Supermarket Robin Hood


When we got to the local supermarket yesterday, we were greeted by a scene that is all too common in here in Yokohama: a couple of kids glued to the TV running promos non-stop in front of the toy department, parents nowhere to be seen.

Like I said, we see this every day so that in itself wasn’t that disturbing. However, one of these kids was pretty small, maybe three years old, and after a few minutes he awakened from his CM induced trance and started frantically screaming, “Mama!”

Maybe it’s because I’m an American, maybe it’s because I have kids just about that age, I don’t know, but I can’t just ignore this little boy lost and scared and in tears. I ask him if he’s okay, and he has the good sense to run off. Good for him, not talking to strangers.

I see him continue his banshee wail plea past other customers, who do nothing, store clerks, who do nothing, a security guard, who also does nothing.!!??

I’m no longer a concerned bystander, now I’m pissed.

Eventually I flag down a managerial type and explain to him the situation. His response is to tell me they’ve PA’d the boy’s mother, but she still hasn’t arrived. And they just left him to wander around? Wouldn’t the responsible thing to do be to let him sit behind the counter and give him a hot chocolate or something? Un believable.

Eventually the mother does come back, scolds the child for wandering off, plops him in front of the TV again, and leaves him there while she continues with her shopping.


During this same shopping trip, we are waiting in line at the check-out and the line is not moving. I peep around the folks in front of me, and there is another little boy, maybe 7 or 8 years old, in tears. One glance and it is immediately clear what the problem is: he has a pack of eggs, a piece of candy, 300 yen, and the register says 306.

I look closer. Poor kid has picked up the expensive, fancy eggs. The lady at the register doesn’t explain this to him, the people behind him in line say nothing. I push forward and pling down the extra 6 yen because I simply cannot fathom why no one else has done this yet.

Yep, that’s me, your friendly neighborhood Robin Hood.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Margeee
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 08:01:06

    Good girl! Maybe someone noticed and learned a lesson in basic human kindness.


    • hamakkomommy
      Oct 13, 2011 @ 08:39:28

      Wasn’t trying o toot my own horn there! I think big city types tend to be much better at shutting out the people around them. Sometimes you have to, I guess. But surely that shouldn’t extend to little kids who need help!!


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