Saturday, February 09, 2008


So, yes, I got a daytime job. But I don’t feel like going “hurray!!” because I remember how it was when I got my previous job at the bento shop which closed last month. I was like “Hurray! I got a job! I know there’s gonna be a big challenge but I’ll do my best.” And I drew hundreds of bento illustrations at home every day to memorise how to pack different kinds of bentos. OK, I exaggerated. Not hundreds, but at least more than 10 illustrations every day.

But the staff there quit one after another. The work shift got chaotic. One week I worked seven days a week. Many times I had to prepare the food that I was never taught how to cook. Many times I went to work one hour earlier than when I was expected to be at work because the workload was too much. And the worst thing was that after all that hard work, I couldn’t feel rewarded in any way. But at least I got paid for that so I guess I should be happy.

Starting this coming Tuesday, at my new job at a nearby supermarket, I’ll be cooking take-home side dishes from 7 am to 11 am, or longer. Well, at least, that was what I was told at the interview last week. But I'm ready for surprises -- not necessarily pleasant ones. I hate to sound pessimistic, but right now I just don’t feel like picturing a rosy future… Maybe the weather is making me feel this way now. It’s cold, it’s raining, and I need to go to the dentist’s this morning. Yeah, I’m trying to get several things done before I get busy working two jobs a day. I also had my hair dyed and cut yesterday.

... How long would I have to keep juggling two jobs to live a low-income life like this? I often feel like yelling, "Enough!"

posted by obachan, 2/09/2008 08:22:00 AM


Dear Obachan,

Good luck in your new job.

I found your blog recently and have much enjoyed the story of pinoko. I also love your photos. You seem to be a rather talented artist judging from those and your watercolours. Also, your English is amazingly natural (makes me wonder why you don't find some translation work).

There is a strong element of mystery to your blog, which I enjoy. I wonder what your "better future" is, exactly, but of course it's best not to chatter about your private dreams.

Thanks for writing this most enjoyable blog and giving us an insight into what it's like to be you. I look forward to hearing about the supermarket job. Lucky customers, to have their side-dishes cooked by you!
commented by Blogger Nellig, 2/10/2008 7:40 PM  
Thank you so much, Nellig :)
commented by Blogger obachan, 3/05/2008 7:41 PM  
Dear Obachan,

I have moved to US 20 years ago and have been working here ever since, so when I read your blog, I was surprised to find out that you spent a relatively short period of time in US because your English sounds very natural. As nellig suggested, you should explore ways to get in translation work as you have natural language skills. I know you can take some correspondence course to learn translation skills; my sister who lives in Japan has done it in the past. After completing the course, she started working on short assignments.

commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 3/10/2008 7:03 AM  
Hi Obachan,

Good luck to your new job.It was a great pleasure to read your Kitchen and Balcony Garden.I found it by chance while I was looking for information about Wagashi last evening.Not only it is very enjoyable to read but also reminds me my little sister have more or less situation like you.Same age (1963)constantly working after university,quitted old job and wish to find a better one(not money but more ideal one),but without much luck. I have read a few articles only but I just can't resist to response to you earlier for the appreciation of your blog.Keep up the good work.Very well done!

Ordhids Nut Michelle
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 3/29/2008 5:44 AM  

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