With only a short time left I’ve been trying to cram as much
of Japan into my schedule as possible. Two weekends ago Yuji, my
best friend, and I journeyed to Fukuoka City. Fukuoka City is the
largest city and capital of nearby Fukuoka Prefecture, which is
located on the southern island Kyushu. The city, like most large
Japanese cities, is divided into several districts, and it was in
the Hakata district that we met an old friend - Nakano Sensei. Nakano
was my Japanese assistant teacher when I took Japanese at Centre
C. during my freshman year. I hadn’t seen her since then so
I had a great time seeing her again.
Since Nakano knew the area best, we gave her the reigns and let
her guide us along. Our first stop was the Canal City shopping mall,
and as we exited the bus we, well actually I had a small snafu.
I didn’t have exact change for the fare, but I assumed that
when I inserted my money into the slot, it would give me back the
remaining money, like a vending machine. So I nonchalantly inserted
my money, snagged the “change,” and proceeded to exit
the bus. In the process of doing so, the bus driver went psycho
and started yelling at me, because he thought I was trying to sneak
off without paying the measly 100-yen fare. After discovering what
the deal was, I inserted exact change into the slot and exited
stage left while the rest of the passengers laughed at me, the gaijin.
Of course, just my luck.
Once inside the mall I found several American stores – Gap,
J.Crew, and Laura Ashley to name only a few. Being a fan of J.Crew,
I went in hoping to buy something, but was immediately turned off
when I noticed that prices were exactly twice what they would be
in America. Sorry J.Crew Japan, I’ll be sticking with the
After doing some window-shopping,
we headed down to the