The following day I again braved the heat to go and buy what I needed. I'd received a letter listing requested items, and I'd thought little of it at the time, but it struck me now as a terrible imposition. As I mopped my brow on the train, I felt growing spite for the folks back home. Did they even appreciate their demands on my time and the effort involved?
I had no intention of merely whiling away the summer. I'd drafted up a work plan for my days back home, and in order to execute this plan there were books I had to buy. I committed myself to half a day on the second floor of Maruzen. I found the shelves that housed the books in my field of interest, and I examined each offering one by one.
In the course my shopping, what stressed me most was a decorative collar for a woman's kimono. The shop clerk was happy to show me an assortment of wares, but when came to deciding I struggled. Furthermore, the pricing was fully arbitrary. I would ask about one that looked affordable, and find it was far too expensive. I'd avoid others that looked too refined, and they'd turn out to be modestly priced. When I compared several side by side, there was nothing to justify the difference in price. I was completely confounded. Inwardly, I kicked myself now for not having gone to Sensei's wife.
I bought a bag. It was, of course, an inferior piece of domestic make, but its shiny clasps would impress the folks back home. I bought it at my mother's behest. She had instructed me in her letter to buy myself a new bag when I graduated. I was then to fill it with her requested items. I'd laughed when I'd read this. I could understand her thinking, but it all somehow struck me as comical.