#797 I got an unhappy letter.

I got an unhappy letter last weekend.

According to the letter, my investment fund will be closed in May.
I was very disappointed because now it is a terrible time to close a fund.
The market fell so much since the coronavirus has been spreading around the world. Actually, I’m losing a lot of money in my investment.

I am really shocked to get the letter.
I can either sell all my stocks now which are at such low prices, or wait till May when the fund is closed. It is difficult to sell because the market is fluctuating heavily these days.

But yesterday I sold 20% of my stocks. Fortunately the US market soared yesterday. I was lucky yesterday but I don’t want to go through things like this. They are very stressful.
I think I have to deal with this a few more times until I finished selling all of them before May.

No joy!(2020.3.26)

2020-04-02 | Posted in English3 Comments » 


#798 Special handling for flight tickets, regarding the coronavirus

Should I flight or not flight!?

My parents live in Chiba and they will have a buddhist memorial service this weekend. So I am supposed to attend it and I’m going to stay at my parents house for a few days.
I bought the ticket from a LCC in January to go to Chiba. The ticket was a non-changeable ticket.

But now we are facing the coronavirus pandemic in the world.
I’m more worried if I may spread the virus to my old parents than getting infected myself.

My mom and I were talking on the phone.

My mom said, “You don’t have to come this time. Come to Chiba after the coronavirus settles down.”

I said, “But my air ticket is not changeable. The money is wasted, but there is nothing I can do.”

Then mom said, “I’ll pay for your ticket.”

I said, “Don’t worry mom. It’s not a problem.”

Actually even before talking to my mom, I know that I am going to let that ticket go to waste. I didn’t even bother to check anything.

But after talking to her, I decided to go to Jetstar’s homepage just in case if there is any update.

Surprisingly, I found the following announcement at Jetstar.

【Jetstar Japan】Special handling for tickets, flight suspension and reduction of flight frequency regarding COVID-19 (Last Updated 10 March, 2020)

“Special handling for domestic route tickets”
Customers travelling on Jetstar Japan’s domestic network between 5 to 31 March 2020, are now able to opt for a free-of-charge date change or request a full refund in the form of a flight voucher. Details are as follows:

· Flights: Jetstar Japan operated domestic flights (flights starting with GK)
· Period: Flights departing between 5 March – 31 March 2020 inclusive
· Options: Free change of date on the same route until 28 April or a refund in the form of a flight voucher (valid for six months)
· How: Please read email sent from Jetstar or visit our website for more information
· Deadline: 19 March 2020

I can get a voucher instead.

Jetstar didn’t send any e-mail to me directly. I needed to research it by myself.
Otherwise, I would have given up the air ticket without knowing that I can get a voucher instead.

Thanks to my mom who reminded me about the cost of the ticket. If I didn’t have that conversation with her, I wouldn’t go to Jetstar’s homepage.

I think I will go to Chiba later this year.

Small joy!(2020.3.16)

2020-03-16 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#799 One of the benefits of staying at home is …

My lessons in my cram school are canceled.

Since most elementary, middle and high schools in Japan are closed in order to stop the coronavirus outbreak, my lessons in my cram school are also canceled.
Although I can’t meet my students and I do miss them, I am enjoying my relaxing time at home. For example, watching the Netflix, reading books, listening to golden oldies and cleaning the house.

One of the benefits of staying at home is …

One of the benefits of staying at home is that my hay fever is not so bad this year. It really depends on the year. Some years I got really sick, and some years it was more tolerable. It might be that I spent more time at home this year and I always wear a mask whenever I go out.

I hope we can control the outbreak as soon as possible.

So face mask is an essential item for me this year to protect me from the coronavirus and hay fever. Fortunately I have enough masks at home that can last for a while. But masks are still in shortage across Japan. I worried if I can’t buy any mask by the end of this Spring.
I hope we can control the outbreak as soon as possible.

Small joy!(2020.3.6)

2020-03-11 | Posted in English4 Comments » 


#800 “Kimetsu no Yaiba”(Demon Slayer)

I have watched “Kimetsu no Yaiba”(Demon Slayer) season 1 on Netflix for 3 days.

Recently I am staying at home because I’m worried about the coronavirus.
Then I have watched “Kimetsu no Yaiba”(Demon Slayer) season 1 on Netflix for 3 days. It is an anime based on a popular Japanese manga of the same name. The story is about a young boy named Tanjiro became an “oni”(demon) slayer after his family was slaughtered by an oni. His younger sister Nezuko was turned into an oni after attacked by an oni. It is a journey of revenge for their family and saving people from many onis as a demon slayer.

I’m interested in the kimonos of the characters.

The era is Taisho era. Taisho era is before Showa era, about 100 years ago.
I’m interested in the kimonos of the characters. Their clothes are mixed with kimonos and western style. The kimonos designs are so funky and vibrant. The color combination is also very unique.

