After last year’s success, this year could only be better, right?
Ah, Valentine’s Day! For those with a significant other to smother with love and gifts, and be smothered in return, it’s a great day to commemorate the bond you have with each other. For the singles out there, it can be a pretty lonely day that leaves a rather bitter taste in the mouth.
For our Japanese-language writer Seiji, Valentine’s Day last year started out with those feelings of bitter lonesomeness, until a brilliant idea struck him: to head out to one of Tokyo’s busiest intersections in the Shibuya neighborhood and try to get chocolate from strangers. Because there’s no need to feel lonely in a city of 13 million people!
Seiji’s experiment was a success. After only an hour standing outside of Shibuya Station, just in front of the famous scramble crossing, our man had received 11 different snacks from complete strangers. Perhaps Valentine’s Day could be a pretty sweet holiday after all!
And so with last year’s success in mind, Seiji decided to try his luck again this year. With cardboard box in hand, labelled with the same appeal as before, “Happy Valentine’s Day chocolates please,” he set out with vigor to Shibuya Station.
In contrast to last year’s rain, the sun shone down pleasantly on our hopeful chocolateer. Perhaps this was a sign of even better things to come?
We distanced ourselves from Seiji as we waited for the magic to happen.
As always, Shibuya Station was bustling with activity. Surely it wouldn’t be long before someone opened their heart and bestowed a chocolate offering…
Bingo! From the crowd we could see someone approaching Seiji! But wait…
Aaaaaahhhh… Yep. Just as it says across the back of his uniform, a policeman had appeared on the scene.
According to the policeman, there had been a number of people standing around asking for chocolate this year. “I won’t tell you to stop,” he said, but urged Seiji to do so of his own accord. Which is basically just a polite, round-about way of saying “Don’t do that” anyway.
Sadly, this year’s chocolatey endeavor was shut down after only three minutes. After such a moving experience last year, to be shut down from the get-go left Seiji with a pang of sadness in his heart. But don’t lose hope buddy, there’s always next year!
[ Read in Japanese ]