" and "bye-bye" in English! As you said, these past few weeks have been a roller-coaster ride of emotions, and extreme busyness! Yes, the sushi clock is new. Wish I had found it a few years ago. I saw it linked on another blog (you'll see the link if you scroll over the clock). I wanted to buy one to bring home but never found them. Anyway, can't wait to see you! Love you, honey!

EuroTrippen said...

Aw, what a sweet parting memory. I'm sure right now you're a mixture of happy/sad/excited/terrified. But hey, that's what living's all about. Enjoy your final week!