January 9, 2006 part 2 – A new bad habit

Disclaimer: UPS is the nickname of one of my friends visiting Japan. This post has nothing to do with United Parcel Service.

After lunch we went to Mishima, which despite being a small town does have a few interesting places to show off to tourists. As we were walking away from the train station we passed a cigarette vending machine. UPS was surprised to see that smokes only cost about 300 yen per pack, which is around $3 CAD. In Canada the government taxes cigarettes heavily, and the average pack is about $10. UPS told me that on his 4 month long trip of Japan, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos that he had a few goals. One of the goals was to pick up a bad habit and quit before going back to Canada. With that in mind, he fed 300 yen into the vending machine and bought his first pack of cigarettes.

UPS was very proud of himself, until we realized that neither one of us had anything to light the cigarettes with. We walked into a nearby convenience store (which itself sold cigarettes), and bought a lighter. When we got out, UPS lit up his first of likely many cigarettes on his Asian vacation.

We continued on down the street and explored the nearby Rakujuen park and a few of the small stores in the area. UPS happily puffed away through most of our walk, happily adjusting to his new addiction.


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