Posts Tagged discount food

June 11, 2004 – Avoid 50% off sashimi at all costs

After work last night I once again found myself at Daiei’s supermarket looking for some discount food. I decided on a delicious looking rice bowl covered in sashimi (raw fish). It had been marked down 50% because it had been sitting in the deli section unsold for the entire day. 50% is the maximum discount that Daiei gives, so I was pretty excited to dig into my giant fishy rice bowl.

I woke up this morning feeling terrible. My stomach was not happy with me, and after making three rapid trips to the bathroom I decided to call in sick and go back to bed.

After a day of sleeping and running to the bathroom, I finally felt well enough to get out and rent some movies. I spent my evening watching Terminator 3 (not nearly as good as 1 and 2) and Dreamcatcher (not as good as the book).

(2014 Update) Calling in sick at NOVA was fairly easy and painless. An English speaking operator answers and asks for your name, your branch, and the reason for missing work. If you sound particularly sick they also ask if you need any further assistance. As long as you call before certain times (8:30 for early shift, 10:00 for afternoon shifts) there is no penalty for missing your shift, other than not getting paid.

When I told them that I wouldn’t be showing up due to discount sashimi, they didn’t sound impressed. I found out later that sushi and sashimi were by far the most common reasons that teachers would give for missing work. Japan has fairly high food safety standards, so it is likely that some of the sushi and sashimi calls were actually booze related.

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December 20, 2003 – Half price sashimi isn’t always a good idea

50% discount sticker

At about 1:15am, the half price sashimi rice bowl I ate last night decided that it didn’t want to stay eaten. That began a few very unpleasant hours that I will decide not to share the details about.

I woke up early, decided I still felt terrible, and proceeded to call in sick to NOVA. My reason for not being able to work was “I ate bad half price sashimi and was suffering all night”. Apparently having stomach issues due to sashimi was the most common reason for calling in sick at NOVA. I am not sure if they actually believed me or just thought that I drank too much the night before.

After the call, I spent my day sleeping, playing old video games in my room and then sleeping more. Whee!

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Life in Noborito – Daiei Department Store

Daiei near Mukogaokayuen station in Kawasaki Japan

Daiei near Mukogaokayuen station in Kawasaki Japan

One of the most important places in the Noborito area was the Daiei Department store. The Daiei building contained a department store, 99 yen shop and grocery store, all of which were important for daily life in Hello House. The closest Daiei was about a 5 minute walk from Hello House, directly across from Mukogaokayuen station.

During my first week in Noborito I stocked up on stuff for my room at the 99 yen store. Over the next year I ended up buying a small floor couch that folds down into a matress, a small stereo, a Playstation 2 and other items to decorate my room. There was a small photo studio outside the main entrance that I used regularly. For those too young to remember, cameras used to require film. Once the film was used up, you needed to take it somewhere to get developed and turned into prints. I paid extra for digital copies of my pictures on CD.

The grocery store was the most common place that I visited at Daiei. It was a well stocked regular grocery store with a large deli section filled with ready to eat bentos and other food. The food was prepared daily, so it needed to be sold before the end of the day. Starting around 8:00pm, one of the employees would walk around with discount stickers for the food. Discounts would start at 10% and increase regularly after that to a maximum of 50%. It was not uncommon to see a crowd of hungry salarymen (and a few English teachers) following the discount sticker guy around the store.

The only downside of the Daiei store was the annoying music. Certain areas of the grocery store would have their own music that would play over and over until it was firmly stuck in your head. To this day I remember the songs for the meat and fish sections. The worst was the Daiei Hawks victory song. Deiei used to own the Daiei Hawks baseball team, who are now known as the SoftBank Hawks. In 2003 The Hawks won the Japan Series title and the store did nothing but play the stupid Hawks song on repeat. I feel bad for the employees who had to endure the song day after day.

Having a department store nearby was one of the great things about living in Noborito, and went a long way in making my time in Kawasaki enjoyable.

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