It’s true, money can buy friendship


I’ve even heard of gaijins involved in this kind of work.  It’s not regular, and it’s not really lucrative (except for the dispatch companies involved) but I guess that as gaijin guests all they are really expected to do is show up, look good, and collect a hundred bucks. 

Personally, I would never hire professionals to act as my friends at my wedding (wouldn’t need anyone to do that anyway).  I would definitely consider hiring them to act as my family, though, and save myself a lot of embarrassment.


7 comments on “It’s true, money can buy friendship

  1. Jeni says:

    Yeah hiring them to act as family. I like that idea.

  2. Karen says:

    Wow, I could have saved myself a lot of embarrassment over the years if I’d known about this. I wonder if there’s such a service in the US? I’m betting there is.

  3. Karen says:

    I didn’t find a US wedding guest rental service, but I found just about everything else, like this for instance.

    Or these.

    Rent a Pal

    rent a platonic friend

    rent a date

    rent a husband

    Rent books

  4. Petra says:

    The lengths people go to to conform to certain ideals society dreams up never ceases to amaze me.

    But hey, see the bright side – it a job opportunity for some.

  5. Miko says:

    I could totally go for renting a dog by the hour. And I like the rent-a-pal guy, he seems pretty nice and down-to-earth.

    You know I sometimes think that my private students are really hiring me not to give English lessons, but to act as a counsellor or listening ear. It really surprises me the things they confide in me that they can’t even tell their closest friends because “Japanese people don’t talk about that.” At least two of them are suffering from depression, but cannot seek professional help for it, and even if they did the quality of care would be dubious. I guess I’m a poor substitute, but I do the best I can to provide a kind, sympathetic listening ear (and it doesn’t hurt that I get paid well for it!).

  6. karen1945 says:

    I think you may be exactly right that some of your students mainly want a listener for their problems. We got a lot of that in Victim Services. People just need to talk to someone sometimes. However, there’s really little or no stigma here attached to seeking mental health counseling. In fact, it’s sort of a status symbol to be able to say you’re seeing a shrink.

  7. Miko says:

    In that case, I’d better get me some bona-fide counselling qualifications, because Japan will surely follow.

    I’ve already advised the Sonbeam to study up on learning disorders (still not recognised here) so that he can ride the wave when it comes.

    The cool thing about being a Westerner here is that you can see what Japanese society is going to look like in 20 years time. It’s not always a comforting thought, though.

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