|RANT 'N' RAVE
Last temptation of rice
It is at times of sheer desperation and
extreme neediness; times when I need a fresh JY10,000 bill broken so I can get beer out of
the vending machine, that I buy rice crackers. My reasoning at these times is so far from
logic as to be a speck on the rationality horizon.
In England, if you want to break into say
STG5, spending anything less than a pound
is asking for trouble. Requests of "just a Mars bar please" are an open
invitation to abuse. To proffer a STG50 note (about JY10,000) is to cause uneasiness from
the outset, and, unless you are buying something substantial with it, such as a complex
electrical appliance, you will be considered a danger to society and arrested.
Japan, oh Japan. Land of plentiful, unashamed, safe cash. A kingdom where carrying a
bushel of notes causes no due alarm. One could positively chuck ones money into the
air with the assurance that some kind person would help to pick it all up.
Certainly, wielding large denomination notes for all ones small purchase needs is
all but a national pastime. This brings me to the crux of my tale of woe.
Many a time I have successfully burned through a JY10,000 bill in record time and feel the
fanciful urge to do the same thing again. Furthermore, this commitment to more spending is
always, I feel, in need of a bit of liquid celebration.
And so I am faced with the dilemma. I want to buy beer from the vending machine placed so
conveniently near my house, but I have no means to use it because it only takes JY1000
bills. However, I have lots of money and nothing I really want from the nearby,
alcohol-free 7-11, my only link to change. If I were Japanese, I would have no problem.
Id just sashay in, buy a JY100 Cup Noodle and be done with it. My problem is
twofold: a) Cultural habit precludes the buying of small purchases (see above) and b) If I
have to buy something that I don't want, let it be, at least healthy...?
And this is where the irrationality takes over. Rice crackers are not healthy substitutes
for other crunchy snacks. They belie all the evils of crisps, tortillas, butter popcorn
and other primordial comestibles.
But, I forget this every time I am in this situation. What is more, I never opt
for the tasty prawn cracker I know I am able to digest. Oh no! At times of stress, all I
really want are the outlandish green ones with sprinkly stuff. They MUST be more
nutritious, and look! They cost a little more than the others so I wont feel so bad
about the JY10,000.
So here I sit, having finished my meager beer but still faced with three quarters of a bag
of rice crackers that taste like something between dry cleaning chemicals and soil.
And I shall have to eat every one of them to pay penance for using STG50 to pay for a bag
Many thanks to Evelyn Anderson for this Rant.