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November 02, 2009

Melons we can believe in

Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told the US Congress last week that Japan's debt path was out of control. Simon warned of "a real risk that Japan could end up in a major default". [The IMF expects Japan's gross public debt to reach 218pc of gross domestic product (GDP) this year, 227pc next year, and 246pc by 2014].

I really don't understand this scaremongering and negative thinking at all.

Japan must be full of money, because there are so many beautiful things to spend it on.

Last evening, for example, I visited a gorgeous shop round the corner called SunFruits. In it, one of these melons was on sale for only 21,000 Yen [euros 160, US$ 233].

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Now to the farmer who grew the melon, these prices might seem a bit on the high side, compared to what he was paid for it.

But this is where the politics of envy so often gets it wrong. Because SunFruits don't just sell melons, they sell a totally designed experience.

Their shop, for example, which contained the melon, makes the average Prada store look like a charity shop. And it can't be cheap paying for the security guard who's there to keep an eye on the $6 strawberries. [That's $6 each strawberry].

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My only concern is that SunFruits will get to hear about Transition Totnes' first nut:

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This first produce of the Totnes nut tree planting scheme has been announced by Rob Hopkins.

Over 100 trees have been planted since the scheme was was initiated three years ago, and it's a worry that if SunFruits are seen to be selling similar nuts for fifty pounds each, thieves might steal the nuts and sell them in Japan.

Happily, most of the Totnes trees have a ‘guardian’ whose job it is to keep an eye on them.

Posted by John Thackara at November 2, 2009 07:52 PM

Comments

Will start growing mellons as of NOW! THX for tip.

Posted by: kvr at November 2, 2009 10:59 PM

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