The Daiso Diaries: Chapter 1

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Happy Midsummer or Litha! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read on. If you do know what I’m talking about, read on anyway… this is The Daiso Diaries. You know it’s going to be quality stuff. 😉

Wednesday 21, as in two days ago was the Summer Solstice. For all you hippies out there, you know this and most Japanese people know this too simply because they’re so into seasons. My Western counterparts, however, may not.

The Summer Solstice is the height of summer in that it’s the longest day (i.e. longest amount of sunlight) and the shortest night. Lots of Pagan festivals centre around this and our ancestors would have celebrated it, but for us living in the modern world, we’ve mostly forgotten.

Why am I talking about it here? Well, because like the rest of Japanese society that is obsessed with the seasons, Daiso too uses it to maximum advantage.

Thus, this week’s column and the first official chapter of The Daiso Diaries is about the great summer products now available.

Living and working in Japan you cannot help but be influenced by what’s going on around you. That means that sometime ago I started decorating my apartment for each season and special event on the calendar.

I picked up a great little summer decoration for my front door the other day that features a very summer pastime: catching goldfish or kingyo (金魚). At any matsuri (祭り) or festival you will find pools of water where you can scoop up your very own goldfish and take it home.

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Daiso also has sensu (扇子) or foldable fans, hats and those crazy long arm protectors that many Japanese women are fanatical about.

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Clothing and accessories aside there is also a great collection of fake sunflowers and the beautiful blue hydrangeas or ajisai (紫陽花) as they say in Japanese. Yes, in nature there are also pink ones, but these don’t seem to be as popular and aren’t featured as fake flowers to buy for summer from Daiso. For those gardening geeks (or just interested people), hydrangeas change colour based on the pH level of the soil. The more alkaline, the pinker they get. Therefore, to make them extra blue you need to increase the acidity of the soil. Wow, the things you learn from The Daiso Diaries. I can feel how impressed you are through your computer/smartphone.

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Heading to the kitchen section I also found this great summer drinks glass. With its candy stripes and thick straw, it reminds me of summer days at the beach or festivals with icy, sticky drinks from my childhood. It’s a little difficult to see in the photo, but it actually says, ‘Country Fair Drinking Jar,’ on the glass. Exactly. At the moment, I’m using it to drink iced tea from, but I’m fairly sure I’ll be using it for something alcohol related in the next few weeks. 🙂 Oh, who am I kidding?! I’ve been using it for awhile now with alcohol. I feel it makes me a little classier than sipping chuuhai (チューハイ) from the can when I’m at home.

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Oh and if you like smelling good all the time and are sweating like a pig in this summer humidity (and thus, not smelling as sweet as you usually do), then the scented body sheets are for you. Most are usually cool and refreshing, as well as being scented and so you end up feeling a little like your body just brushed its teeth and then drank water. Yep, that slightly stinging/burning sensation, but refreshingly icy, minty, cool and clean feel too. For just 100 yen (+ the obligatory 8% tax), that’s a bargain and much, much cheaper (and just as good, if not better) than some of the ones you can buy at places like Wants.

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So there you have it… the essentials you can find at Daiso to keep you cool, calm and collected (and your apartment well decorated!) for summer.

Stay cool and I’ll back again next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

365 Prompt: June 22 2017

Sustained: 

He’d sustained an injury, that was for sure. But how did he explain that to his boss?

Oh I’m sorry I won’t be coming in to work today because I have a sex-related injury.

There was nothing, ‘sex-related,’ about it. It was absolutely from sex. 

That bitch had ridden him hard. He had fucked her in every square inch of her apartment and what was even more crazy was that when they had finished she had rolled over, looked him straight in the eye and said, “You need to leave.”

No thank you, that was fun. No hey, let’s do that again sometime. 

Nothing. 

She had shut down emotionally like… 

Like a man, he told himself. 

And he hadn’t liked that one bit. 

He was supposed to be the one who did that. He was supposed to be the one who felt nothing and who rejected the clingy bitch. 

But she wasn’t like that. Not one bit. 

He wasn’t sure he liked it like that. He liked feeling needed. He wanted someone to want him. It stroked his ego and helped to dull the pain of his insecurities. 

No, not pain, he told himself. A feeling of uncomfortableness. 

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As she stood under the shower letting the hot water run over her still highly sensitised body, she smiled to herself. 

I’ve got the power, she said in her mind. 

He didn’t stand a chance. 

Fucker. 

365 Prompt: June 21 2017

So after some careful deliberation I’ve decided to stop taking photos using prompts. I take enough photos per day and so I won’t be tagging them but you can still see what I’m doing. 

I will still keep writing though and so I’ve chosen my own topic today and will be finding a new prompt for writing from a website etc. I’ll let you know tomorrow. 

Here’s today’s:

The Haunting:

I thought the ghosts were gone. I thought I’d chased them all away but then I discovered there is always one that won’t let go and haunts you long after the physical trace has disappeared. 

I was sitting in the coffee shop close to my apartment when it happened. I was in mid-sentence when I saw him from the corner of my eye. I leapt up without a second thought leaving my friend at the table slightly bewildered. 

My shoes nearly slipped on the tiles as I flung open the door and stood staring at a man’s back who on second glance wasn’t him at all. 

But you saw him, the voice whispered in my ear. 

Yes, I did, I told myself. I was positive of it. 

But where is he now then? spoke my doubting subconscious. Did he suddenly just disappear into thin air?

