22 July, 2010

Second instalment of 'settling into our house in Tokyo'

Yesterday I left you hanging a bit with a couple of stories. Well, maybe only one.

My first grocery shop was the first day we arrived in our house. Of course - there was absolutely nothing besides our water bottles in our marvellous fridge. Especially nothing for breakfast the next day. Thankfully I'm already fairly familiar with the area and didn't have much trouble finding the shop I wanted. It was not much trouble shopping, either, because it is a smallish shop of a chain that I shopped at two or three times a week for four years, so I know what they stock (very unlike Woolworths or Coles in Australia). There is very little choice of brand, but that is fine - I get through fast!

The trouble came when I got to the cash register and realised that in Japan you pay in cash, not with your plastic card (as I always did for the groceries in Australia). And I only had 7 000 yen on me (less than AU$100. So, red-faced, I explained in a halting-just-returned-from-a-year-without-speaking-Japanese way that I had to go and get some money. He was very kind and held aside the rest of the groceries while I rushed home with what I'd managed to buy and asked my husband for more from his wallet (Japanese ATMs are still too scary for me).

In my rush I had to try and find our house. I got close. Our neighbour's houses all look pretty similar to ours. They're all close to the road, close to each other and have covered garages next to the front doors. With my car blocking half the narrow street, I climbed out and dashed into the most likely door (which was unlocked) - shouting, "David, where's your wallet?" Too late I saw that the entry hall was not jammed with boxes...I left as fast as I could. I still haven't met our neighbour (coming up soon - another Japanese custom we must adhere to). I don't know if anyone heard me or not. I hope not.

Too many embarrassments for one afternoon! It is a good thing that someone brought us some pizza for dinner.

1 comment:

Tim and Susan said...

How funny...all part of adjusting and RE-adjusting to a different culture. It takes so much time and energy just to live those first few months...hang in there.