Friday, March 4, 2011

Afternoon Adventures

Two entries in a day? Whoa, how rare of me nowadays.

I was hoping to go out and explore some of the nearby area today, but it's just too cold and windy for my liking. My fingers became numb just hanging up the laundry outside. At the very least I had planned to go to the post office and then stop by the meat vendor two blocks away, but I remembered that I need to get cheese and realized that I would probably need to go to the actual grocery store. It's not too often either of us goes to a grocery store, mostly because it's hard to tell what the heck is actually all of the food in there. Plus it's not like they sell boxes of hamburger helper or mac and cheese or anything I would usually buy in a grocery store. Not to mention I guess there's a kind of etiquette to it? Like having to bag your own bags. Well, that may be the only thing. Or maybe they just forgive me for whatever transgressions I make because I'm foreign and therefore I don't notice them.

When you think about it, it's kind of funny how our methods of getting food has kind of evolved since we got here. First we always went to the 100 yen grocery store, which soon then changed to the Sunkus and Drug Papas right next to the station. Then we discovered there's a Sunkus just two or three blocks away after we did some exploration one day and we have been frequenting it ever since. It's kind of hard to remember or imagine how we had been getting along without the closer Sunkus.
In any case, I decided to wander over to the part of town we used to frequent so often and now don't anymore. You know, the part of town where there's a 7-Eleven. But I guess I shouldn't really call it "town," because when I go over to that area I'm in a completely different area. In fact, Drug Papas is in a completely different ward! Tokyo is confusing.

Along the way I saw that the Sunkus right next to the station is hiring again. They noted that it's for Monday and Fridays only, for 10 hours total a week. Doesn't sound so bad to me! I'll probably go and inquire about it tonight. Hopefully they remember me like they said they would. I suppose this means I really should study because I think my speaking Japanese has been getting a bit rusty over the past month.
It always amuses me that this small steak restaurant has Spider Man sitting in front of it.

At 7-Eleven I pulled out some money and from there I headed across the street to the grocery store, which was filled with little old ladies hobbling around with a basket in one hand and their walking canes in the other. A few felt the need to apologize to me as they shuffled about and got in front of me without realizing it, but it's hardly their fault the aisles in the store are so small so I told them not to worry about it. Some of them were shaking while grasping their baskets. I was afraid they were going to fall over.

These were the things I ended up buying:
About 500 grams (about 1 pound) of what I'm pretty sure is beef. Or maybe it's beef and pork? Doesn't really matter though I suppose.
Pre-cut cheese. I was really surprised to find this since I was expecting to have to buy a block of cheese and have to get something to slice it up like this with.
My favorite kind of chocolate cookies, Alfort. The grocery store sells them a lot cheaper than the convenience stores do.

This time I knew I had to bag my own bags after I got everything rung up. However I guess I made the mistake of waiting away from the counter when I could've been putting the stacking my stuff up to be rung up? And the guy working there handed me a basket, so I guess I should have been carrying one even though all I grabbed was these few things. Oh, whatever.

I took my newly acquired basket over to the counter in order to put my things in a bag. There I found an old lady struggling to open her plastic bag. It was all wrinkly all over from the various places she tried to pry it apart. When I took out my bag and started trying to open it from the center she mentioned how difficult it was to open the bag. I tried it from the top and managed to get it open and the old lady started saying something but it was mumbling old lady speech and I couldn't quite make it out, but it was definitely about how much trouble she was having.

I offered to open it for her and she gladly handed her bag over. I got it open right away and gave it back to her. She said something more in old lady speech, probably more about the trouble the bag had been giving her, but thanked me as I left. I managed to say the proper response, "It was nothing." In the past I've been finding myself fumbling over phrases like this. I guess it's because my natural response in English would be something like "oh no, it's fine, don't worry about it" and that translates weird when I try to say it in Japanese. I'm glad I'm slowly starting to not make weird remarks when I do something nice and instead say it more naturally.

I put my basket on top of the stack of baskets and headed home. I'm looking forward to tacos tonight!

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