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. 😘

I'VE WANTED THIS SINCE LONG TIME AGO

Because of this corona things, I limit myself to not eat outside, to not go outside. I only go outside for work and shopping. Yesterday was actually, my first time after more than a month to take a little a bit of walk. I went to a temple around 2 kilo meters from my home, and of course it is not a crowded temple.

Since I'm working in Kyoto Station and it surrounded by shopping mall and many stores so usually I will go shopping after I finish work. Few days ago, I went to Daiso to buy alcohol wipes and kitchen paper. I ended up buy more than that.

I bought a WIG.

I have really wanted to try to wear a wig since I was young (now already an auntie). Since it is only 400 yen, let me buy this. There are other kinds of party wigs, like afro and brunette long hair, but I decided to buy the short bob one. My real hair is better than those brunette wig 😇

Using beauty camera app on my phone, here are my selfies! 😜




Really la so boring at home. I just couldn't only cook, eat, sleep, and watch movies whole day. So this is kind of entertainment for me also. Hm, also one thing to attract attention from my acquaintances 😂  My father even is using my picture for his profile picture on WhatsApp 😂

Corona Effect

I sent face masks to my friend in HK on February 14th, and arrived around eight days later. It was not as long as I thought. 😄 I'm glad she's happy to receive the mask and my birthday gift for her.

I feel lucky as well because a month ago it was hard to find face masks, but now? it's harder than ever. I'm not sure if it makes more difficult, but because since I live not so far from Kyoto Station where most people gather (commuters and travellers) so I can't find masks around my home. Another thing I feel lucky about is as a worker in convenience store, I have a chance to order a box of mask, but still I have to wait around two weeks to get mine 😭

For your information, the delivery of goods of non-daily items (not food, drink, and bread) comes three times a week and since there are mask scarcity, every single store has purchase limit. There are many kinds of mask 7-Eleven is selling but the box one, with 60 masks inside, only can be ordered one per delivery per store. Can you imagine I'm working in 7-Eleven, for example it has 20 workers, and all want to buy a box of mask, and we need to queue, so last person will get the mask in seven weeks 😂

Now not only face masks, but every store has purchase limit for toilet paper, kitchen paper (for store use), and sanitary napkins. Usually we wash our hands and dry them with paper, but since there is scarce we dry our hands with kitchen cloth that can be used many times. 😂

I'm here still fine and not doing any panic buying. I almost finished my rice and I'm not trying to stockpile toilet paper (we can wash with water only why need paper? 😂) The thing that really changes on me is, eating out. I love trying new food and eating out. But since this corona thing happened I rarely eat outside. The last time, I ate outside was 11 days ago in McDonald's and drank coffee in a coffee shop. For me 11 days is such an achievement 😂

The only eating out I did after that were eating my friend's cooking and 7-Eleven food that I get in my working place. Now almost everyday I cook.


See what I cooked today! My purple (red) cabbage soup 😂

Now I'm having a runny nose so I'm trying my best not to go outside. It's really hard to stay whole day at home 😂 I always want to go outside.

Okay la, take care everyone. Stay healthy!

No Taiwan Trip

I supposed to meet my Hong Kong friend in Taiwan tomorrow (14/2). We booked the flight more than a month ago and we planned it since it is her birthday as well. But then, the novel coronavirus things happened and she even cannot leave the country and go to Taiwan.

She wants me to go Taiwan but actually my motivation to go Taiwan has already gone even I don't mind to travel alone. It's just because we planned to see our friends and celebrate her birthday together. I was still thinking should I go or not since my mind is full of bubble tea.

But then when I worked last week my store manager asked me if I still going to Taiwan, and she said that her advice is better not to go to Taiwan. I was still considering to go actually that time. Until after I came home, I saw my mom message and she asked me if I still going since Indonesia has already banned people from Taiwan (is it? but anyway many countries already has entry ban for visitors from Taiwan). In the day time, my Taiwanese friend sent me message asking same question, and she said better not to come now.

So, I'm sure now that I am not going.

Sigh.

