Certainly a bizarre experience even if it wasn't much of a bazaar experience.
Exhibit 1. The main selling area. BO (Bizarre opening) -15 minutes:
- This is the entirety of the non-perishable items we had to sell.
- Front right lined up by the truckload? Not towels, not sheets, not even futon covers. Nope. Gauze (think scratchy and open weave) blanket covers. Uncouth me. I didn't realise blankets even got covers... We sold none all day and then 15 minutes before closing- when everything was going out for 20 yen- we sold four to the one woman. At least one family in the village will now have adequately dressed blankets, hey?
- Far back left is a whole bank of toilet paper, kitchen paper, plastic wrap and bags of adult nappies. I thought we had Buckley's chance of selling any of this but whaddaya know, bargain priced toilet paper is a real crowd puller. Not so adult nappies though....
- Middle row- laundry detergent and body soap. Who donates this stuff?? Who buys 10 packs of body soap and then decides they don't need it anymore???
- Oh and please notice that this is a big building. Without heating. In Nagano. In November...
Exhibit 2. My selling area.
Yup. I got produce. And yup, that's it. Points of note:
- The thing on the seat? I thought it was Santa in a farmer's hat (that's the kind of hat the male farmers around here wear) for a full half day until I saw it front on. Is it a something-or-other ranger? Got two girls here, no idea...
- The contents of the crates: one of hakusai, one of leeks, two of daikon, two crates plus a box of apples and some random bags of kiwi fruit, potatoes and rice. This time of year I would bet you could break into any house in the village and demand vegetables (very odd and I'm not suggesting you do it but hypothetically) and I reckon 9 out of 10 houses would pull out a daikon, a hakusai or a leek. And as for selling apples in apple country.... If I was running the bazaar I would load up a couple k-trucks of veggies and apples, put on some good music and drive down to Nagoya and sell them all for three times the price we're begging people to buy for here. I mean we were selling 6 apples for 100 yen!
- The blue box in the corner? Hotel portions of bitter orange marmalade. Packaging in French and English. No Japanese. That and the word 'bitter' was just not helping it rush off the shelves....
- The basketball? Not for sale. One of the dozen or so kids who turned up with their mothers brought it. I see where he's coming from- gym= basketball. But I was a bit surprised the mum didn't think it just might be inappropriate at a bazaar?
So, that was the bazaar. Two hours setting up and pricing, 1 hour lunch break (remember you absolutely cannot do any work during the 12-1 sacred lunch hour) then 2 hours selling and 1 hour boxing up, packing up, and cleaning up. Not a bad day's work, hey?
I really don't think we even came within the same gymnasium of our sales goals and the poor head of the PTA is stuck with boxloads of the kind of junk you can't even sell at 20 yen so I would hardly call it a roaring success but hey, we came, we bazaared and now we're done.
Oh, and I do think there's a certain nice karmic element in the PTA head who was pushing so hard for workers last week taking home 6 boxes of authentic 1970's gilt edged freebie beer glasses and other such incredible treasures...