Since the main character, Tanjiro is sincere, kind and strong. I think most audience would feel like supporting such a likeable character. Onis also have rather attractive and diverse personalities, with some sad stories of their own.

I like the beautiful scenery of the animation and background music. Although there are many cruel scenes, it doesn’t matter to me.

Everybody wants to read the rest of the story, right?

When I went to a bookstore to look for the comic books of “Kimetsu no Yaiba”, I saw many children and mothers were also looking for them. Too bad that most of them were sold out at my bookstore. Fortunately I was able to buy the first book in the series. In the future I will keep looking for the new books of this comic.

Small joy!!(2020.2.28)

2020-03-05 | Posted in English4 Comments » 


#801 How to prevent stinking socks. A great lesson from “GATTEN”.

How to wash stinking socks.

I watched the TV show “GATTEN” on Wednesday.
I learned that when you wash your socks, you should turn your socks inside out to make your socks last longer and smell better.

“Socks washed inside out” vs. “socks washed regularly”

In the experiment in the show, socks that were washed inside out had a lower odor level than socks washed regularly.
The show explained that socks are made of different materials on the inside and outside.
The inside is made of elastic chemical material to prevent the socks from slipping down, such that the socks can stay on the feet, while the outside is made of soft natural material.
The elastic material on the inside poses a problem. It entangles skin grease and dead skin cells easily, causing bad smells even after washing.
So you should wash your socks inside out to get rid of them.

Some people might worry that the outside of the socks may not get washed well if following this method.
Don’t worry! The stain on the outside of the socks is mostly common household grease. They can be got rid of easily by laundry detergent.

The inside out washed socks were cleaner, smelled better and longer lasting.

In a two-week experiment, they found that there was 3 times more the amount of protein stains on the regularly washed socks than the inside out washed socks. Of course the inside out washed socks were cleaner and smelled better.

Moreover, inside out washed socks are longer lasting and they don’t get lint balls and holes easily. In the show, socks were washed inside out and regularly for 100 times. They compared the socks with a new pair of socks. The inside out washed socks looked just like the new socks! On the other hand, the regularly washed socks were losing color and had some pilling.
You can also wash stockings and tights inside out in a laundry net.

What a great episode! I have learned some unique knowledge.
I think I will do this from now on!

Small joy!!(2020.2.21)

2020-02-28 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#802 I sold a health care goods and a book in “mercari”.

Finally I sold my stuff in “mercari”

Finally I sold my stuff in “mercari” which is an online buy & sell service.
The memorial first ever sold item was a health care goods. It is hard to describe what it is. It is a cylindrical tube, not very heavy, about 16 cm tall. It is made of hard rubber. You can put it on the floor and put your leg on top of it to massage your calf or thigh. And also other parts of your body.

I bought it for about 2000 yen 6 months ago. When I used it, on my arm, it felt quite painful so I gave up using it.
I sold it on mercari for 1500 yen, but I had to pay for shipping for 700 yen and mercari charged 10 % commission, so I only got 650 yen back. Of course I am not making money. But I was not going to use it anyway. Leaving it at home will only take up space in my house. At least now I get some money back and I hope someone else can make good use of it.

I also sold a book.

The same evening, I also sold a book to another customer. It was a book about investment. I finished it so I don’t need it anymore. Well, if you asked me what it is about, I would tell you that I forgot most of it already. But the truth is that I don’t think I will ever pick it up and read again. So it is a good idea to sell it.

I am very happy that I was able to sell 2 items in such a short time. I want to sell more, so I made more postings but so far I haven’t got any reply. I better learn how to improve my selling technique.

Small joy!!

2020-02-17 | Posted in English4 Comments » 


#803 I am addicted to “mercari”

↑Merry Christmas! from Licca-chan

I started “mercari”

I started using “mercari” which is an online buy & sell service 2 months ago. I mainly used it to sell my stuff when I tidy up my house.
At first I decided to buy something using “mercari” so that I could learn how to pack goods when I am selling my things.
I bought two plates, one with an elephant design and another one with a zebra.

Barbie,Licca-chan,Monster High

The other day I bought a Barbie doll. The doll was 8000 yen. I really hesitated. I thought about it for 4, 5 days before finally making the purchase. The Barbie is gorgeous.

↑A gorgious Barbie

After Barbie, I bought Licca-chan which is a popular doll in Japan and Licca-chan’s clothes. Many seller sell Licca-chan’s hand-made clothes in “mercari”.
I have found that I like playing dress-up dolls even though I am an adult.

One day I found a series of dolls called “Monster High Dolls” in mercari. The dolls belong to an American fashion doll series created by Mattel. I like the doll’s figure and clothes. I bought 6 “Mon-high” dolls.

