I’ve decided to go back to Japan for a while because of COVID-19. It was a last minute decision, I hadn’t even thought of that a week ago, but I’m here in Japan now.
Right before I left Berlin, the situation was getting more and more serious every single day. Most of the shops: restaurants, bars, coffee shops, has closed or still open yet partially for just takeaway or in some way.
Though I expected the situation in Japan would be different from Europe, it was far more relaxed than I expected. I was trying to be calm when I was in Berlin while people were losing their minds, but I’m now trying not to lose any of a sense of danger.
Since coronavirus has been spreading in Europe, many items have been disappeared in shops and more and more shops are closing in the city every day.
Some of my Japanese friends have experienced racism. Though I haven’t experienced serious one, someone told me not to come close within 1m. On the other hand, another person gave me a handshake. That’s not special yet it means a lot to me now.
It’s not the end of the world, I still believe it’s precious to appreciate what you have. Don’t be suffer too much from what the media says, don’t let your fear controls you. Life goes on.
I caught a concert of Soft Crystals in which my friend plays the bess in the last week of February. It was a small venue, filled by the smell of cigarettes and noise of people talking around. It reminds me of small venues in Tokyo which I used to spend much time with my friends.
February always passes fast, even though we’ve got an extra day this year. I dug into my old external hard drive, in order to find songs I listened to a lot 4 years ago. The songs always give me a different impression as time goes by.
Since I had a little money, I started buying coffee beans at a coffee shop but a super market to treat myself. Ethiopian, this time.
I’ve got an idea of having a part-time job at the moment for a stable income. I chose one small local shop from the 15 coffee shops I’d visited, and asked the owner about the vacancy there. He led me to have a seat outside and talked for a couple minutes. He asked me a couple of basic things – how long I want to work, how long I’ve worked as a barista. After a pause, he stared at my eyes and said.
“I’d only like to work with really nice people. Not average, a nice person of nice people. How skilled you are is not a priority since you will develop if you have a proper practice. So please have a think that, whether you are confident of that. Please have a think for a day and text me.”
I thanked him and left the coffee shop. Then I started thinking whether I’m a nice person or not. I used to be confident of that – but I wonder if I’m still so. I’ve kind of lost the confidence struggling with living outside my home country and trying to be competitive among the international people. I kept thinking about it until 3 in the morning and replied to him that I’m confident with that.
I had a trial shift and he told me he wants to work with me – I also loved his attitude towards customers and coffee and that made me even more willing to work with him at the shop. After the event, I knew I’d like to be a nice person, as selfless as even I could influence someone’s ideas of their life.
I’ve been meeting really nice people – the owner, the monk, and the kids who are truly pure and nothing crafty behind. And now, come to think of it, this is a turning point to change my concept of personality as well as my life.
The track this week is a song from Private Lesson that I heard at one of my favourite coffee shops: Oslo Koffee Bar. The owner recently visited Tokyo and heard this song when he entered a record shop in Shibuya.
Japanglish this week
Thank you for following my work – see you next week. Have a lovely weekend.