Dinner Woes

So, ever since I’ve started working, I haven’t cooked at all.

Because it’s late and tiring and I figured it’s cheaper to buy or just eat out because even if I cooked for one day the leftover ingredients will eventually go to the rubbish bin.

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And so, I’m going to talk about the dining out trend in Tokyo on weekdays.

There are many kinds of places you can go to for dinner.

1. Restaurants or Izayaka

Usually expensive and people who go there are either: friends, couples, colleagues, bosses. More often than not, people will drink alcohol so you won’t see families or the underaged. Also, the stigma is it’s weird to go alone. Really.

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2. Small eating places

Examples are Ramen shop, Matsuya, Soba shop, etc. People who usually go there are: salary man, female accompanied with male, foreigners. Commonly, salary man who goes to such places finish their meals in about 10mins (or less). I go there alone too, because it’s cheap and nice. But so far, I have never seen a female eating alone at such places. Even if females do appear, they are either with a male or they are buying take away. I guess I do get stares for going there alone as a female.

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3. Family restaurants

They are cheap and have a big variety of food. I’ve never been there alone or on weekdays, but as the name goes, most of the time families go there. Also, students love it there. Most family restaurants have a drink bar system where you pay a price E.g. 200yen and enjoy unlimited drinks.

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4. Fast food restaurants

These are the big names that the whole world knows, Mcdonalds, KFC, Mos burger,etc. All kinds of people come here. So depending on the branch, it could be super noisy, super crowded, or super slow service especially if you are going to the branch near train stations. Why slow service? Because of communication barriers with the foreigners. Especially McDonalds.

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In addition, people who go there on weekdays afternoon are either: housewives who have nothing better to do, noisy students, people who have nothing better to do, salary man who lost their jobs,  but have no face to let their family know. A S size drink in Mcdonalds cost only 100 or 200 yen. So, these people will just get a small drink and sit there for the whole day.

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5. Cafes

These are expensive and comes in small portions. Super popular with females and finally, males are the minority here. So if you’re wondering where do single females eat, here they are. Alone or bitching with your females friends, nobody will judge you here. Unless you are a male and alone. Just like how female alone is being judged for eating alone at places deemed for salary man.

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Since I don’t eat beef or raw food, I probably have much lesser varitey than everyone who goes super excited at Japanese food. So there comes the question again, what shall I eat for dinner tomorrow?

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Good night world and hope that I can wake up tomorrow. (hoping for the same thing everyday. :p)

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Work work work

Realize I totally don’t remember that I set up this blog ever since I started working. The last post was one day before I started working part time…
It’s almost like this everyday:

Anyway, I get to go home and I’m flying off in about 12hrs! With not a single shyt packed at all! Gotta catch a nap first since its 4am omg.

My first visit to the Doc & Health Screening

So… the nausea got worse and I was comtemplating on whether to go tothe doctor’s.

I had a lot of worries; I’m probably a born worrier (not warrior).

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One of the stupid worries I had was being awkward because I actually went to the clinic twice within 3 days to inquire about health screening. I went anyway despite feeling a lil better, just in case I won’t recover over the weekends and it’s an important day on Monday. And also since I’m enrolled in National Health Insurance already and everyone says it’s cheap.

I didn’t really have a good impression after going to the doc and decided that I’m never coming back to this clinic again, but slapped myself in the face the very next day as I went back to the same clinic for health screening.

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Anyway, just to record my experiences and share if anyone ever passes by, haha.

Going to the doc

Firstly, make sure you are enrolled in National Heath Insurance. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve paid or not, as long as you have your insurance card but it doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay for it. I haven’t paid mine as I’m waiting for the revised invoice to be sent to me. You will only pay 30% of all medical fees and medicines if you have a valid insurance card. (If insurance cannot be used e.g. health screening, it will usually be written down somewhere).

Got this sample from Google search. The “card” is actually a piece of paper, something like the Provisional Driving License we have in Singapore.

For the clinic that I went, it’s nearby the station where I stay, so it’s something like a neighbourhood clinic. When I first went in (feeling awkward because I enquired 2 times and guess they probably remembered me), I told the reception that I was not feeling well. I can’t remember exactly but the reception asked me for 保険カード(hoken-kaado) and 診査券 (shinsa-ken) which I asked her what is a shinsa-ken, and she asked if it’s my first time there. So she only took my insurance card (hoken-kaado), and asked me to fill in a form aka first consultation sheet.

