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.
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David (Saturday, 05 February 2011 14:55)
I have zero pity for a homeless person who doesn't want to put calories into his body, but wants taxpayers to subsidize his intake of hydrogen cyanide (poison); benzene (linked to leukemia); cadmium (linked to cancer); arsenic (rat poison); carbon monoxide; DDT(insecticides); and scores of other poisons that are proven to be detrimental to the wellbeing of the general population.
Cigarettes are a scourge - WHO estimates that 165,000 children die due to lower respiratory infections from passive smoking each year. It also calculated that 10.9 million years of good health were lost to tobacco in 2004.