Last night a homeless guy approached me in Shinjuku station. Ignoring the hundreds of Japanese people in the vicinity, he made a beeline straight for me as I came to the top of the stairs. Most Japanese homeless guys don't ask for money, so this was a little unusual.
I brushed him off with a shrug. But then I figured I had a minute anyway, so I circled around and grabbed an onigiri (rice ball) at a Newdays. As I walked back, I spotted him making another beeline for the only foreigner mounting the stairs in a pack of Japanese people. I guess he'd figured out his marks.
I approached and offered him my onigiri. He shook his head and made the Japanese 'money' symbol with his thumb and forefinger, both of which were adorned with classic three-inch nail-claws. He said he wanted money for cigarettes. I said I couldn't do that, but offered the onigiri again. He refused. I walked away.
I hadn't gotten ten paces before I started to laugh aloud at the thought that I'd just been stuffed by a homeless guy.
I still have the onigiri in my fridge.