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First consutation sheet, varies by each clinic

On the consultation sheet, you’d fill in your particulars, and answer health related questions. Also, you’d choose from the list what is it that you are not feeling well about today and write down how long it has been. Then, you’d sit down and wait for the doctor to call your name. The waiting time on a Friday afternoon is like 5-10mins on the day that I went. I feel a little cheated probably because I went in to the room for like 30seconds and I was out. Basically in Singapore, even if it’s wayang (for show), doctor will still check your blood pressure at the very least.

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In the clinic that I went to, I went into the room, the doctor look at the consultation sheet and his computer, and hastily confirmed with me the symptoms that I wrote, asked me 1 or 2 questions, and told me that he will give me this med for this, that med for that, and I’m done. I’m like har so fast ah? Never take blood pressure and check heartbeat one. But it seems like that’s how it is most of the time here. So anyway, I paid about 1000yen (which is the 30%) for it, and I have to take the prescription to a pharmacy (which there is one next door) to get the meds. The meds cost me another 980yen (30% as well). In terms of what the patient pays, it’s still cheaper than Singapore though. In the end I recovered without taking the meds lol.

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My har-so-fast-ah face

Health Screening

And so I was required to do a health screening for employment purposes. Decided not to go back to the clinic but ended up there anyway. Was planning to go to this English speaking clinic which specializes in health screening (previously researched before coming to Japan), and luckily I didn’t just go there. When I called in the morning, they said that it’s weekdays only for health screening and I need to call in to make an appointment on weekdays. The clinic that I ended up in, first I went there to check since the company told me that the items in health screening are fixed, and that they can charge to the company directly if I tell them the company name and address (doubtful). But they said that they have a few packages and it depends on the company so I checked with the company and I went back to the clinic the 2nd time to make a health screening appointment only to be told they don’t take appointments on that, I’ll just have to walk in. So it really depends on the clinic.

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Well, I ended up at the same clinic for the health screening. This time, I went to the reception, told them I wanna do a health screening and passed them the 診査券 (shinsa-ken) which is like the clinic’s card that they made the day before and told them the package aka “course” I’m choosing. And they can’t charge the company directly but they will give me a receipt which is understandable lah. If it’s so easy, anyone can just anyhow charge to those big companies right? So I had to wait because it’s crowded, but they make it sound so serious because the nurse was like you’ll need to wait for a very long time, is it okay? Turns out, a very long time = 40mins~1hr, but I didn’ really felt like I waited very long because it includes the health screening time which totals up to about 20~30mins.

So first, the nurse asked if I’m able to give the urine sample but I told her later since I don’t feel like peeing yet. I tried to drink water everytime I was seated at the waiting area lol. But I was surprised as I briefly saw her holding a paper cup when she asked. In Singapore, this is what we usually get right?

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In Japan, the paper cups which are specially made for urine tests are used.

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I managed to squeezed out enough sample till the minimum line >_< There’s a cabinet in the clinic’s toilet, so you’d just put the cup inside the cabinet. Kinda gross for me because the cup is open and there were other people’s sample inside. Also, I was wondering what if somebody adds something into your sample? @_@

Anyway, the blood test, X-Ray and ECG was as usual, except that for the ECG they didn’t get me to change but just pull up whatever is on the chest. And throughout all these processes, I tried to understand but they really talked too fast! I guess the auntie must be like this gaijin damn annoying cannot understand instructions. T_T

Damn paiseh, but she asked me to pulled up my pants until 足首(ashi kubi) and I asked her do I take off my socks. T_T Ashi is leg and Kubi is neck, so together they make…? Ankle!

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And there’s the hearing test and eye test, hearing test was still okay, basically I was asked to put on a headphone and to press the button whenever I hear a sound. I can’t even remember when was the last time I did a hearing test, probably primary school? As for the eye test, I’m stunned when I see the board because I don’t know how to answer (the nurse thought I cannot see). Again, in Singapore, this is commonly what we encounter…

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In Japan, they use this:

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I guessed it but just in case I asked. You’re supposed to answer what direction the “C” is facing; up, down, left or right. The nurse immediately told me the result, although I don’t really know what it means. I got 1.5 for right eye and 2.0 for left eye. I’m surprised because 2.0 is the smallest row below which it basically looked like dots to me, but it seems that I got it right. Google told me that perfect eyesight is usually 1.0 so I guess the lasik effect is still there even after 5 years! 😀

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And so, the health screening ended with me paying for it first and the nurse kindly asked if I need a handwritten receipt which is addressed to the company. Apparently, the results will be out in 2-3 days which the doctor will need to talk to me as their guideline (because I didn’t talk to the doctor during the health screening and I asked if it will affect the result so they explained this lol). I probably will go through another round of paiseh-har-I-don’t-understand when I collect the results.

