Convenience Stories: R vs L

Many foreigners are working part-time in convenience stores in Japan. As long as you can speak basic Japanese like greetings and number, you can easily get accepted if you apply for konbini job. Even though, konbini job description is not as simple as pressing buttons on cash register.

Before coming to Japan, I have already been able to speak in conversational Japanese and read a little bit of kanji. My problem is I don't really read, I mean I'm lazy, so I don't read hiragana and katakana fast and don't know difficult kanjis. The first trouble I got is when I was learning to record the numbers of unsold newspaper. It is super easy for me now, but oh my god at the first time, phew, I had to match many times the name of newspaper and the one written in the form. So tired. My eyes. There is a newspaper called スポーツ報知 (supootsu houchi) and I just knew few weeks ago that I always read the kanji wrong, I thought it was supootsu tsuuchi 😓

Well, konbini job really forces me to read more Japanese. But you know, most difficult thing for me until now, is... differentiate between R and L.

In my konbini, we sell coffee and the customer has to buy the cup from cashier and there are two sizes, regular and large. R and L.

In Japanese, there are no 'r' and 'l'. Their own 'r' is not really 'r', it is like between 'r' and 'l'. And they pronunce R as 'aru' and L as 'eru'. They pronounce regular, 'regyuuraa', and large 'raajii'. And I always mix up, until now. 

Sometimes, when the customer said she wants 'eru' cup, I think it is R since Indonesians pronounce R as 'er'. And it's hard for me to say 'regular' and 'large' in Japanese-English way, but if I said in normal English pronunciation way, they sometimes don't understand 😭

So what I do, if I'm not sure what cup they choose, I will just ask,

"So you want the big cup?"

"Is it the small cup?"

Safe.

Hisabisa Odekake 久々お出かけ

It means 'go out for the first time in a while.'

I'm having chuuyagyakuten seikatsu 昼夜逆転生活 (life with day and night reversed) right now. For more than a week, I have been only sleeping in day time. Last night, I didn't sleep at all. I forced myself to sleep since I had to go to work at 5.40 am, but I ended up only slept one hour 😓

Last Sunday, I finished work at 1 pm and I felt so sleepy but then I decided to visit my friend's house. I had a hope also that maybe I could reverse my day and night after I come back home.

We walked around his neighborhood and took some pictures. So happy since I don't have new pictures in last two months. Selfie doesn't count. So happy also that I saw a charming omawarisan おまわりさん (police officer) 😭 but maybe it's because he was wearing face mask. But happiest since I could see my friend la after so long time 😄

Here are some pictures we took that day. 

If you know me, this is my favorite picture style. Me standing full body and taken from faraway.







Even though I was so sleepy, I couldn't sleep until 3 or 4 am. Yeah, I didn't succeed to reverse my night owl life. And here I am, 12:53 and preparing to sleep. Not a siesta 😔

Convenience Stories: Humans Need Contact

I have been planning to write some stories about my experiences working in convenience stores. But too lazy 😤

Okay, here is my first story.

A little introduction about me, so currently I'm working in convenience store (guess what is it) and located near the most famous tourist attraction in Kyoto, Gion and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Before the pandemic, half  of the customers were foreign tourists. But now I'm not going to talk about the customers. I am going to write about my partner at work.

There is a girl, who is working in my store, from China, she is my schoolmate, we were born in the same year, and we work(ed) (she stopped recently though) in other convenience store located inside Kyoto Station, but different branch. She is only two months older than me but she is way way more mature. She is so smart like she knows a lot of konbini (convenience store) life hacks and other life life hacks. If you want to know if there is any retail store or fast food restaurant giving freebies or discount, just ask her, like really. Since I am always sloppy at work, for example, putting 50 yen coin in 500 yen coin tray, or I dunno how to deal with new things (I am lazy to read kanji), she always help me.

I respect her so much. She is like one of smartest woman I know. As she almost don't use polite form to speak to customers, I always laugh when she serves the customers.

"ATATAME WA?" (Do you want us to heat this?)

"... WA NAI."

"ARIGATOU."

She never give an effort to speak in polite form or putting extra 'desu' in her sentences. I always giggle when I see her speaking like that 😂

Even before the Japanese people were concerned about the pandemic, she has already started her preparation. She sent thousand of face masks for her friends in China before shops applied purchase limit. She is always with her stick shape virus blocker and putting gloves on her hands. She even stopped working in Kyoto Station to avoid the infection. She is very updated with the world news.

One day, one of our partner had a fever and had to take a rest for a week. She was more careful since this guy's body temp was 38.5°C while he was at working. (The next day, he was fine though). So the next day, when we were on the same shift, she asked me to do social distance from her. Okay, that's what we should do, right?

I was busy washing fryer machine so I was basically more than 2 meters from her. Only after 15 minutes, we were talking, and I was more than 1 meter away, she touched my shoulder and pat of my hand 😂

I was like (I didn't say it out loud), "DID YOU JUST ASK ME TO KEEP OUR DISTANCE? AND NOW YOU TOUCHED ME?" 😂

She is type of person who will give light touch when talking to friends. It's her habit so maybe she didn't even realize that she touched me 😂

Well, despite of the social distancing rule, after all, humans need contact.

💙💙💙

As I enjoy my video call with my brother, I prefer to have him here, or I go to Indonesia. Currently, I want to go home after my cat who was away for more than two years returned home. Cat is so smart he still know his way home after wandering around... maybe the world?

My cat six years ago. Now he doesn't look like this at all

Hospital Visit in Covid-19 Period in Japan

I went to medical institution twice on March.

So, I have this problem.

