How I post letters now

  1. Write letter, seal envelope
  2. Trot down to local 7/11
  3. Ask if they have kitte (stamps)
  4. Wait for attendant to act after her reply of “of course!”
  5. Allow the person behind to go in front to put an end to the sudden outburst of awkwardness
  6. Consider cutting losses and going home
  7. Steel reserve
  8. Repeat steps 3-5
  9. Show letters, explaining in slow, clear English
  10. Try to ignore stares
  11. Hand over letters
  12. Realise that this is probably how they do it in Japan
  13. Receive letters back with appropriate stamps
  14. Try to pay and leave, thank assistant for her help
  15. Heed her cry to remain in place
  16. Watch as she separates stamps and places them, dry, on the letters in the appropriate place
  17. Stare blankly at the proffered slightly damp cloth
  18. Chuckle awkwardly, gesticulate in time with assistant
  19. Offer to lick the stamps
  20. Heed refusal and continued presence of damp cloth
  21. Wet stamps (takes at least 10 seconds of rubbing) on cloth
  22. Just about manage to stick stamps on letters
  23. Chuckle awkwardly, thank assistant
  24. Pay
  25. Leave
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