How to eat for free, get free lodging and free entertainment

TOKYO —

High time we quit this rat race, liberated ourselves from wage slavery. Who hasn’t felt that way at one time or another? Some of us feel it more or less permanently. Great idea, we say, but… well, the objections are obvious. The human organism has needs; satisfying them costs money, money must be earned – hence wage slavery, and liberation remains an impossible dream.

Let’s dream a little farther. Spa! (July 22-29) invites us to a “baka challenge. “Baka” means stupid, but it seems intelligent enough to this reader. The idea is to see how long you can go without spending a single yen. Spa! sends its reporters out with strict marching orders: see how long you can go without spending anything on food; sleep away from home without paying for accommodation; amuse yourself without paying for entertainment; and so on.

Free food and lodging – solve that problem and you’re halfway there, aren’t you? Anyone who has ever given the matter any thought at all is familiar with the free samples you can tank up on at department stores and supermarkets. But free gyoza dumplings? One of the reporters lucked into that, at a store eager to get the word out about a new brand. Another bit of luck: the World Cup was on and the Brazil embassy was handing out free breakfasts. World Cups don’t last, but the point is that there’s always something going on somewhere. And if there isn’t? Well, you can always donate blood, in return for cakes and soft drinks.

Free accommodation is trickier. Crashing with friends is one option, if you have friends close enough to impose upon. If not, the park comes to mind, but most of the benches lately seem fitted with armrests and other contrivances to prevent the homeless from stretching out too comfortably on them. Spa!’s best alternative is the airport. You won’t be alone either – many business people sleep or at least catnap there, waiting for an early flight. So it’s quite respectable. However, the reporter’s conclusion is a little disconcerting: “After three days, you really learn to appreciate your futon!”

Entertainment. But first there’s the matter of your personal appearance. You don’t want to let yourself go altogether, to the point where you lose your self-respect. And there’s no need to. Check the internet for “fashion exchanges.” Tired of your T-shirt and jeans? Ready for a new image? Easy. At the fashion exchanges you trade your cast-offs for other people’s and emerge a new man or woman. You can even get your hair cut for free – just show up at a salon where there’s a trainee who needs practice, and volunteer as a guinea pig.

So – you’re fed, rested and spruced up. There’s more to life than mere survival; what do you do for fun?

Use your imagination. You like horse racing? You can’t bet; you can’t even get into the track – there’s an admission charge. But you can go to an off-track betting place and watch the action for free on a giant screen. Not the same as being there, but it shouldn’t be too hard to convince yourself it’s almost as good. Likewise with a concert – you can’t get in but standing outside is free, as is whatever sound leaks out.

So that’s the idea. Ready to tell the boss to take this job and shove it? You don’t have to decide immediately. It’s an important decision and shouldn’t be made hastily.

Japan Today

  • 0

    gaijinfo

    But you can go to an off-track betting place and watch the action for free on a giant screen.

    You'd be dead from second hand smoke cancer within a month.

  • 8

    sighclops

    This article is kind of ridiculous...

    the free samples you can tank up on at department stores and supermarkets.

    How long would you last before the staff would see shat's happening? Even the stingiest of obasans couldn't get away with that.

    Likewise with a concert – you can’t get in but standing outside is free, as is whatever sound leaks out.

    Yeah, drowned-out bass and vibrations...

    Spa!’s best alternative is the airport. You won’t be alone either – many business people sleep or at least catnap t

    If you're avoiding spending money, how would you get the the airport? Both Haneda & Narita are MILES AWAY. And I'm sure turning up frequently would raise a few eyebrows of the security staff...

    Article (... "article") should be titled "How to lose your friends in 3 easy steps"

  • 1

    Serrano

    "How to eat for free, get free lodging and free entertainment "

    This article is for total slackers.

  • 2

    kaynide

    "How to eat for free, get free lodging and free entertainment " Shack up with some poor, old farmer who wants to pass on the family trade. It might not be the entertainment you were looking for, but there's a lot of fun to be had in small-town living and/or in farming :)

  • 0

    FizzBit

    I think a few days without a shower would lesson your chances of everything. Kaynide, you had the best idea, unfortunately, i think, they were talking about the "all sacred" capital, Tokyo. Who would wanna live there?

  • 1

    Chris Case

    Nobody seems to have mentioned the WWOOF program, nor the Couchsurfing system. The latter doesn't necessarily guarantee food, nor periods of stay longer than a few days, but the WWOOF program does.

  • 0

    JoeBigs

    How to eat for free, get free lodging and free entertainment

    The mental illness known as the Marxist dream.

    Now, since that dream was and still is just a nightmare, you only have two avenues to mooch for free the rest of your life.

    First avenue, living off your parents for the rest of their lives.

    Second avenue, become a bottom feeding Communist, then claim you can't work because of some lame excuse and then go on welfare for the rest of your life becoming a giant leech on society.

    If you can't stand the thought of those two, well then keep working hard, make lots of money and enjoy yourself.

  • 0

    Kapuna

    JoeBigs, second avenue works for me.

  • 1

    Equality

    Spa! (July 22-29) invites us to a baka challenge. Baka means stupid, but it seems intelligent enough to this reader. The idea is to see how long you can go without spending a single yen.

    'Baka' is right, since nothing the article mentions can be done without spending money on train fare (and thus being disqualified from the contest). Or should we sneak in and out of the train stations and risk arrest?

  • -2

    fds

    or you can sign up for welfare...

  • 4

    zichi

    A couple of years ago a Japanese guy, Hiroshi Nohara lived at the Mexico international airport for 117 days eventually leaving with a young woman named Oyuki.

    The longest airport stay was an Iranian, Mehran Karimi Nasseri who lived in the Charles de Gaulle Airport for 6,548 days between 26 August 1988 – July 2006. Surprised anyone can live that long on airport food,

    Then there was Edward Snowdon at the Moscow airport for 39 days.

    This guy lived without money for one year, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/nov/09/mark-boyle-money

    Guess this guy discovered his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. http://goo.gl/cSZqdX

  • 3

    Gerard van Schip

    I would be up for the living with a farmer to learn the trade!

  • 0

    Bartholomew Harte

    HooBoy!-You want "Free"? Move to N.Y. ,where the ride,the rent,the food is All On The House! This story makes no sense at all to a true "Moocher"!

  • 0

    Ah_so

    The mental illness known as the Marxist dream.

    @JoeBiggs - to my knowledge, Marx's dream did not involve living for free. In fact, Marx was highly critical about those who live for free by exploiting the labour of others. You seem to confuse communism with laziness; for all its faults, it was never this. Rather, it is about each receiving the full value of their labour rather than having a slice creamed off by a landlord or capitalist/

    If you're avoiding spending money, how would you get the the airport? Both Haneda & Narita are MILES AWAY. And I'm sure turning up frequently would raise a few eyebrows of the security staff...

    @sighclops - surely this all depends on where you are starting from. Miles away from where exactly? Haneda is actually very close to Tokyo - the monorail costs 490 yen from Shinagawa.

  • 0

    Cortes Elijah

    If you're avoiding spending money, how would you get the the airport? Both Haneda & Narita are MILES AWAY. And I'm sure turning up frequently would raise a few eyebrows of the security staff...

    Haneda is within walking distance of me. Did you check where it was?

  • -3

    Tessa

    Get free food, free lodging, and free entertainment? If I wanted to do that, I'd marry a salaryman.

  • 0

    trinklets2

    @tessa, by marrying is not receiving things free at all. You have to exchange your body and if there is no love involve better work in the fusoku.

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