Despite the looming cloud cover and threat of rain I arrived at the Yamato Open Market (my favorite!) earlier than usual. I was on a mission to buy some cool new items for Ichiban Collectibles, the nonprofit shop where I work (by the way, on the floor Tuesday: “Kimono-ver Here!” kimono collection and “Scroll-ing Down the River” vintage scrolls). We raise money for scholarships. Anywho, I’d been there no more than 10 minutes when a tall, older Japanese man beelined up to me. “Konnichiwa!” he said. I smiled, “Konnichiwa!” and thought, “That’s a first! People usually only introduce themselves to Chris!” The man smiled and instead of saying something in English pulled an envelope out of his fanny pack, opened it, and handed me a photo. Of myself. And a small memory card with some more. This would have been more surprising if I hadn’t seen him taking the picture at last month’s market. Chris and I were talking about a purchase I was making for Ichiban when I saw him take focus, so we smiled and flashed some peace signs. I’d heard people say it was common at festivals for the friendly people who live around base to return with pictures of everyone from the previous year. That is unfathomably thoughtful, I think, so that’s how I interpreted the gesture of this budding paparazzo. I laughed in surprise, smiled, bowed and thanked him. I mean, it’s not creepy because we’re in Japan…right??