Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Free Market

Yesterday I harassed Mikio and a mother of one of my students to help me take my stuff down to the flea market to sell. But since the Japanese can't say flea they think it's a free market, and of course nothing about it is free. I had to pay 1500 yen in advance to reserve a space. Mikio came the night before to tell me more about what to expect. We would be given a spot 2 meters by 2 meters. No overflowing the spot. All merchandise must be in place by 9:30, even though it doesn't start until 10. Well, that was gonna be a problem. And be prepared that nobody was going to buy anything, so don't expect to make any money. Mikio was completely freaking out. All my stuff would not fit in that space, we couldn't make it by 9:30, and we couldn't bring anything from the cars if we sold some stuff and we had room for it, and it wouldn't all fit in the cars anyway. I really had to insist he take a chill pill. Okay, this was gonna be a big exercise in futility. So what? We'll just sit around the flea market and drink cokes and make fun of people. Of course his little visit left me really upset, and not a little angry. Stupid Japanese with their weird, inflexible ways. I didn't get to sleep until 2 am, and then woke up at 6 am so that I could start taking everything down stairs, so that when they arrived at 8:30 it would go that much faster. Well, let's just say that Mikio's contageous worry was all for naught. People were digging through the boxes and buying things faster than I could tell them the price. And this is before the market even opened. Mikio kept trying to get me to go down on prices, and I kept saying no, it wasn't even 10 yet. I don't start bartering til I've had a few people pass up on something. Everything was pretty much sold by 12, even though the market was to go on for another two hours. I only made half as much money as I paid for all this crap from my predecessor. But the weight that is off my back makes it worth it.


At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh that sounds like more fun than should be allowed. Mum

At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Sallie said...

Congratulations. That must be very satisfying... Although also a little heartbreaking, if you're anything like I was when I was doing similar things (though not at a flea market) last year. I'm not online much right now, so in case I don't get back 'round these parts, enjoy the rest of your time there, have a safe trip home, and please feel free to email if you want someone to commiserate with you about reverse culture shock and the like.

Take care,
(I deleted my blog)


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