Musings about Japan and life as a human, a cosplayer, a minority, a music lover, an English teacher.

Business as usual.

This morning I had a dentist appointment. My mom left just a little earlier to go to the Korean Embassy.

It was my regular checkup and cleaning at the dentist’s office, 1 year and a week after my last one. Unlike a lot of people, I actually like going to the dentist, as long as it’s just for cleaning. I’m not too thrilled about fillings and stuff, but I don’t find it scary or painful either.

Everything was good and I was on my way to CVS Pharmacy (like Matsumoto Kiyoshi in Japan) to pick up some stuff when a black car drove up next to me.

“‘scuse me,” the voice said. I looked over, and knew exactly what was going on. The guy asked if I had a boyfriend (I said I did), and then asked if my boyfriend would let me have friends, “‘cuz he wants to be my friend.” I did my usual method of refusal (“I don’t have a phone,” blah blah blah etc.) and he finally drove off.

This is my life in Maryland, U.S.A. I liked it a lot better when the guys approaching me were spiky-haired Japanese hosts. But even in Japan I got the occasional non-Japanese guy hitting on me. It’s rather annoying wherever I go.

After that I made my way to CVS. I was very disappointed. Stuff in America is just as expensive as it is in Japan now! At least facial cleansers and shampoos. Maybe I just don’t remember it being so expensive because I didn’t shop on my own as often as I did in Japan. Not only that but I couldn’t find two of the products that I wanted to buy…I don’t know if they were discontinued or just not there. Maybe I need to start ordering all my stuff online or something.

Customer service was not there, as usual. In Japan, if there is even one person waiting behind another at the register, a worker immediately opens up another register to serve people as quickly as possible. No, not at CVS. The lady at the front had a cart full of stuff and it was taking a little longer than usual to finish up. Another employee (could have been the manager) was doing nothing important except restocking a single box of candy right in front of the register, as two of us waited behind the lady at the only register open. I wasn’t in a hurry or anything, but it reminded me of how exceptional Japanese customer service is.

This isn’t a “I hate America” or “I’m a Japanophile” thing. I just think that the U.S. has gotten so absorbed in the “It’s all about me and money” craze, and I’ve come to realize that we have this habit of giving people as little as possible (except for when it comes to food). This goes along with my complaint about cell phone technology here.

Speaking of which, I recently checked out a sample plan on AT&T Wireless. With a free phone, the minimum monthly fee to have anything close to what I had with au by KDDI in Japan was $59.99, tax not included. I normally paid about $30-$40 for the same thing and more with au.

On the bright side, at least I can watch Maury on hulu now.


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