Garandee is lucky communication is never a problem here in the Philippines. Almost everything is in ENGLISH! It's actually the main reason why we now bump into South Koreans in every corner. ANNYONG HASEYO!!
I wish I could say the same whenever I visit Japan though...
When I went to Kobe on business trip, Garandee asked me to buy an anti-itch lotion to bring back to Manila. So I went over to the pharmacy, and when I was about to ask the lady pharmacist... I totally forgot the brand name!
I remember Garandee wrote it down on a torn McDonald's receipt and put it in my wallet. But she put it between the bills and not in the more secure pockets at the front. It was destined to get lost!
*gulp* I am so in trouble...
Close to panic, I can only remember one Japanese word that was most relevant to what I was trying to purchase... kayumi = itch
Garando: "uhhhh... annnnoooo..... kayumi bye-bye kudasai?"
Garando: (let me try again...) "ehem, kayumi bye-bye kudasai??"
That did it! The pharmacist walked to the back, looks like she was off to get the lotion.
But when she came back, she now had a colleague with her... to help decipher what the hell I was talking about. I watched them talk to each other:
Pharmacist 1: "bla bla bla bla bla bla bla kayumi bye-bye?"
Phramacist 2: "eeeehh???"
Still no luck, they called in the heavy artillery: a 70 year-old bald man in a white lab coat, who can be either a mad scientist or the store owner himself.
Store owner: "I'm sorry, what is problem please?"
Problem?? I had to think fast before they finally decide to call the police...
IT'S TIME FOR CHARADES!!
1) I pulled up my sleeves and scratched the hell out of my left arm and said "kayumi!!"
2) I acted like I was putting some kind of lotion on it....
3) I put the invisible lotion in my pocket, used my right hand to wave goodbye to my left arm and said, "bye-bye!!"
Pharmacist 1: " ... "
Pharmacist 2: " ... "
Store owner: " ... " (insert cricket sound here)
another 3 seconds pass...
All three of them went "Ah!!" and burst out laughing. The store owner ducked under the counter and pulled out one, glimmering bottle of anti-itch. "650 Yen please..."
edit: Garandee told me that there's actually an itch lotion brand called "Kayumi Bye-bye". Cool.
...going to office on a Monday