It's a keeper!

This item appears on page 52 of the February 2012 issue.

Tell ITN about the funniest thing that ever happened to you while traveling in a foreign country. (ITN prints no info on destinations in the United States.) There are no restrictions on length. The ITN staff will choose each month’s winner, who will receive a free one-year subscription to ITN. Entries not chosen cannot be acknowledged.

This month’s winner is MARK CRAWFORD of Whittier, CA:

During my stay in Tokyo in December 2010, I was navigating through the labyrinth of the Tsukiji Fish Market eager to try some fresh sushi. My eye caught a display case of different sushi dishes between two tables stacked with different sorts of fish waiting to be cut up.

In restaurants in Japan, it’s normal to see displayed in a window or case plastic foods indicating to the patron what the real food looks like once prepared. So when the gentleman approached from behind the display, I pointed to a particular dish. He disappeared to the back of his shop and returned with a brown paper bag, which he handed to me.

When I opened the bag, I discovered that I had bought an actual plastic replica of sushi, not edible sushi.

Instead of returning the item, I decided to make it a souvenir and proceeded to find a very long line at a different location where they served some amazing sushi.