We woke up to a lovely sunny day and snow covered mountains all around us. It was cold and crisp!
I called the courier service phone number, listened to alot of Japanese lingo recording – no idea what it wanted me to do but I remembered Saito-san saying “press1” and a lady answered. “Moshi moshi” and I said “Konnichiwa. Eigo wa dekimaska?” Translated – Hello do u speak English. She said “Chotto kudasai” or something to that effect – wait a moment – and she disappeared for a good while. WHen an English speaker came on she said someone will come to the apartment in the am – so I gave her all the info. Sure enough, the intercom rang, I let this guy in and when he got to the apartment, I found out that he didnot understand Romaji (romanised alphabets)!! What to do? I decided then to call Saito-san and the courier guy spoke to him and in the midst of the conversation, my cell phone battery ran out! In my panic state I could not remember where the charger was. So I read the address to this guy and he wrote it down in Kanji and away he went.
When I was charging my cell, I called Saito-san that everything is ok and that the guy has left. Saito -san said he is close by and wanted to know what my address was. Apparently, the good man called the restaurant owner, Miri-san to ask her where we lived, when the cell phone got disconnected, but she had no idea what out apartment number was, just a general direction. So it was a good job I called him back. He ended up coming in for a cup of tea and I showed him the receipt from the courier. He said with this address, the letter will not reach our shipping agent. I was in a panic! He then called the courier company and sorted it all out. I was so thankful he decided to look me up. Otherwise, I will never know where the letter would end up and our shipment will be delayed.
So, it is not easy at all dealing with courier services, all in all it took about 8 people to mail this letter! Shopping for food stuff is another chore! After Saito -san left, I went to the gym and did an hour of aerobics, just following the other ladies but ahve no idea what the instructor was saying. My new friend Hiroko and I went to lunch and I corrected her English (no, not daughter in law – she is your sister’s daughter so it is your niece) while she taught me abit of Japanese.
She then took me to Saty’s, to the supermarket section. SHe showed me what oyster sauce bottle looks like, which packet is flour and which is cornflour. ANd in the cleaner section, she showed me what to get for toilet seat cleaner, which is glass cleaner etc etc. Simple everyday stuff is soooo difficult! And for soy sauce, there are so many types, like soy sauce with vinegar, soy sauce for tempura…i just want plain old soy sauce!
Certainly going to be a long learning curve. But I made three important friends – Miri-san is a lovely restaurant owner, Saito-san is a sake shop owner and Hiroko-san is a doctor’s wife. I think I covered it all with these new friends!