Yes, I thought. He’s a ghost and that’s exactly what ghosts do. I realised I hadn’t quite banished all of them yet. 

It was time for another exorcism. 

365 Photo Prompt: June 20 2017

I wrote this yesterday but issues stopped me from uploading it. Sorry. 

Before I begin this photo prompt, let me just say that I’m getting bored with the topics being given to me for photography. I take photos every day and I know what I do enjoy taking photos of. I like scenes of Hiroshima, funny and quirky things that take my fancy and ordinary things from life too. 

I know the prompts are supposed to extend you and challenge you but I’m finding them bland. I was originally taking all photos on my RicohGRII, but at least two now I’ve taken with my iPhone because the quality is high and it’s easier than fiddling around with the wifi setting on my camera. 

I’m not sure what I’m going to end up doing but it may be that this project is coming to an end simply because I’m not liking it anymore. I don’t find it inspiring at all. If I do decide to ditch the project, I will of course continue to take photos everyday and I will definitely keep writing everyday but not how I have been this year. 

And now that I come to the prompt for today… Animal. Funnily enough I’ve already taken a photo of a cat today and so I’m not reposting it. I’m just going to write about the topic. 

Animal: 

Sometimes I wished I was an animal. Yes, I know humans are animals but you know what I mean. 

I mean the kind who can lay on their backs and have their bellies rubbed, snooze in the sun for hours and then stretch, blink and roll over for another hour. 

Then again, I’m not sure I want to be owned by a human. I don’t want someone to constantly pick me up and carry me around like a toy and I don’t want kids to pull my ears and tail. 

Humans can be fucking stupid sometimes. 

365 Photo Prompt: June 19 2017

From the side: I didn’t even know I had reached my breaking point until it was upon me. 

It came on me from the side, rather than a frontal assault and that was fine, but it almost missed me. I’m glad it didn’t. 

I had to be honest with myself. I didn’t trust men. I didn’t trust any men. I didn’t trust my friends, I didn’t trust the men I passed on the street. I was done. 

What I loved most of all were the fucking douchbag people who told me he was coming and that I hadn’t met the right one yet. 

Bullshit. 

That was psychobabble bullshit you told people to make them feel better and to justify your position as a ‘good friend.’

I didn’t give a shit anymore if I was single forever. My hand was more than enough and I didn’t have to worry about some guy coming everywhere and wondering each month if I was pregnant. 

I was doing everything for myself from now on. 

No man was EVER going to change my opinion on that.

I was through. 

I just hoped that I woke up feeling better than how I knew I would go to sleep. 

My New Philosophy 

A few weeks ago a friend messaged me to tell me about a guy she had met who was Japanese, nice, funny, smart, dressed well and was tall. Most of those things I don’t actually care about and as I had PMS I basically told her I’m not interested in meeting anyone. I also told her I have enough friends. 

I discovered he lives in the shithole place I used to live and ironically enough, the same place as my ex. That should have been warning bells enough. 

Without going into detail I discover he not only smokes pot (something I won’t tolerate) I also discover he fucks around and is yet another guy to assume I am a huge party person and have a list of men on call for every whim and fancy. He then insulted me further by insinuating I could have an STD. 

I’m angry for a few reasons:

Number one: I’m sick and tired of men assuming things about me. I enjoy my life and going out with friends but most of my Friday and Saturday nights consist of staying at home watching dramas or reading a book. Or cycling somewhere to get rid of the frustration I have with arseholes like him. I don’t even have one guy I would ring for a booty call and even if I did, no guy seems to understand that I have never have and don’t ever want a sex friend/fuck buddy/whatever terminology you want to use. I don’t use people and I don’t want to be used either. 

Number two: I’m pissed off that I knew I was right to say I didn’t want to meet him but then felt sorry for him because of where he lives. Not my problem. 

Oh and about the STD, I don’t have one and the only reason he said that is because he assumes I’m like him and fuck everything that breathes. 

Yes I’m pissed off. 

That’s why my new life philosophy and dating love philosophy is all about the following statement:
I have never wanted to and still don’t necessarily want to get married but I do want someone to spend the rest of my life with. I don’t have a list anymore because I will accept whoever I fall in love with no matter what they look like, their nationality, geeky habits, whatever. They will do the same. 
Hence I’m not dating AT ALL anymore unless that person would be willing to marry me. Why waste my time and why waste theirs if they are the type of person who just wants to fuck everything in sight and have what I consider to be shallow relationships because they’re scared, been hurt in the past or just want sex? 

I don’t give a fuck if someone agrees with me on this or not. I don’t need or want your opinion or your approval. I won’t be changing my mind on this unless or until I meet the person who is going to make me believe that not all men are arseholes who constantly disappoint me. 

I’ve had enough of that. 

365 Photo Prompt: June 18 2017

Water: Clearly it needed water. Its leaves were withered and the petals drooping.

I felt a bit like the sunflowers too. Rather than thirsty though, I felt hungry; hungry for proper love and affection and true intimacy, not some half-arsed substitute for love. 

It was pathetic how I kept being treated. I knew now that none of it was my fault; it was the douchebag guys who assumed that I was the fun party girl to have a good time with. 

Wrong. 

I wasn’t the party girl, I was the good girl who liked to have fun with her friends occasionally. 

I knew how that sunflower felt. I was exhausted too as though I needed new life breathed into me. 
I wondered who would water me.