So I have more or less settled into a routine in Tokyo, even the idea of working full weekends and having two separate weekdays off. I've figured out where to go for what, who to meet, train routes and regular haunts.
But it only takes one small incident to rattle your confidence and render you helpless in performing the most basic, innocuous function in your everyday life and you wake up and realize you are an outsider in a foreign land.
I call it my 1000-yen ordeal- on my way to the station today, I dropped by the drugstore to get make-up because my liquid foundation was running low. I realized at the main road that I had been shortchanged by 1000 yen but I had no idea how to approach the counter and explain my crisis in Japanese. In the end I weasled out and walked off feeling very annoyed with myself.
After my dinner in a chi-chi restuarant in the Shin-Marunouchi building with Shu-chan, I took the Metro back and exited opposite Tsutaya. The hot pink poster announcing half-off all CD rentals lured me into the store, and I ended up spending 30 minutes on my mobile trying to navigate the website to download the member's coupon for the offer. The entire site was written in Japanese and I had to rely on kanji to guess what to do. Desperate, I called P to help.
It is embarrassing, because the last time we had gone to Tsutaya the same thing happened- I was stranded at the counter because my member's card wouldn't work and the staff was going on in Japanese and I could only make out some words, so I had to call P (who had left earlier) to cycle back to the store to rescue me.