↑Monster High Dolls

I am addicted to “mercari”

Now I am addicted to “mercari”, though I haven’t even started selling anything yet! My original goal was to get rid of things, but now it seems like I am getting more stuff! It is totally against my will!
By the way, as I started to use “mercari”, I realized that I’m just not good at packing stuff. It is too much hassle to pick the right box for the item and getting the bubble wrap and all that.
But I will try to sell my things since I learned how to pack goods from many sellers.

Small joy!!(2019.12.24)

2019-12-24 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#804 “Hanaragu manju” and Japanese “manju” communication

“Hanaragu manju” in Hanazono

Today I’d like to introduce the “Hanaragu manju” to you.
It is a sweet bean confectionary made by a pastry shop “KINUYA” near the Hanazono rugby stadium. Since the shape of the confectionary looks like a rugby ball. It is popular as a souvenir for rugby fans. Their homepage says that the inside is green peas paste which is inspired by the green grass in rugby field.

↑The shape is a rugby ball.

↑The inside is green peas paste which is inspired by the green grass in rugby field.

I bought a 3-piece package(360 yen, tax not included), when I went to see the game Kintetsu Liners vs Toyota industries corporation shuttles on Nov. 24th. (the game’s result was 33-22)
The day was Thompson Luke’s last game in his home ground “Hanazono”. He was a member of the Japan national rugby union team. He is a very popular player.

“Manju” is one of the Japanese communications

Now let’s go back to the “manju.”
For those who have lived in Japan for a long time, you would know that most “manju” taste the same. This one is no exception. Although it does have a cute appearance, the taste is quite ordinary.
I think when people buy this souvenir, they are not going after the taste. It is the look that attracts the customers. If you know anyone who is a rugby fan, this souvenir would be a perfect gift.

When Japanese buys “manju” as souvenir, they are usually not looking for the taste. Instead, they are telling the receiver that we thought of you during the trip. This is the unique Japanese “manju communication”.

Small joy!!(2019.11.29)

2019-12-11 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


My first time seeing an opera in kimono ~ the “Teatro Verdi Trieste”(椿姫) ~

Have you been to an Opera?

I went to see the “Teatro Verdi Trieste”(椿姫) opera at the Osaka festival hall with my friend last Saturday.
This is my first time seeing an opera.

My friend and I promised each other to wear kimono to the opera.
She showed up with an orange kimono. She was very beautiful. I wore a blue kimono and black kimono belt with bats design embroidery. I saw some other people were also wearing kimono.

Italian songs and Japanese translation

Although our seats were on the 3rd floor, we were at the front row. So I could see the orchestra pit and the stage very well.
The opera was Italian, but we could see Japanese translation on the side of the stage. Since I don’t speak Italian, the translation really helped me a lot to understand the story. Actually it was a bit busy to read the translation and watch the play at the same time.

The performance of the casts was stunning! The main cast, Marina Rebeka as Violetta, sang amazingly even when she was lying on the ground. I was overwhelmed by her breathtaking performance.

The total time was almost 3 hours

The time allocation of the opera was quite interesting. Act one was 30 mins, Act two was 65 mins, Act three was 30 mins. There were 20 mins breaks in between each Act. So the total time was almost 3 hours.
It didn’t feel that long at all. I really enjoyed this opera. I want to see another one again soon if I have the chance.

After the opera, we were a bit hungry so we went to a stand-up sushi bar. You see, we are two ladies, dressed in kimono, eating at a sushi bar after watching an opera. It is pretty stylish and cool, right!?

Small joy!!(2019.11.9)

2019-11-25 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#806 Let’s watch the Rugby World Cup game at a British pub

I went to a British pub to watch the Rugby World Cup game

I went to a British pub “HUB” in Kyoto with my friend to watch the Rugby World Cup game. The game was the semi final, England vs New Zealand.
Even though the game started at 5 pm, we got to the pub at 4 pm to grab our seats. There were already many customers at the pub, most of them were foreigners. Luckily we got one of the last few empty tables.
Some customers were wearing black t-shirts, of course they were All blacks fans. White t-shirts fans were England supporters. They were already drinking beer and wine.
One hour before the game, my friend and I had some fish & chips, pizza, Doritos and drinks.
It was exciting to wait for the start of the game.

When the TV started playing England’s national anthem, some customers stood up and sang it loudly together. On the other hand, nobody sang when the New Zealand anthem played on TV. Maybe Kiwi are shy people.

England beat New Zealand

In the first half, England dominated the game with 10-0. I heard England supporters shouted many times.

There were so crowded in the pub and many foreign supporters who couldn’t get tables were watching TV through the large window from outside.

In the second half, right before the All Blacks tried, suddenly the TV screen went off for a few seconds. Everyone shouted and booed. Nobody could watch the All Blacks first try.

In the end, England beat New Zealand, 19-7. New Zealand missed the historic chance to win the World Cup 3 times in a row.

I was surprised that New Zealand lost.

↑Kyoto Tower

Small joy!!(2019.10.26)

2019-11-11 | Posted in English2 Comments »