Tuesday, June 21, 2005


A few cans shy of a six-pack

It's a funny thing about the convenience stores in Japan: you can treat them like a library. This is the polar opposite of what you can do in English newsagents, but in Japan it's no problem at all, apparently. You can just stand there and read a magazine from cover to cover and nobody gives you any grief.

Today, there were a bunch of people doing this in the Furukawa Familymart and one of them was, quite bluntly, mental. I don't know the current politically correct term for this and, even if I did, it probably wouldn't sound any better.

Anyway, there were continual "mngh mngh" noises coming from this guy at the back of the store as I scouted around for some lunchtime chow. When I got what I wanted finally, I went up to the counter to pay. At this point, mental bloke decided it was time to leave; he stuck his magazine back in the rack and headed for the front of the store. However, it seems he couldn't leave without first saying goodbye to the Familymart employees.

What all of the above amounts to is that I was standing at the counter with the guy by the door, waving insistently and making urgent "mngh mngh" noises. Meanwhile, the girl behind the counter was doing her best to pretend that nothing existed in the entire universe apart from me and the goods I was paying for.

If she'd only turn and wave back to him, I thought, the deadlock would be broken. He could go about his business and she would be a decent human being in my eyes.

She didn't.

Giving up on Familymart employees as a species, I turned and gave a friendly wave and bow to the guy (the chickenhead behind the counter was apparently too absorbed in my purchase to take note of this.) He responded in kind, then lurched out of the door, scaring a bunch of schoolgirls in the process. Another employee suddenly materialised beside the first and they both tittered schoolgirlishly about their recently-departed customer.

Yes, he's not quite right in the head, I thought.

But you guys are both twats.

they got them a cute girlie who works at that family mart. a twat, maybe, fucking furitas, didn't mom and pa tell them to get a fucking job? but lawson's beats them for uniforms. and seven eleven is more likely to sell booze and cancer. then again familymart sells muji brand shit, simple handkerchiefs and pens and cd cases. but seven eleven sells kansai style oden; familymart and lawson sell kanto style. you gotta think about all that shit before you make the move. dude, conbini bizness is no laughing matter.
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