Autumn (Tokyo Studio)

Shuubun: Beetles wall up their burrows/ azuki beans ripen (3 of 5)

October 2nd, 2008

Shuunbun 8 of 15A public gardening project in Shibuya involving the planting of sunflowers… perhaps by children?

Environmental issues have become quite prominent in Japan recently. Perhaps the unusally hot summer has brought global warming a little bit more to the forefront. ‘Eco’ is the new brand. The usage of plastic bags and packaging however does not seem have curbed. Everything comes with plastic: fruit, vegetables, groceries, cakes, socks, books, lunches…… Although some shop-keepers do ask you whether you want a bag whilst others are more unstoppable with their swift bagging. The local supermarket has ‘no bag’ tags at the counter. If you put this tag in your shopping basket, the check-out person then knows you don’t want a bag (and won’t give you one).

But in many other instances, you have to be quick with the ‘No, thank you’. But how to say ‘No, thank you in Japanese? ‘Iie’ (no) seems only to be an occassional word reserved for specific circumstances. I was advised that ‘Kekko desu’ (I’m good/ fine) is too ambigious; ‘Daijoubu desu’ (I’m okay, or it’s okay) can also be too vague; ‘Fukuro irimasen’ (I don’t need the bag) is spelling it out but sometimes hard to remember when you are fumbling with the change. I have learnt that gesturing e.g. the waving of the hand, or pointing to your own bag, works the best when combined with the phrases.

One Response to “Shuubun: Beetles wall up their burrows/ azuki beans ripen (3 of 5)”

  1. 1 Bec in Sydeny
    October 5th, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Hot and sticky Sydney: It’s bring-out-the-Mitchum-deodorant time again in Sydney.