Friday = 金曜日 = GOLD day?

In a strange stroke of luck or coincidence, I had a kind of gold adventure this Friday. I say coincidentally because the word for `Friday` in japanese is `kinyoubi`, and the chinese character for `kin` is `` which means `gold` in english!

A friend of mine, who will remain nameless in the interest of safety and privacy (and from here on out will be referred to as `X`) called me and mentioned that before we had lunch together, an errand had to be run for X`s mother.

Of course I had no argument, errands can be fun too! So off we headed to Shinsaibashi. In the car, on the way to the city, X handed me a small blue case and told me to look inside. It was really heavy and when I opened it, I realised why, there was a 1kg gold bar inside the box. I had 1kg of gold sitting in my hot little hand (for the first and I am quite positive, the last time in my life).

Apparently, the value of gold decreased slightly today, and so X`s mother wanted to sell the gold bar before it depreciated too much.

I of course had no idea about all this and naively asked about the selling price for 1kg of gold.

I got the answer to my question about 30 minutes later when I found myself in a very posh gold jewelry store named Ginza Tanaka (pictured above) - the store which is famous in Japan for creating and selling things like this... (a 1.63US million dollar platinum bag encrusted with over 2000 diamonds)

and this... (a 500,000US dollar golden replica of Tokyo Tower)

and this... (a 100,000US dollar golden swimsuit)

... surrounded by men and women in dark suits. Once the gold was tested briefly for authenticity, the staff asked if X wanted the selling price in cash, or to be wired to a bank account. Opting for cash, I saw a machine behind the desk spring to life and start shooting out 10,000yen bills... 254 of them (at today`s exchange rate, 2,450,000JPY = 54,054NZD)! After the machine was done counting and recounting the money, it was handed to X in a brown envelope, delivered with a deep bow, and off we went on our merry way!

Ever so slightly terrified of walking the streets with this much money on us, we raced back to the car, to send the money back to X`s mum.


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