Wednesday, 17 October 2007

What's The Pointo (Kado) ?

Who doesn't like getting points?

From what you'll find from living in Japan, the Japanese like getting them like nothing else. At least that's the impression you get from the amount of Point Cards you'll acquire after a relatively short time being here.

Back home in Australia, the most obvious points reward program is called "Fly Buys", which is a consumer reward system that if you earn enough points you can get FREE stuff. It's much the same principle here.

For example, if I spend say $1000 dollars at the local Keikyu supermarket, I am entitled to the equivalent of a $5 voucher. Great stuff huh?

I know I should be wary of it, but I remember not so long ago the first time the checkout chick at the supermarket asked if I had one. Back then, to these ears she may as well have said, "bricks are heavy", 'cause the only response I could give was "huh?", to which she was probably thinking "stupid gaijin", and proceeded to put my items through.

Now I know better I proudly thrust my blue point card her way, sometimes before she has the chance to even ask. That's called "knowing the drill", and I got it down pat now. I used it this afternoon just to buy a dozen eggs for 158 yen.

Before I left Yokohama to go home tonight, I mosied into the Yodobashi Camera to get some blank DVDs yes, but also I'm on a mission to get hold of yet another card. The coveted, "GOLD Yodobashi Point Card"!

After finally choosing what I was after, I looked for a checkout operator that looked like he knew english. No, the fat ugly sumo girl would not do at all.

I asked "Pointo Kado o kudasai". He understood. Cool, I'm getting this japanese speaking thing pretty easy now huh? I showed him my gaijin card and let him write my address and details for the card. He DID say in english, "phone number?", but apart from that I was communicating to the japanese in their native language!

So.. I now proudly have yet another point card to add to the landfill of point cards in my collection. I am becoming more japanese by the day.

Oh, before I forget. We have a new flatmate in Tomioka from the UK that seems ok. Another fly caught in the Tomioka web.