A Walking Thing

Last week Jen bought a pedometer in her continued efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Well, I thought it was a grand idea, so I decided to get one for myself. So, on Thursday, I made my way into town and went to Tokyu Hands, this 5 floor department store that has everything known to mankind. I had asked Jen what floor the pedometers were on, but she couldn’t remember. The only thing she could remember was that they were near the heart rate machines. Now, that didn’t do me a lot of good because I had no idea where the heart rate machines were either.

I arrived at Tokyu Hands, checked out the floor guide, and made my way to what I presumed would be the correct floor. Japan is infamous for having about 500 employees per store to help you with your every need. I found an employee just standing by the floor guide on the 5th floor where I was, so I decided to ask where the pedometers were. But the problem was that I had absolutely no idea what the word for pedometer was. Here was our conversation in Japanese, conveniently translated into English for your reading enjoyment.

Rachael: Excuse me. Do you have walking thing?

Employee: stares blankly at me

Rachael: makes a small box on her waist and mimes walking: One, two, three, four, five

Employee: fjoeiwjfio;wefjkhvwriwoejfw,nvfkjdfkfwe ka?

Rachael: has absolutely no idea what she has just said, but knows that it was a question: Yes, yes. What floor is it?

Employee: makes a really big number five with her hand as though I were a small child: fifth floor

Rachael: Thank you very much.

Then the lady just proceeded to let me wander around and try to find it on my own. No joke after nearly a half hour and two trips to different floors just to be safe, and many repeated times of asking, “Do you have walking thing?” I finally found the heart rate machines. At that point, I wanted to jump up in joy. I think that I walked 10,000 steps just trying to find the dumb thing. But when I looked around, the pedometers were nowhere in sight. I was a little frustrated to say the least, but at least I learned that the Japanese for pedometer is manboke. So, I asked an employee one more time about the pedometers. He smiled and pointed to a spot that was three feet away totally in my sight…for real. I just laughed a lot and said thank you. He laughed as well, but in a very polite Japanese employee sort of way.

I started to browse, realized that all of the cool features for the various pedometers were in Japanese, so I went first by price range. I figured that more expensive ones probably had a lot more functions and were of a higher quality. Then I just chose what I thought to be the cutest looking pedometer.

And I tell you what, it was definitely a very good purchase because my pedometer is awesome and it’s definitely made me much more aware and conscious of how much I’m walking and how much I’m just sitting on my butt during the course of the day. Jen and I have set a 10,000 step goal for each day, and so far, we’ve done pretty well. Today I’m up to 13,500 steps. I definitely recommend everyone to buy a pedometer. Hopefully, you’ll have an easier time of it than I did!

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