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Lazy as usual.

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Many milestones. Went back home for 2.5 weeks and back here for a week.

Initially wanted to blog about life in Japan but everytime something else happens (excuses).

Anyway, this time I entered Japan with a visa so it really feels like I’m beginning a new life. And as the title goes I won’t go into details because it’s 1:30am and I probably will oversleep tomorrow (like for the n-th time).

So the rant today is…

I don’t know if it is because of period (sucks being a girl), or if it is because of the extreme weather change (almost 30 degrees difference), I’ve been feeling bloated and constipated for the past few days. And it sucks. Here’s how I feel (they take turns).

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And totally this.

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OK, this is quite funny. Good night.

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My first 一人暮らし

I always thought I could survive alone. Well, not that I can’t, but I never realized it could be so terrifying. You know, when you unknowingly get used to depending on other people, the realization only came when you are left alone. The bf went to an emergency business trip to Europe yesterday (wah lau, so far away T_T). So, here is my realization.

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Reality is starting to hit and especially tomorrow. I wasn’t really feeling very lonely yesterday as we went out together to the station in the morning as usual, and I met a friend for lunch and dinner. By the time I reach home, I was so tired from period that I just kept felling asleep. Today is public holiday, and we manage to chat for a while in the morning and afternoon (night and morning in Europe). After which, I finally prepare myself and happily went out with the bicycle to the station area. I was telling myself that I could do this with the practise that I had with bf (parking the bicycle downstairs).

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And so, I reached KFC and wondered where I should park my bicycle… and I realized some bicycles parked came with a red label which looks like some form of fine ticket (should have anticipated right!). So I thought that was some territory which people are not allowed to park their bicycle… but anyway I just parked my at the main entrance and keep turning my eyes on it. Luckily, the service was fast and I got my stuffs in like 5mins or something. Somewhere along, I saw one guy who came back to retrieved his bicycle and took out the red label, crushing it. At this point, I was wondering if the “fine ticket” is like for show one because he literally crush it even without reading it.

Anyway, I went back to the other side of the streets of shops and went to the drug store and Daiso. When I came out from Daiso, DANG! The whole row of bicycles were sticked with THAT red label. Including mine! Whhaaaaat??? I’m immediately went into a panic mode and I really didn’t know what to do. Except in my heart cursing that 2 lao uncles for sticking the red label. (Apparently, I kena like 1min before I came out of the store since I saw them still sticking other bicycles).

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While wondering wtf I should do, (actually was panicking and trying to see if my bicycle was wheel clamped or what), I saw an aunty coming back to her bicycle and just tearing out the red label and crushing it. (So this is the normal reaction…) Then I realized oh ya I should remove that darn label too before riding off since it’s like so paiseh also. But in my heart I’m like die liao die liao what if I need to pay the freaking 3000yen fine and there’s a deadline? The bicycle doesn’t belong to me (bf’s) so how to make payment?? Bf will only be back in almost 10 days!! This is how I look like for the next one hour.

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So anyway, I almost wanted to give up going to the supermarket even though it is on the way. I went anyway because today is half price day for frozen foods. Yes, with that face and was googling for bicycle fines in Japan while in the super market but I couldn’t find that red label online.

When I reached home, I have a problem parking the bicycle. I thought that everyone parks on the same spot everyday so I should park back to my same spot.. But it was too squeezy! So I ended up parking it in the middle row since there was space. I hope the neighbours won’t curse me lah for taking their “space” (if any in the first place). Paranoid me even went downstairs again to double confirm that the bicycle was really parked as I was worried that the bicycle will topple and make other bicycles domino.

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While I composed myself a little and started reading the red label.. it’s actually a warning ticket. There’s no serial number on it, but I’m guessing they recorded the bicycle number. At this moment, I just text bf and he happened to be able to connect to some Wifi and called me. So I burst out in tears because I was feeling so lonely. T_T Anyway, he said that it happens frequently and they don’t record it… so there is nothing to worry about. Anyway, the contents are different but it looks something like this:

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In my case, the word 3000yen is super big which is what scared me. It’s actually a warning ticket to tell you that if you don’t move your bicycle away within the day, they will confiscate it and you will have to pay 3000yen to release your bicycle.

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Welcome to Japan.