It’s no secret (to anyone who has known us for more than five minutes) that the duck and I are the definition of stingy (and, unfortunately, chronically poor). Because of that we have developed a deep appreciation for cheap items and, more importantly, free samples.
It all started a few years back:
I was young and naive and had just started university. At an orientation event we were presented with a free lunch sponsored by our school (who, in turn, we sponsored by paying tuition fees, but let’s not get into that) accompanied by the words ‘enjoy it, because that’s probably going to be the last time this university will give you anything for free’. From that day on I’ve been jumping at most opportunities to get free (and at least somewhat useful) things. Now, even if it’s food that we don’t love, the duck and I still take it because okay free food is still better than good food that we had to pay for. Well, in our world it is, at least.
Kyoto is wonderful for that; the street leading to Kiyomizudera is filled with shops that want you to sample their products, from cups of green tea, over yatsuhashi in dozens of different flavors to senbei that is so spicy that you wish you had another cup of free tea, not to mention all those matcha flavored snack samples in Uji (I could have easily accepted the invitation of a Bosatsu to take me to heaven after trying them). Here in Tokyo our go-to place is Kaldi for a free little coffee sample while we are looking at all that beautiful imported food. And, because we’re no monsters, we do leave some of our money there from time for time. Sometimes, though, I have to admit, we really just go in and pretend to browse for a sweet little mental coffee kick (fooling your brain into believing that it just had a small caffeine shot is sometimes all you need). Thank you, Kaldi, for patiently tolerating cheapos like us!
The duck and me ☺