The Daiso Diaries: Chapter 6

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Wow! I can’t believe this is Chapter 6 already! How time flies when you’re having fun and believe me, I’ve been having fun. Sooooo much fun in fact, because I found something that made me laugh probably more than I should have. Let me show you the photo first and then explain.

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This keychain was 150 yen instead of the usual 100 yen (+ 8% tax), but man… how totally worth it, is it?! I think my kindergarten students are starting to rub off on me. I now say, “Ouchie,” instead of, “It hurts,” and, “poo poo,’ has simply become part of my vocabulary. I guess that’s what happens when you teach four year olds! 🙂 In fact, this poo keychain is the third poo emoji thing I’ve bought in the past six months… you can see where this is headed…

Anyway, unfortunately you can’t see what happens when you push the poo… but, it farts. Yep. If you’re on Instagram, check out the video on my jack_crispy account. It’s hilarious. Yeah, I know, you shouldn’t laugh at your own jokes, but it technically it isn’t my joke, it’s the poo’s joke. I laughed even more when I thought of giving it to someone I know and saying, “This is for you because you’re a piece of shit.” He would totally appreciate that. The poo keychain I mean, not being called a piece of shit.

Pieceofshit.jpg

Now for something a little bit more serious.

Last Friday afternoon I was walking out of the Johoku Astram Line Station thinking about this column and how it’s not my konbini [コンビニ] one. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but the konbini one was quite successful and I’ve been having misgivings about this one. Just like a second book, it has a lot riding on it. You’ve got people expecting great things from you and you don’t want to disappoint them. You also don’t want to be known as the dreaded one-hit wonder.

Anyway, I happened to run into a friend of mine who I haven’t seen for ages and one of the first things he said was that he enjoys reading my new column. That made me feel a lot better.

Thank you, Jim.

So, this week’s column…

I was sitting in Shareo the other day just after seeing Jim and thinking of the angle I wanted to take for this week. I scribbled down a few ideas and something got me thinking (yes, yet again! You have no idea…)

Firstly, I’m a bit of a whore. Sorry, that’s not what I wanted to say at all… let me rephrase that. I’m a bit of a konbini whore. I go to each and every which one to get what I need and will quite happily forgo one for weeks on end if they’re not satisfying me. Btw, just to make sure we’re clear… I’m not a whore either.

The idea made me realise that with Daiso… well, although I do go to different branches of Daiso, I’m faithful. I don’t like other 100 yen shops and I’m not a huge fan of the quality or the products of the 300 yen ones either. Maybe I found The One. Daiso is pretty much the same everywhere… or is it?

Well, that’s what I decided to find out.

Just like konbini, Daiso is a franchise. You can generally find most products in any store, but I have found sometimes that I can’t find a few obscure things in every single one I go to. Like Balance Power bars for example. They’re kind of like a nutrition bar that are low in calories (kJ, whatever you want to call them!) and are actually super yummy, rather than tasting like cardboard.

This packet isn’t from Daiso (in Daiso they’re normally in small cardboard packs), but this one product I’ve only ever found in one store in Hiroshima: the one in Danbara in Aeon Mall.

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Secondly, there’s no set layout for Daiso so walking into one is not the same as walking into another. I remember once walking into a Big W (kind of like a Walmart, but in Australia and usually without as many freaks or fat people; yes, that’s politically incorrect, but true), in Bundaberg that was set out EXACTLY the same as my hometown. It was a surreal moment that freaked me out and made me feel like I was on the set of ‘The Twilight Zone’.

Now, thirdly and getting back to my konbini whore nature comment and Daiso… Yes, in my neighbourhood and a little further afield, I generally frequent three different stores:

  • The Yokogawa Station one;
  • The one near my apartment (I’m not telling you where in case you’re a freaky stalker) and
  • The Dobashi/Tokaichi one (sorry, I’m not clear which area it’s classified in, but Hiroshima folks will know which one I mean).

Are they the same?

No.

They have (mostly) all the same products, but the layout and even the opening hours are totally different. This makes it a pain in the butt sometimes when you need something at a certain time and there’s half an hour difference between opening hours from one shop to another.

The Yokogawa Station one is 6 floors, while the other two are both first floor (some people say ground floor) ones. I think it’s a lot easier to find what you want at the Yokogawa one simply because it tells you what’s located on each floor; the one level stores you need to wander around despite each aisle having a big banner describing the contents.

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Well, that’s my week done and let me just say, thank you to the people who continue to read this, thank you for telling me you enjoy it and thank you for letting me be honest and telling you my own insecurities about my writing and whether it’s good enough/lives up to my (and maybe other people’s) expectations. Ah yes, expectations…

I’m off to start thinking about next week!

Hoo roo! (that’s Aussie speak for goodbye!)

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