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Gifu Mall Santa. Hey, it’s a living.
Image by kc7fys
It’s not uncommon for ‘gaijin’ living in Japan to serve in non-standard capacities–usually for money. I am no exception. I was Santa Claus at a shopping mall in Gifu prefecture. I probably would do it again. It was a very jolly experience. Jolly and rather depressing, in fact. But in the end, I did bring some faux Christmas cheer into the hearts of the shopping mall shoppers in Gifu. My lily-white skin most likely qualified me for this auspicious pleasure in the Land of Nippon. After all, Santa was also a whitey, right? Kind of like hiring Jackie Chan to play that Taiwanese guy on Star Trek–wait, was he Chinese?
So, my first gig was in a little suburban sprawl place outside Tokyo, handing gifts to a kid in the entryway of their apartment. Transportation time was like 4 hours round trip, and the actual ‘work’ was less than 5 minutes. Ring doorbell, hohoho in the security cam, enter, hand off gifts, snappy photo, hohoho I’m gone. There are photos, but the lady kept them who hired me.
This photo was from the second day of this gig. Up at 4AM, bullet train to Nagoya>Gifu, then a pre-Santa briefing. Throughout the day I would appear at a door in the mall, take a "Santa Walk" through the mall, laughing jollily, reacting with jolly mock delight when encountering a kid, passing out small but jolly bags of promotional candy, good-naturedly hoisting kids onto my knee for photos before they burst into bawling shrieks. I made it home by 10PM. 500 jolly bags of candy and a sore back later, I was enjoying very jolly sleep with Mrs. (Sarah) Claus at my side. Oh, and Oscar Claus, too.
Image by BalRutilant
Image by Drift Words
I’ve been experimenting with some bright blue light in the morning. Apparently it jolts the pituitary gland into thinking it’s not the middle of winter. Not sure it’s working just yet.