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Weird Yodobashi Akihabara experience, always check your receipts

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On my first trip to japan I got pulled out of the back of a very very long tourist line. I had 4 days warning I would go to japan to present my work in grad school (those were the days when you could walk into a federal building and walk out with a passport in an hour) and I was up straight thru with only a few hours sleep, then 23hrs of plane rides from sf to la to anchorage to Seoul to Tokyo (traveling on a grad student budget last minute). I looked like something the cat dragged in, played with and then spit up. I’m sure I looked like the most suspect person on the 3 747s in line there, I would have pegged me for the scum bag in the line. Two armed guards came back and asked me to come with them up past everyone in line (two other folks from our lab were further up the line and pissed I didn’t come up and cut in line were horrified) and everyone looking at me like I must be a criminal. Got to a special emigration agent with guards on either side of me and he asked me why I was coming to japan and I said for a scientific meeting and he opened my passport and his eyes went very large and quickly handed it back with profuse apologies and had one of the guards take my bags and escort me out to my bus put my bags on etc. Guard even came back a few minutes later with a bottle of tea! Turns out the meeting had requested the consulate to put in a hand written note on the passport saying we were honored scientific guests and do everything you could to assist as this was the first time this international meeting was in japan.

20 something years later I was marched the length of an Amtrak train at the Canadian boarder (freaked my wife out) the same way by 2 armed Canadian agents front and back to the lounge car and questioned for 10 minutes by third agent as someone with my name was on some list but it turned out not to me, but the agent ended up throwing my passport at me and telling me to get out of here when he realized I was not who he hoped, no apology. Similar circumstances, but the Japanese official was willing to apologize when he realized he had made a mistake...



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To get back to the paint issue at Yodobashi.


I wrote to the GSI Creos support, the company that makes the Acrysion paints I was denied buying at Yodobashi.

I asked them if their paints contain any dangerous ingredients.


This is their reply:


We are very sorry that you have not been able to buy our Acrysion paint in Japan at Yodobashi Camera.
Acrysion paints are classified as non-hazardous paints and can be taken into airplane without any problem.
Maybe the staff personnel at Yodobashi did not know that. Usually we instruct the staff at Yodobashi hobby section regarding our products, accordingly.
Apologies for the inconvenience caused.


I'll write to Yodobashi know.

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