In this corona era, everything is getting stricter. In my workplace konbini (convenience store), we have to check our body temperature before we start working. The first day this temperature measurement is applied, my body temperature was 37°C. It was okay since the rule is, if you have 37.5°C, you have to go home. But I remember last year when I worked in a factory my average body temp. was 36.4°-36.6°C. 

The second day, my body temp was 36.8°C. Safe.

After that day, my body temp has been always >37.5°C in the first check. One time, it was 38.1°C. My body was alright, I didn't feel any headache, I was not tired, no cough, no runny nose, no sore throat, I was real fine. After around 10 minutes waiting, my body temp decreased to 37°C. I realized that if I go to work by bicycle my temperature always high. Is it normal? I tried to go by bus and checked my body temp and it is normal.

I bought body thermometer since and check my temp almost every single day 😂 I feel lucky I bought thermometer earlier, now it is hard to find thermometer 😔

Measured at the same time, same brand, different armpit 😂
My konbini owner, of course, is worried. So she asked me to go to hospital and I went to hospital near my home in the next day. In the entrance of the hospital, there was an announcement for those who have fever more than 37.5°C more than four days in a row, they should come to receptionist and call Kyoto corona call centre before being examined by doctor.

I talked to the receptionist about my condition and I had to call the corona call centre. The staff from the corona centre asked me a lot of questions such as if I went to foreign country in recent two weeks, or did I meet someone with coronavirus. After he judged that I have low probability of infection, I returned to hospital and they welcomed me.

The doctor checked my body temperature again, and it was 36.9°C. I said what happened but he just said, it is fine. It was my first time to do nasal influenza test as well, and the result was negative.

I was given day offs for almost a week by my boss and I was able to work since then until now. Yokatta!

I had to go to clinic again since I had to submit medical certificate to school. Usually, my school hold medical check-up inside school every year. But since this year is quite different, they cancelled it and we have to go to hospital or health clinic by our own.

It was so surprising that in the clinic, the nurse didn't ask anything about fever and stuff. It was so smooth. I did the lungs x-ray as well, and there is no abnormality.

I feel lucky again that I did my medical check up earlier because now they are getting stricter and have been rejecting patients 😢 My school also extended the submission deadline because of this.

Really, it is not good to get sick in this period. So, we have to eat well, wear mask, wash hands regularly, and refrain from traveling.

By the way, now face mask is not scarce anymore, despite of the high prices. But flour, scarce, now. 😂 Apparently everyone now is cooking at home.

Produk Indonesia yang Disukai Orang Jepang

Salah satu produk buatan Indonesia yang diminati oleh orang Jepang --dan saat awal mengetahuinya aku cukup terkejut-- adalah Ellips Vitamin Rambut.

Bisa dibilang Bali adalah salah satu destinasi favorit turis Jepang dan Ellips Vitamin Rambut adalah salah satu oleh-oleh yang paling sering dibawa pulang ke Jepang untuk diberikan kepada para teman dan saudara. Selain harganya terjangkau, tidak memenuhi koper, dan tentunya menawarkan perawatan rambut secara praktis.

Ternyata di Jepang sendiri, cukup mudah untuk menemukan Ellips ini. Bahkan ada vitamin rambut merek lain seperti Sasha dan Miranda. Oh ya tahu kan, gara-gara musim korona pembelian masker dibatasi tiap customer. Sedangkan vitamin rambut buatan Indonesia ini, kalau di toko 100 yen ada pembatasan pembelian juga lho. Saking diminatinya, kali ya. Jujur aja aku sangat proud 😂

Dan menurutku produk vitamin rambut ini lebih mudah ditemukan ketimbang Indomie Mi Goreng. Seriusan. At least di daerah tempatku tinggal sekarang.

Kalau merek Ellips dibatasi dua per customer, yang lain bebas.
Waktu aku WHV-an di Australia, aku sempat pulang ke Indonesia, aku juga sempat memberi oleh-oleh Ellips buat dua roommate Jepangku. Aku juga membawa oleh-oleh khas Indonesia lain yang ternyata mereka sangat suka juga.

Tebak apa coba!
Beberapa di antaranya ada di artikel di link ini ya:


Gimana?
Ada yang suka juga produk-produk dalam daftar listku? Semoga bisa jadi referensi buat ngasih oleh-oleh temen Jepangmu ya.

💙💙💙

My latest pic.
Semoga kita semua sehat, ya. Di musim korona ini, alhamdulillah aku masih bisa kerja, bahkan hampir tiap hari kerja karena kalau ada yang punya suhu 37,5 derajat langsung disuruh pulang dan aku diminta gantikan. Mulai minggu ini kerjaku berkurang, sekolahku juga akan mulai besok dan via online. Nggak tahu lah bakal gimana 😄

Sekarang sebenarnya Golden Week, libur panjang orang Jepang yang biasanya dihabiskan buat traveling domestik atau ke luar negeri tapi tahun ini sepertinya liburannya di rumah dulu ya. Jadilah Kyoto yang kota wisata yang hampir setiap hari ramai, sekarang sangat sepi dan naik bus biasanya cuma ada 2-3 orang penumpang. Senang, tapi sedih. Sedih, tapi senang. Ah au ah. 

Karena aku biasanya keluar cuma buat kerja dan belanja, akhirnya aku main ke rumah teman dua hari lalu, dan jalan-jalan keliling daerah rumahnya 😂 sama sekalian foto-foto. Rekor banget lah dua bulan nggak main ke mana-mana (eh main, sih) dan nggak makan mekdi 😢 Semoga cepat berlalu... 

Oh ya, jangan lupa mampir ya...


Barangkali bisa kasih tahu aku produk Indonesia lain apalagi yang digemari orang Jepang. 😘