Saturday, 22 December 2012

To Chuck or not to Chuck

That, is the question.
Whether 'tis safer to toss it quietly,
Or to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous proselytism....

When my dad was staying with us a few weeks back he answered the door one day to a woman who he deduced was a political canvasser. He said she seemed very friendly and used gestures to promise she'd be back. I didn't think about it much, hoping the fact that the election was soon to be over would solve it.

But, I have since discovered that it is actually illegal to canvass door-to-door for a political party in Japan (trolling the neighbourhood in a truck with loudspeakers that would make a headbanger band cry, however, is perfectly acceptable - go figure!).

I didn't think about my father's visitor, however, until we got up last Sunday. After a... ahem... VERY late night the night before, we slept in on Sunday and discovered our mailbox full of parcel delivery slips (two! different companies!) and a book wrapped in a plastic baggie. U opened the bag and pulled out the bag and accompanying note. The book is old and worn, the pages are yellowing but it has obviously been carefully cared for. The note, written on scented pink paper decorated with cutesy characters, looks like one written by an eight year old girl to her new penpal in some exotic location.

We can't be sure who left it, but the note does make it seem like the woman who did was a repeat visitor, and it is in English.

Now we have two problems - the local odd cult has marked us as foreign targets, I have no doubt they'll be back. (I don't normally answer the door, however, it is much easier to hang up the inter phone on someone than to shut the door when they've inserted themselves into your doorway!)

And, what to do with the book? I don't want it. The note includes the woman's name, address, and phone number, so I could call her to come and get it, but I hardly want to give her the chance! U didn't like my idea of him using it for English practice, and it is too late in the season for me to send it to my father as a Christmas present. U said to just chuck it, but it's a book and I can't seem to do that...



  1. Book off accept any books.
    The shop in Shirokane apparently has a huge English collection.

    You're not even a little bit curious to see what makes the Moonies tick?

    1. Book Off!! I will add the book to the pile of random books that U has that he keeps saying he'll take to Book Off but never does...! Thank you!

      Curious, yes. Curious enough to keep the book, no! ;)

  2. Moonies? Aren't they the guys who have mass weddings?

    Waaa! That love charm that the neighbourhood aunties were playing with? That love charm might have unexpected results.

    Books are sacred, yes, but ... you don't have a wonky outdoors table that might need a book under one leg? Or maybe you need a new flyswatter?

    1. Well, now that you mention it, our bed is a bit uneven... but I'm not sure I want to put it under the headboard, the idea of osmosis and all gives me the heebie jeebies!

  3. Reminds me of the one time I opened the door and it was a pair of missionaries. They pushed several books at me and they promptly went into the garbage. Not really books as much as information booklets. Then there was the dreaded NHK who came. I thought it was the gas company. A simple, "no TV" and she left. ;)

    Then comes the story a friend of mine told me. He and his wife were invited to another couple's house for dinner. Nothing seemed bad until they sat down and realized it was a recruitment drive for their religion. They asked him, "do you believe in god?" and he said he was Mormon. Immediately, they half ignored him and his wife and focused on 2 other couples who were also at the party. Seemed pretty simple of an answer. ^^

    1. Heh heh heh!

      My driving instructor with Young Drivers Canada was a bit of a religious fanatic - one day as we were driving along a bit of water in Richmond he looks out the window and sees a guy fishing and launches into a rather long quote from the Bible about fishing for men's souls or something similar... freaked me out so much that I forgot to be nervous about my first left turn into oncoming traffic! ;)

      And yeah, if it were just leaflets I'd have no trouble chucking them, but it is a good couple hundred pages long!

    2. Looks like BookOff is your answer. ^^

      BTW, you learned to drive in Richmond?! You are either very good or very bad at driving. :P I cut my teeth driving in PoCo. Not sure if that is better or worse though.

    3. Yup, Richmond. I lived there (and commuted to Kitsilano for school) my last year of high school. It wasn't the worst of places to learn to drive, but combine it with the fact that my first car didn't have a lot of power, and l still am wary of hills! ;)

      And btw, Richmond is loads better than PoCo! ;P

    4. The commute must have been tough. Not too far, but going over the bridge? Richmond is good to learn to drive because it's nice and flat, but you have to be really careful of all the other drivers. ;)

      PoCo? All the hills made it tough, plus I learned in winter, including snow! Nothing like a first lesson and driving over the Port Mann at night!

    5. At the time I thought it made more sense that starting a new high school for my final year... and it got me used to long commutes so that when I came to Japan I didn't think anything of them! ;)

      My first driving lesson was actually in an empty parking lot in Prince George, however... I'm just glad it was the middle of summer, as that same parking lot got a LOT of snow in the winter time! Do PoCo drivers know what to do in the snow? At least PG drivers do... I think they are better at driving with snow than without! ;)

    6. Ah. Well, I had my fill of commutes as during University, I lived in Kerrisdale and commuted to SFU. 1 hour each way, though the city as there are no freeways to Burnaby from there.

      PoCo drivers? Not too sure. It seems okay but I always heard of accidents on the connector. I only learned to drive there because my instructors always told me to hop on the #1 and over the Port Mann. I lived in Surrey... ... :P

      Now, I wish I wasn't, but I am pretty much a paper driver.

    7. I'm a paper driver too. I still have my Canadian license, so I drive when I'm back there, but my dad's car is so much bigger than my little one used to be or than U's car here, so I'm just generally nervous about it. U is the driver, and with the exception of family parties where he wishes he could drink and make me be the designated driver, there is as yet no real reason for me to switch over my Canadian license... I suppose I should though... sigh...

      You lived in Kerrisdale?! Where abouts?! I grew up in Kerrisdale - went to the Annex for 1-3, and the main school for 4-5, and my dad has recently returned to the area - Elm and 45th-ish.

    8. You still have a Canadian license? Lucky you. I lost mine, but converted to a Japanese one a long time ago now. I used to "borrow" my mom's car, but now that one is gone and they reduced to just 1. I am now reliant on friends to pick me up, and since we live in Vancouver and they often live in Surrey, it is a bit difficult.

      One reason to switch over, you may not be allowed to get a new license back home when it is time to renew. I had that problem and a friend of mine has to go back every 5 years around his birthday to renew. Otherwise, shouldn't be a problem.

      Yeah, I used to live on 42nd and... Vine? Just next to the baseball park. Maybe just a couple blocks from where you grew up. I was there for about 5 years though. I have been there, Marpole, and now my family is in Kits. I like Kits a lot now. I might move back there when, or if, I ever return.