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What’s the most useful thing you’ve ever bought abroad?

by Thomasina Larkin

Akiko
Photographer, 27
The best thing I ever bought abroad was a deep fryer. It was like a big pot and you put the fried potatoes in the basket and then lower them into the hot oil. I can’t find that here.

Joel Horne
Student, 22
The best thing I bought in Japan was my mobile phone. It’s nothing special for Japanese, but it is for me. It can do just about anything, and it was cheap. In London, it’d be very expensive.

Tsukasa Kurogo
Student, 18
I bought a very useful memo pad that I can’t stop thinking about. There’s something about it that’s very attractive. I carry it with me and whenever I have an idea I whip it out and take a note.

Cam Leitch
Engineer, 54
I bought a torch here that needs no batteries. You just shake it up for about 30 seconds and then it goes for five minutes or so. Coils of wire inside must generate power and store it.

Midori Ohno
Between jobs, 53
I’ve bought many dishes from countries I’ve been to, like South Africa and Turkey. I can’t buy those dishes in Tokyo, so they hold a special memory for me. They’re different to Japanese ones.

Kim Liska
Sales, 29
I love all the accessories in Japan, like the socks with all the cute pictures, jewelry and hairpieces. The hairpieces are unique. And bags and purses, there are so many to choose from.