Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Mystery and the Strawberry Puddings

In the past three weeks, I have spent over (OVER!) one thousand bucks on preparations for J's entrance into junior high school. This doesn't include any sort of books, notebooks, pencils, fancy rulers. Just the basics. I don't want to start weeping again, but basically this preparation consists of a school uniform, gym clothes, special shoes to be worn inside the school, special shoes to be worn inside the gym, small sticker to place on his bicycle helmet to let everyone know what junior high he goes to...etc. etc.

The school sent us several notices full of lists and directions and prices and dates and times and 'don't forgets'. Scary shit.

One notice had the different shops that sold their unique uniforms along with a price list.

So, we're running around trying to get all this done, and this is where the mystery happens. We go to get J measured for his uniform and I off-handedly show the guy at the shop one of the papers to make sure I have everything on it. It is insane how difficult they make this.

I notice right off that his eyes kinda go all sparkly when he sees this handout, this divine paper of papers the school is distributing to all its incoming students with its graph of shops and how much more a vest is there than it is here. Stuff like that. But he really doesn't have time to read it properly, as I point to items down the list and say "check" or "what the hell is that?" and soon we're done. I fold the paper and stuff it in my purse.

We order everything and go home. Four hours later the dude shows up at my house!! How in the hell he figured out where I live is creepy enough. But he is all apologetic and sweaty and talking real fast saying how he has a new costumer who has come from out of prefecture and they misplaced the list of what to buy (ironically enough, the same one I showed him) and instead of just asking the school for another he says, if he could just borrow mine for five minutes he'd copy it and bring it back. I'm smiling thinking, Man, this guy can't lie very well.

I have already read the entire paper and there is nothing negative about the shops that charge a little more (his store happens to be one of them). I imagine he just kinda wants to know what the competition is charging so he can compete. Hell, works for me.

So I hand it over.

True to his word, five minutes later he comes back with the paper and a box full of strawberry puddings as a thank you. I said, "No you didn't have to do that." To which he replied, "It's okay, that costumer will give me their business now."

I don't know. Maybe he was telling the truth.

Those up there are the puddings. And they were mighty tasty too. I feel sorta indebted, like I should bring something when I show up to pick up the uniform in two weeks. But then my husband made a valid point. He said, "We just paid that man over five hundred dollars!" And I was like, "Oh yea." Pudding really makes me loose all my common sense.


Anonymous said...


It's really quite the racket they have going on here for school "supplies." Bah.

And, T, your husband is right; you don't owe this guy anything.

Tell J that if I see him in uniform I'm going to mock him severely :)


Kappa no He said...

Ha ha! I wasn't kidding when I said I wept.

J says he ain't wearing that thing any longer than he must! Which as we know is most of the day and evening, poor kid.

Off to watch another episode! Still can't get yesterday's out of my mind.

Pat said...

Too weird. Life really is stranger than fiction, isn't it? I'm glad the guy wasn't a stalker!

Mary Witzl said...

Boy, does this bring back memories! I will never forget how awful it was buying the first randoseru. Or when I had to stay up past midnight labeling all those bits and pieces on the sansu setto. The Japanese educational system seems geared to keeping mothers employed doing stupid, useless things -- as if we didn't already have more than enough of those!

Still, I wish I were back there. Unagi. Onsen. Tsukemono. Friends. And (sob) my salary...

Everyone knew where we lived too. The only problem was when they got us confused with the Australian men around the corner -- an easy mistake given the fact that they were both over 2 meters tall, blonde (which we aren't) and over a decade younger than us.

Kappa no He said...

Pat: I did have a stalker once. But I can't really say anything as I am pretty sure he's found this blog too. We've since moved and I've been somewhat worry free. THAT was terrifying.

Mary: Oh, I remember labeling all those little pieces!

Unagi and onsen are a bit of a problem, but tsukemono should be totally mailable!! Let me know. (^o-)/~

That is hilarious about the Australian men. The only non-Japanese I have living anywhere near me are one very nice Napalese man and one very nice Indian man. So far...haven't gotten any of their mail yet. But who knows they could be enjoying a box filled with my mother's cookies.

Ello said...

Can I have some of that pudding? It looks oh so tasty! And besides, I think you already did him a HUGE competitive favor by showing him that list. Really. The puddings was the least he could do!

Jim Melvin said...


Are you telling me that you're not aware of the infamous junior high school identity theft scammers? I can't believe you fell for the pudding thing. It's the oldest trick in the book.


Kappa no He said...

ello: Each one had a chunk of chocolate on the top to boot!

Oh Jim, my heart stopped there for a minute. If those guys who keep telling me my Paypal account needs to be updated ever offer pudding...I'm in trouble.

Jim Melvin said...


Katarina-bakajo said...

My bestfriend said we couldnt be friends anymore after she gave me ominous but tasty pudding ;-; .

Kappa no He said...

I love that...Ominous Pudding. It sounds like the name of a band or a best selling novel.

Katarina-bakajo said...

I'd buy it!

Jim Melvin said...

Ominous Pudding ... is that anything like Blood Pudding?

Katarina-bakajo said...

Jim: Except its black and full of despair and hatred. >.> sorry I'm not in a good mood, I just slipped on the bathroom floor and broke my arm and 3 fingers on the opposite hand. :) Its in my bloggie.

Kappa no He said...

Jim: That is something I can honestly say I've never tried. Curious though. Unfortunate name.

Katrina! I hope you get better soon. Get that sister and her boyfriend to take care of you. I insist!

MDK said...

Now, that's what I call networking!

Craig N Lotta said...

I swear you have the best blog. I suppose it would be the same if someone from the Office Max followed me home.....strange. good looking pudding though

Kappa no He said...

MDK: Indeed!

Craig n Lotta: And the guy who followed you home would have to be seriously overweight -- to the point of sweat dripping from his chin and nose -- as well as very, very polite.