Yea, and now is still hard to buy mask. In 7-Eleven I'm working in, as a worker we can book 60 pieces box of masks but since everyone is booking, need to wait maybe few weeks. So I even haven't booked, I still have stock at home though. So, delivery of goods only come three times a week and one store only can order one of the 60 pieces mask box.

Yesterday my Hong Kong friend called me and asked me if I can buy mask for her, even though after that she said "it's okay it's okay, no need" but I want to send her. I remember in my 7-Eleven the delivery of goods come every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, so I decided to wander around to visit every single convenience stores near my home.

Around 00.30 am (12/2), I rode my bicycle and visited the nearest 7-Eleven, and it was exactly when the goods came! I successfully bought one pack of masks (only five pieces inside). It has purchase limit, so I can only buy one. The second 7-Eleven, I visited, nothing. The third 7-Eleven I visited was the heaven.

I asked if they have mask, and the staff just put them on the shelves. And I saw the 60 pieces box one 😢 I was really happy I want to cry 😭😭 I just grabbed the box and asked if they have purchase limit, and he said NO. I wanted to cry again 😂


I feel bad if I buy all (and some are small sizes as well) so I was considering which small packs I wanted to buy. Then a Chinese couple came to the store and looking for masks, so I grabbed six packs of them (almost half of them though haha). I felt so uncomfortable since they were looking at my basket so I just 'ran away' and paid it at cashier.

They asked for the 60 pieces mask box but they have only one. They bought all the face masks left. I feel happy I was earlier, but feel bad at the same times because people are sick 😭 I visited another convenience stores but most of them not selling masks and in some stores I bought small pack of masks.


I will try tomorrow again. Since now I only collected around 100 masks for her.
I will try Daiso as well, 100 yen for 30 pieces of masks! 
Hope I also can get the 60 one in 7-Eleven la. 
Drugstore, I'm not sure.
I'll send to my friend on Friday. Hope all good.
Actually my other purpose is to send her birthday gift!
Hope she likes it!
I will update after she receive it.

Mask Scarcity in Kyoto

I think the mask scarcity now is all around the world, though. But I just want to wrote about the scarcity in the city I live in.

After the new coronavirus news appeared in media, my Chinese friends were (and still are) busy to look for surgical face masks to send to their family and friends in China. Few weeks ago, I was still confused. I was still relaxed,  I knew I still saw many face masks in the convenience stores and drugstore so why did they so look tired when telling me about sending thousand masks to China?

Next day, there was a Cantonese-speaking customer in my 7-Eleven and bought almost 30 packs (7 sheets inside) masks. Whoa! I was still like relaxed. Until I realised, there are so many Chinese people in Kyoto and we don't know whether are they from Hubei or not (even not, all Chinese provinces already infected). Now I am scared! I know now I have to wear mask!

And then the Japan's first new coronavirus human transmission appeared, and the patient is from Nara, neighbour prefecture of Kyoto. And then, a Chinese foreign student living in Kyoto also confirmed infected by coronavirus.

I went to Daiso and saw still many masks but there is a limit for a person only can buy 1 pack of each kind of masks. So anyway, I bought one box of 30 pcs of small face mask (and it's quite small that's why they still have a lot of it!), and two packs of other mask (7 sheets inside).

People waiting drugstore open

All sold ou
I was lucky that day since I worked in 7-Eleven in midnight shift and delivery goods come in midnight. There are some masks but so few. A box of 60 masks had already booked by my colleague, and there are still some 5 or 7 pcs-packs masks. In the morning I asked the owner if I can buy those masks, since other stores limit one person one pack. She said I can, so I bought seven packs! Spent almost 2000 yen 😔

Yesterday, I finished my work around 6 am and I went to Lawson 100 my workplace and luckily I could buy a 30 pcs box mask for 100 yen (13000 rupiah). I also got another masks from a Japanese friend also so now I still have stocks of around 100 masks (half of them small one though). I think I am fine but if I see mask I will still buy maybe if my friends need.

I dunno how bad is new coronavirus but at least prevention is better o~ other than mask we need to maintain our hygiene. I'm trying my best to take shower everyday 😂 and always wash my hands.