The June 7 article by Philip Hertz, "Noshing in Japan--Virtually Free," requires some comment. A person is told to go to stores offering food samples and either ask for or wait to be given samples. Those samples are to entice housewives to sample food for purchase, not to set up a stall to give it away to foreigners looking for a freebie nosh.
How do you think it looks to the locals to see Americans come into their stores with the intent to get a handout? Don't do it unless you want to paint an image of us as food beggars.