English ‘Facilitator’ in Japan Goo Goo over Garbage

Osaka, Japan

Gregory Stein, known by some simply as “Red,” started out as a promising, energetic 38 year young teacher in Japan. That was eight years ago. This onion of a man, whose many layers have yet to be pealed, has recently been seen rummaging through garbage bins in his free time.

Mr. Stein had been steadily climbing his way up the English corporate ladder since he had arrived, so it was quite shocking for those close to him to learn he’d been digging for trash in dumpsters. Asked how he was able to hide this ‘secret’ life of his for so many years, Mr. Stein said, “I know people. I know that they really don’t WANT to hear the truth, per se. There were times when I’d come home with an item from one of my scavenges, and my wife would question me, but, well, like I said, people believe what they want to believe.” He added, “I also make sure to carry an extra set of clothes and a few of those sample colognes (found on one of his ‘dives’) with me.”

Mr. Stein began his unusual hobby roughly four years ago after meeting a new employee at his school. The employee, who requested anonymity, gave Mr. Stein the nickname “Red,” after the Morgan Freeman character in “Shawshank Redemption,” because he seemed to be able to find whatever you needed. “Red’s” reputation for obtaining unusual items in a foreign land slowly grew and eventually he was forced to look off the beaten path (ie. second hand shops, want ads, etc.) in order to find what he was looking for. One thing lead to another and he soon made his way to the dump, where he found, as he liked to put it, “Heaven on Earth!” He’s been ‘dump diving’ ever since and shows no signs of slowing down at the age of 46.


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