Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why Does All the Weird Stuff Happen at Ito: Adventures

((written on September 3, 2013))

So I’m bored. Part of me reckons I should tell you about school, but considering I’ve only had one half day and one full day there, I figured I will wait to write that one until I’ve, you know, actually taught something.

So instead, I thought of this little gem on the way home from the store a couple days ago. If you watch my Facebook, you’d notice that I’ve mentioned a lovely little store called Ito Yokado in a few of my more…entertaining adventures (except yesterday when the bread fell out in the street—different store)). These adventures have a bit of difficulty to them, making them all the more entertaining to talk about once the story is over, and super frustrating while it is still unfolding.

So I’m going to expound upon 3 ridiculous adventures at this store that I’ve mentioned briefly on Facebook because it is 9 o clock, I’ve read my eyes out, I don’t want to open the puzzle, and I have nothing to watch while I crochet.

So Adventure #1: The Bicycle and the Pooh Fan

So Ito Yokado is the closest store to me that has homely things: applicances, houseware, kitchen goods, things I can’t get at the mall or dollar store essentially. The very first adventure there was the first day I got here; my supervisor took us to the store to make sure we had essentials-type thing (but that is connected to the second story, which comes later). So a friend recommended that this was a good store to get a sturdy bike from, and I had seen them there when we went, so hell why not. I used my handy GoogleMap to walk myself over there, figuring once I bike back it’ll be easier to remember how to get there.

I find the bikes easy enough, and I stare at them for a while. They’re a little more expensive than I hoped, but not significantly so. Actually the cheaper ones were part electric, so I almost accidentally bought a bike that has like…pedaling aid. Woops. But I didn’t, and I managed to understand the dude as he told me to wait a half hour while they do some bike processing…registering…business. So I do, gleefully troll around the store (there’s also a dollar store in there) and I proudly buy the millions of puzzles and walk out with an awesome bike.

I get my accomplished self all the way home, plop down on the floor, and realize my treasured Pooh fan is missing (mind you, it’s like a thousand degrees and a fan is necessary at work. I had other fans, but the Pooh Fan). I didn’t bring the bag I usually kept it in, and I last remembered sticking it my pocket. So I hop back on the bike and head back to Ito, searching the roads. I get to the store, no fan. Mind you, this is the store where I bought the fan from (and it cost me about a dollar) but dammit I wanted that one. So I asked the lady if anyone found it, she said no but I filled out a little form for them to call me if anyone found it. I told myself I’d stick it out a day with another fan and if they didn’t call then I’d go get another.

Well, they didn’t call saying they’d found it, so I went back and got another. A few days later, I get a phone call (getting phone calls is horrifying FYI: Japanese on the phone is like a million times worse), and the voice is like 10 steps higher than a level able to be understood by humans. I had no idea who it was. Luckily, a friend at work was able to talk to them for me, and it was Ito calling to tell me that they hadn’t found it yet but were still looking. Happily I have received no further reports about the fan.


Adventure #2! That Stupid Okayu Maker

So I mentioned the first time we went to Ito I was going to get essentials my apartment didn’t have—which at the time was a rice cooker. Me and like, 2 other people helped me pick out this nifty teeny little rice cooker at the time (I wanted a small one because hey, small apartment). And we all had a bit of a fail.

1 week and 6 days later, I use it for the first time. I scrupulously translate bits of the manual to know what I’m doing, and hit buttons and cook a pot of rice. What comes out is….mush. Complete mush. So, assuming I did it wrong, I hit a different button and make….even more mush. Looking closely, the box says ‘Okayu Maker’ (Porridge maker).

….Ain’t no rice coming out of this thing. >.< So returning things in Japan is iffy at best, and 2 weeks is the marker. So I needed to get this crap repackaged and attempt to get it out of my house. I called that day to ask if I could return it, and the response was definitely longer than ‘yes’ (still no idea what that response was, but hey). So I dragged it to the store, repeating on loop in my head the phrase “I bought this okayu maker 2 weeks ago, but I wanted a rice cooker. Can I exchange or return it?” I went up to the checkout of nice older ladies, and one of them walked with me to the service counter and I got rid of the thing. Then, after another lady helped me get an actual rice cooker, I checked out at the same counter, and the ladies were joking around and assuring me that it was an actual rice cooker.

Happy endings of lost in translation stress. Woot!

The Current Adventure: An Unhealthy Addiction to Puzzles

So all of my puzzles are going up on the huge expanse that is my blank white wall. I recently finished the 1000 piece Disney puzzle, but it is stained glass-partly see through with interlocking pieces, so it’s not really right to glue together. But it’s also not right to just hang outright, especially with the humidity routinely knocking the puzzles off the wall. So it’s currently operating as a rug until I go buy a frame for the huge thing. This weekend, I walked to Ito because I knew I wouldn’t be able to carry the puzzle frame on my bicycle—a little too big for that. I get there and check out their expanse of puzzle frames (moment of panic when I noticed the lady was packing them up-I still haven’t been back to see if they were moved or are just gone), but each puzzle frame was off by like .2~.5 cm. And they are quite expensive. The lady working with the puzzles sees the huge question mark over my head, and she comes over with a book of all the puzzles; I show her the picture of the one I did, and we find the ~special~ frame that you need to use with it, which they don’t have. Soooo, I ended up having to order it. And walk home for no reason. Gr.

Sidebar, this trip had a side mission of buying the same puzzle for Julie, who wants one as well. They didn’t have a copy (the lady helped me look too), so I ended up having to order one of those too. That’s right you love me, older sister.

The lady said they would take about a week to come in, but yesterday I had a missed call. So damn, Japanese phone call time, I call it back and it’s the same high voice from before so I know immediately that it’s Ito. From what I understood, they called to tell me that it would be a week…? Even though I already knew this. Idk, maybe they had just ordered it. Still unnecessary stress.

So that’ll be a fun phone call.

So yeah, some silly adventures.

((EDIT: So that phone call? They were trying to tell me that it was in. They called again, and I managed to guess that was the purpose, and when I went to get it I brokenly managed to speak why I was there [luckily I remembered the little receipt which is the real reason they probably knew what I was talking about] and I got it! And after it hung with Command Strips for a few weeks, it fell, and now it is hanging with S Hooks. Strong stuff.))