Tag Archives: shopping

I Didn’t Want to Leave the Bookstore

Today, while my wife was writing an English assessment test, I walked around downtown Edmonton for a while, and I found myself in a Coles bookstore. I made my way to the science fiction and fantasy section, as I always do in a bookstore. I didn’t want to leave.

It’s been so long since I’ve been able to look around in a bookstore in Canada. What I found was a huge selection of books larger than I have seen in a very long time. There were so many books! The feeling I felt was indescribable. I wanted to look at each individual book, but my time was short. I felt a sense of calm and a very strong desire to read.

How do you feel when you’re in a bookstore? Which section attracts you?

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Getting Used to Canada Again

The big skies of Alberta are so different than the building-restricted skies of Japan. The clouds are different. But I know the clouds can be incredible in summer.

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That’s just one difference I can easily get used to. But what about everything else?

So far, supermarkets are no problem. I haven’t used Tap yet, as my bank card doesn’t appear to be activated yet. I have to get that done tomorrow. But the content of supermarkets and Costco are much the same as what I remember with a few differences. A lot more flavours of potato chips, for one thing. Also, we are living in Mill Woods, which has a large Indian population, so lots of Indian foods in the supermarkets.

Getting registered for health insurance was interesting, but turned out to be no problem.

Early closing times on weekends are difficult to get used to. In Japan, everything is open as late as weekdays. Here, everything closes around 5 pm. Very annoying.

The weather hasn’t really been any different than in Japan. It’s been kind of warm. But the sunset is much, much later. Sunrise is a bit later, though.

I thought I’d hear a lot more English than I do now. Actually, this neighbourhood has a lot of Punjabi.

I think the biggest thing I have to get used to at the moment is what to say while shopping. At the cashier, there’s a lot of small talk. Nothing is said in Japan.

Well, there’s more to get used to in the coming days. There’s a bit of exciting news in the next post, coming up soon! If you have any comments, let me know in the comments below.

Do Book Covers Matter to You?

When you’re looking through a bookstore, seeing if there are any interesting books to buy, the cover is one of the first things you notice. But is it really that important when you decide whether to buy a book or not? What about eBooks? Does the cover matter?

I find I don’t look at the cover so much as I read the book’s back cover description for eBooks. I often look at covers for print books, though. But I always go to the back cover to read it. Often, the title is what attracts me to it. If it’s by an author I like, the cover usually doesn’t matter at all.

What about you? What’s the most important thing for you when you buy a print book and an eBook? Let me know in the comments below.

My Post 1,500 Wishlist for 2016

This is the 1,500th post on this blog! So, instead of thanking everyone, I’m going to be selfish. This is what I want to get in 2016.

  • All the Star Trek TV series and movies on DVD
  • Cards Against Humanity
  • SimCity 4 (again)
  • No Man’s Sky
  • A car
  • A lot of books for very good sci-fi and fantasy series I haven’t bought yet
  • Watch an Oilers game in the new Rogers Place
  • See Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • See Batman v Superman: The Dawn of Justice
  • See a lot of movies, actually
  • Finally get some major progress done on my writing (okay, so this isn’t something I’m buying or paying for)

Another thing I want is to have another amazing year blogging and interacting with my wonderful readers even more. Is that being selfish? I feel great satisfaction when you are satisfied. So, I hope you’re satisfied with this blog next year.

But really, thanks to everyone for reading. I wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for all of you.

Is there something you want to get next year? Let me know in the comments below.

Sightseeing Begins!

So, today is our first real day of sightseeing. Yesterday, we went to Costco. Nothing exciting to see there. Just shopping for two weeks’ worth of food. Last night, we did all of our planning. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit everything into the two weeks. And tomorrow is raining, and we needed to do something family friendly that’s indoors, so no sightseeing.

Today, our plan is to go to Yokohama, around the Minatomirai area. We’ll be going to World Festa Yokohama 2015, where we’ll enjoy food, culture, and music from around the world. Then on to Cosmo World, where we might go on the Cosmo Clock (it’s really up to my sister). Then we get to go shopping a bit and see the Yokohama Museum of Art. And that will be it.

What do you think of this plan?

Human Behaviour Mysteries

As you may know, I live in Japan.  Japan is a country where people are often very orderly, queuing in neat lines for the bus, restaurants, or the train.  It’s a place where everyone apologises if they accidentally bump into someone, no matter who was at fault.  It’s a place where shop staff always say thank you.  Sounds so polite, doesn’t it?  It’s very orderly, isn’t it?

Well, I’ll tell you something, there are certain places where this politeness and orderliness break down.  I’m not saying this is a Japan only thing, as I’m sure it happens all around the world.  Here are some examples.

In trains, people sit or stand without making eye contact and minding their own business.  But when getting on or off the train, people become maniacs.  They rush for a seat and they push people out of the way.  For example, whenever I get off the train, there’s always someone standing in the middle trying to push his or her way on.  I have to push the person out of the way to get off the train.  Another example is when a pregnant woman was about to sit down on the seat and a middle-aged businessman rushed on the train, slipped behind her, and sat down.  She had nowhere to sit.  I was standing, so I couldn’t offer her a seat.  If this were Canada, other passengers would’ve forced the man off the train for being an inconsiderate asshole.  What is it about trains that makes people go insane?

Driving in Japan is mostly safe.  People obey the rules, usually.  The exceptions are at intersections.  It never fails that someone runs a red light or completely ignores the pedestrians trying to cross at a crosswalk.  Four times one year, I was crossing a crosswalk at an intersection on a walk signal, and someone had to be so oblivious to the pedestrian walking directly in front of them that they nearly hit me. That’s four times!  The worst was when a woman stopped 10 centimetres from me.  She refused to look at me or even apologise.  I stood there for about five seconds staring at her.  Not one acknowledgment of making a mistake.  As for running red lights, one guy nearly hit me and a teenager already in the crosswalk while driving on the wrong side of the road.  He was trying to go between us.  I could have kicked his car.  I should have.

Finally, we have shopping.  But not just anywhere.  Costco.  In most stores, people are fine, but in supermarkets, I sometimes have to ask people to move out of the way when I want to get past.  But in Costco, which is where I was today, everyone seems to move in random directions, walk incredibly slow, and block the entire way by parking their carts in the middle, perpendicular or diagonally to the flow of people.  And not just one person does this.  Three or four people gather in one spot and just stand there looking like they have no idea where they are.  I’m looking at them, but they don’t seem to notice me standing there waiting for one of them to move.  It’s not just double-parking, it’s quadruple-parking.  I always feel compelled to move to the side so others can go past me.  But why is it that shoppers in Costco have absolutely no common sense?

Writers have to understand human behaviour, right?  But what about in these cases?  I don’t think like these people, so I often feel completely baffled by what goes on in their minds.

Do you have any more examples?