The semester is winding down. All I have left are tests and preparation for the end of the semester speech which everyone is doing in front of all the other students and host families next Thursday. If you've been keeping up with my Picasa Web Album pictures, you could probably follow the progression of time by observing the length of my hair, which is now a good deal longer than I usually have it before cutting it. My mom from home wishes I would cut it or at least do something with it, and I'll admit, it probably could use a comb once in a while. My host mom on the other hand has been watching it grow with interest throughout the semester and frequently comments on its thick and curly nature while tossing out theories about how it would grow if I let it get really long.
So with her interest in mind and the boost of energy from being almost done with classes, I had a brilliant idea: stand outside the cafeteria building and charge people 100 yen to touch my hair. I wrote up a sign on the back of a paper and headed over.
It isn't abnormal for people to stand there advertising club events or to hand out packs of tissues with advertisements on them, but paying money to touch someone's hair seemed to be a first. There were quite a lot of double takes as people gave a polite glance only to realize what exactly I was advertising, laugh, and then tap their friends on the shoulder to show them too. Some people asked me why I was doing it, to which I replied "Because it's funny" or "It's a part time job". Others took pictures, which I graciously offered for free. Every laugh and smile was almost as good as getting money. Almost. I wasn't sure if I'd get any money for a while but then it started to trickle in. Four people did it in the 50 minutes or so that I was out there, but the 400 yen and laughs were completely worth it (and I got another 100 yen from Mr. Nagashima when I got back to Kirari).
(thanks to Shutaro for this pic)
On Friday, I fixed up a new sign and was joined by Maggie and Hollande to try it again in Odori. Unfortunately, the majority of people walking around Odori were serious-faced adults who were not amused. We still got a few laughs, but significantly less than at the college and didn't earn any money at all. Perhaps I'll hang onto the sign and try again when we take the trip around Honshu starting at the end of next week.