2010年12月10日金曜日

hard sale time at the shrine

Three men arrived at the door wanting money tonight.

Nothing unusual there.

M and A had thundered down the corridor and answered the door.

Nothing unusual there.

The men asked for K .

Nothing unusual there.

They had to settle for me as K wasn't home.

Nothing unusual there.

They wanted money.

Nothing unusual there.

They wanted 100,000 yen. (About 1000 Aussie dollars)

Noth- what?????

Nope. No mistake. One hundred thousand yen....

The local shrine needs the roof on the antechamber replaced... and the floor.... and while they're at it they want to expand it to boot. This is going to cost a lot of money. 6,500,000 yen (650,000 Aussie dollars) in fact. And there are 650 houses in the shrine's catchment area. 650 shrine parishioners. So a little arithmetic and they worked out that if they just get 100,000 yen from each of us then walah- money raised!

How simple is that, huh?

Well except that we aren't actually parishioners in any way that I know of. We don't attend shrine regularly, we don't have the shrine priest over to bless us, we didn't have either of the girls blessed for their 7-5-3 ceremonies, we don't even have a 'safety drive' sticker on our car!

The three sales people- sorry Shrine elders- were certainly working the shrine parishioner angle though:

"See here on the plans (yup, they brought the plans around) this is the room you were sitting in before your daughter's school entrance blessing."

If that was supposed to make me feel like I owed them one they must have forgotten that we weren't interested in the blessing. ...but were told we had to do it- everybody does it ...and then we were asked to make a donation to pay for it- a suggested donation of 3000 yen. So yeah, sorry no parishioner guilt there.

Then they mentioned that with two girls they will be calling on our house in a few years time for when the grade 5 and 6 girls dance at the festival. More parishioner guilt? Nope. We pay festival 'donation' money every year as well. And a New Year festivities donation as well now I think of it. And as we don't trek down there in the dark and cold to drink hot sake at midnight that really is a donation!

They left me with a greeting, a bow, and the promise to come by in early January to collect the money- whatever I can give- after I've spoken to my husband of course.

That's the way to win me over, hey? Guilt then sexism... sign me up right now!

Oh and I'll be starting my own renovation fund in a few years. I want double glazing everywhere, skylights, storage, insulation, hidden storage, more insulation, an atrium... so ummm I'm thinking I'll need about 5,000,000 yen. How much can I put you down for? You've been here, right? Or you're planning on visiting some time? If your car broke down near here you'd come in while you waited for JAF, yeah?


4 件のコメント:

Brenda さんのコメント...

Good frickin' grief! Glad I don't live in your neighborhood. Though I think I may have offered to show them my bank book and asked them to start up a fund for us "less fortunate" folk.

gaijinwife さんのコメント...

I plan on coming one day. Can I just get you that 'drive safety' sticker and a box of apples?

Gina さんのコメント...

That is a lot of money that they asked for. Good grief.

thefukases さんのコメント...

Yeah 'church charity' around here is somewhat backwards, yeah?

And GW- you are welcome any time of the day or night with any number of chibi-visitors BUT I will be frisking you (think US airport security) for even a whiff of apple!

G- spoke to K about it and he thinks they are dreaming! Really most of my neighbours are old age pensioners or fulltime farmers. I really can onlythink of two neighbours who would have 10 man to spare....