How we met:
I met Raji for the first time at a small hole in the wall Japanese pub back around 2015-16. At the time, I was living in a residential suburb of Tokyo. This pub was the only place open past 10pm in this quiet neighborhood. The onwer, a Chinese lady, told me there was this weird, but entertaining foreigner that has recently begun patronizing her pub. One night while having a drink there, this guy wearing a Mets hat pops in. Being a non-Japanese myself and a fellow Mets fan (my father grew up in Queens), I was happy to have someone I can speak English with and talk baseball. At the time, he was looking for stable work, so he eventually moved away. We kept in touch, and I moved to downtown Tokyo a year later. Low and behold, guess who’s living nearby -Raji.
The broken TV:
About a year ago there was an earthquake that caused one of Raji’s TVs to fall over and break. In Japan, the process of recycling electronics is very convoluted. You have to pay a non-fundable fee upfront to obtain a form that gets slapped on to the broken item, then it has to be taken to a recycling center. Since I had a car, I helped him take it to the recycling center. When we got there and placed the TV on the loading dock, the staff told us they weren’t going to accept the TV because it didn’t have a receiver. We’re like “what difference does it make? It’s not like you’re going to resell it.” But the staff was adamant. We explained that when we paid the fee, there was no stipulation that there needed to be a receiver. We stood out ground and asked for them to check. While the staff went to the back to call around, Raji and I looked at each other and said, “fuck it, we’re out of here,” and jumped in the car and drove off, leaving the TV on the dock.
It was really fun having Raji around. I will miss him dearly. RIP Raji.
Submitted by James.