The Daiso Diaries: Chapter 3

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As I mentioned in last week’s column, I was hoping that the Daiso CBD Melbourne branch (see how I named and shamed them there?! Yes, Daiso Melbourne, I’m talking to YOU!) would have gotten back to me by now, but I’m still waiting…

Hence why I’ve decided to make this week’s column a bit of a mishmash of ideas. Think of it as a glimpse into my mind. In other words, all-over-the-place and sometimes, weird as fuck. Yes, I’m allowed to say (write) fuck because this is MY blog and I have control over what I do and don’t publish.

Before I continue though, I’d like to explain why I decided to write to the Melbourne store. I wanted to contact the store where I met Mr. Daiso all those years ago to confirm a few ‘facts,’ that I’m not 100% sure about. You know, the memories (or perhaps, my memory!), have/has faded and I’m not sure if I’m exaggerating and/or elaborating on some things. It’s kind of like when you try to convince yourself that your ex wasn’t that bad when everybody knows they were a serial killer or that they’re just shit (not that mine was a serial killer…). Anyway, you get my point.

The second reason I contacted them was to do some more in-depth research on just how similar and different Daiso Australia is from their Japanese counterpart. For starters, the equivalent price is $2.80 for one item. Yep, Australia is insanely expensive people.

I’ll give Daiso Australia a bit longer to reply because I really do want to set the scene properly, but if they don’t, I’ll just tell you my fairy-tale version of the story.

So… onto this week’s collection of hodgepodge!

I was with an American friend of mine at Daiso the other day and she mentioned the big American chain, Walmart. It got us laughing about all the photos you see on the Internet of the kind of people who shop there and I had to wonder… is Daiso the Walmart of Japan?

Well, clearly, I do need to hang out at a wider range of Daiso stores here in Hiroshima (and further afield in other places in Japan), but if I was simply to base my conclusions on the people who loiter, yes, loiter around my usual haunt, let me just say… Yes.

On Saturday I saw an old man and woman drinking beer and fanning themselves (and us, as we walked by!) just outside the shop and on Sunday, they were still there. I assume they went home at some point and also to a shop because they had more beer.

In the store itself, I once saw an old man fighting with another old man for the last of a certain item. It almost came to fisty-cuffs and the Daiso staff looked very uncomfortable trying to decide what to do. I guarantee though, they weren’t half as uncomfortable as the rest of us customers who were waiting for them to hurry up and step in before the fight began.

On the other hand, no, I don’t think Daiso will ever be the Walmart of Japan because people from ALL walks of society shop there. I have never seen ANYONE in Daiso who looks like someone from those Walmart pictures. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen anyone in the whole of Japan who looks like that. What I mean to say is… you know what? I’m not going to continue, I’m going to change the topic because I know I will just make more politically incorrect statements and offend a heap of people.

My second idea for this week’s column was thinking about just how different the Australian discount stores are from Daiso. When I was a kid we had Solly’s or Silly Solly’s which sold crap products that broke easily and made other kids label you as, ‘povo,’ meaning ‘poverty stricken,’ if you shopped there. There was also no way you would buy chocolate or candy (lollies, for those Aussies reading this) from there and give it to someone as a gift or take it to a party to share. It just wasn’t the done thing. You knew the taste was second-rate and you didn’t want to be the person who bought cheap stuff. As a high school teacher in Australia, I remember having to go and buy proper good-quality Easter eggs for my students after hearing that Mrs. So-and-So had bought Crazy Clark (another discount store chain) Easter eggs and they tasted like shit. I didn’t want to be known as the cheap, shitty teacher.

Finally, to the last section of this week’s column: new products I bought and one new product I’m not a fan of.

Let’s start with the bad first:

Petit Blocks.

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Yes, they’re like Lego, but small. Yes, petit. They suck balls. I got fed up with trying to A. follow the instructions and B. trying to maneuverer my tiny hands to put the blocks together. If you are a man, the task would be impossible.

I’m not sure if this product is designed for kids or not. Sure, it’s in the toy section but unless kids are much more dextrous than they used to be and are also Einstein or perhaps Steve Jobs-smart at putting things together, I’m not sure it’s aimed at the right market.

Mind you, maybe I’m just stupid and not so dextrous. DON’T. SAY. ANYTHING.

My Walmart friend (I mean the American friend I was talking to about Walmart) eventually felt sorry for me and spent a good two hours trying to piece it together. She was convinced I had A. done it wrong or B. lost a vital block. It was A.

The final product was cute, I guess, but so not worth it. I won’t be buying another.

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I am, however, a big fan of the new cat hair accessories and some of the new diamanté-style ones. Since my head is shaved and I don’t want to miss out, I use them as bracelets.

Cathair

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I just realised this column is over 1000 words and that is ridiculous, so to those of you still reading, thank you. To those of you who aren’t, fuck you.

See you next week… hopefully with a reply from the Daiso Melbourne CBD store!

 

 

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