Individual Case

Topics: United Kingdom, British Isles, British people Pages: 6 (2575 words) Published: December 2, 2014

BPL 5100 - Prof. LaManna – Individual Case Study

Case # 70

THE CABBIE CALLED OUT, "'Ere now, madam! You wouldn't want to give Piccadilly Circus a miss, would you? That's Eros, the god of love, up there takin' aim at us." Miyato Kurasawa looked up from the stack of papers she was sorting into her briefcase and met the driver's cheerful eyes in the rearview mirror. She laughed and played along, pretending to shield herself from the famous statue's arrow. Miyato 's mood was light. Meetings she'd expected to take all day had wrapped up early, giving her time to return to the hotel and even fit in some shopping before launching back into business over dinner. She settled into the ample seat of the taxi and soaked up the scene. Japanese electronics firms still dominated the garish signage on the Circus - a dubious honor for her countrymen. And the traffic was, if anything, even more impassable than she remembered from her last trip. But it was enchanting to be in London again. After turning into Regent Street, the cab progressed more quickly toward the hotel. Yet, Miyato managed to spy the white marble storefront of Collins & Company. She leaned forward. "Driver, I've changed my mind. Could you let me out here?" The shop was the ideal place to pick up the gifts she wanted. Collins - so well made and so very, very British - was one brand that no one in Japan seemed to get enough of. Whether it would be less expensive to shop at Collins in its home country she didn't know, but that hardly mattered. It would mean a great deal to people that she bought their gifts right at the source. Minutes later, a solicitous assistant was at Miyato 's side offering to relieve her of the armload of scarves and gloves she had already accumulated - all in the brand's signature brown, blue, and coral plaid. He whisked them off to the sales counter. Miyato was studying a navy version of Collins's signature raincoat, a possible souvenir for herself, when the phone in her suit pocket hummed. She checked the display to determine what language to use in greeting. It was Fergus Harold, her business school classmate and, as chance would have it, now her counterpart in a joint deal by their respective banks. "Hello, old chap. Hungry already?" "Just checking that you're clear on where the restaurant is," said Fergus. "And, mind you, they're calling for rather wet weather this evening." Miyato glanced toward the front of the shop, which was still bathed in seemingly untroubled afternoon light. But of course this was London, whose weather could always surprise. She shrugged and headed toward a display of umbrellas. "Oh, don't worry about me. I'm at Collins's now, buying everything in sight. If there's one thing I should be equipped for, it's rain." Made in Where?

As Fergus approached the restaurant, a woman crossed the street ahead of him, protected by an ample plaid umbrella but obviously taking care, in her stylish heels, to skirt the puddles. Squinting against the steady downpour, he recognized Miyato and hurried to open the door for her. He was eager to share the one fact about his career he hadn't yet mentioned in their rekindled acquaintance: For the past year, he'd been on the board of directors of Collins, the very company she'd been doing trade with that afternoon. "Beautiful umbrella!" Fergus smiled brightly. "Have you owned it long?" Miyato laughed. "Oh, this old thing?" She pulled a mock grimace. "Actually, I'm afraid I might not own it much longer if my husband catches sight of this." She pointed to a small tag of cloth sewn into a seam on the umbrella's underside. "The last time I brought home something labeled 'Made in Malaysia' I got quite a lecture. His grandfather suffered terribly there during the Pacific War, and Minoru was sure it would upset his mother to see the tag." "I'm so sorry to hear about that," Fergus said. He ushered Miyato toward the coat check. "Yes," she sighed. "It is too...
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