コンビニ人間: Week 10 Discussion

Isn’t that what is being explained in this sentence? :thinking:

お釣りが出る商品券だから - That’s because it’s a money-returning gift certificate

is how I read it (but I’m out of context, so please ignore if I misinterpret it…)

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Eh, this dialogue doesn’t have too much context anyway beside what I quoted.

So, at first I thought it’s a gift voucher - a type where you can buy products for X money in a specific shop.
In Poland, you can’t get any cash from this type of voucher, you either lose the remaining small amount or buy something a little more expensive and pay the difference yourself.
(Or of course, ideally, buy the product which costs the exact amount specified on the voucher.)

But after your reply I’m having doubts if it isn’t a different kind of voucher, maybe something related to money-returning itself, as you said.

I checked both translations I have an access to.

English: “This is a money-back voucher. Give them their change, okay?”
Polish: “Widzisz, to taki bon, z którego wydaje się resztę. Nie zapomnij o niej, dobrze?”
My (literal for the sake of discussion) translation of Polish version: “You see, it’s a kind of voucher, from which you give a customer their change. Don’t forget about it, okay?”

…And now I’m feeling ever more unsure, and I guess I want to give up, it’s not that important anyway. :sweat_smile:

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For me the English, the Japanese and your translation match up perfectly :wink:
I imagine this to be a kind of special voucher where you get the surplus money back if you choose to hand it in for an item with a price lower than the voucher‘s value. I have not heard of these so far, and I guess they‘d be illegal in Europe because of anti money laundering laws. But in principle a voucher is just a contract which can take all sorts of shapes :woman_shrugging:

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I used to get gift cards for the (german) mall in my city and I typically just got some chewing gum because they’dgive me the change in cash. So I’ve definitely had this kind of interaction before.

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… I’m still confused what it means, ha. Enlighten me?

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https://jisho.org/word/POP広告

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I agree with your interpretation! I found it quite sad the way she was paying attention to what was happening in the back room (most probably talking and laughing about her).

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Ooooooookay, I caught up with the reading this week and read through the thoughts posted here, so here’s my two cents.

Click to read my two cents :

First of all, I can’t necessarily blame her friends for bringing up the anecdote about the friend whose husband changed when she became pregnant. They’re all assuming Shiraha is somewhat normal, but perhaps just lazy. Because Keiko only divulges the bare necessities of details, they’re filling the rest in (much like her sister did). I don’t necessarily agree with their perspective; pretty risky to just hope someone being a light weight in the relationship will change their tune once a baby’s in the picture, but whatever. Their reaction came off to me more like the sister’s: they’re happy for Keiko and trying to be helpful, since they know she doesn’t have any experience in romantic relationships.

Now, the convenience store section. Holy moly, was I tense throughout this part. The second she said, “Shall I take (Shiraha’s stuff) with me?” I was like, “Girl, you know you can’t lie on the spot! Why, Keiko?!” :fearful: I found it interesting that the manager assumed she was going out with Shiraha just because she left without answering his question right away; she gave a valid excuse for leaving, and knowing Keiko, I probably would have thought that she was just trying to be helpful and volunteering to go to Shiraha’s address and drop his stuff off.

So our girl Keiko is doing her best to help out at the registers because Izumi’s too busy with beverage orders to notice the chaos, and then she heads into the back room and spends her time gossiping with the manager, leaving the newbie and Keiko to fend for themselves? :unamused: Honestly, I thought from the start that she was aware that Keiko was a little different from other people, so when she said 「お似合いなんだけど!」, I didn’t take it as, “She’s happy for Keiko,” but more like, “She thinks they’re good for each other because they’re both strange.” The fact that Keiko thinks she hears Izumi laughing and her and the manager stay in the back room the whole time tells me they’re likely poking fun at the situation.

Keiko’s reaction…I think it’s from mutliple things boiling over at once. They have to sell 100 からあげ棒, none of which have been made; those two are in the back, not lifting a finger to help the whole time; the only person who’s helping her doesn’t understand Japanese well; she’s regretting letting the Shiraha situation slip out; and she knows something’s off. Whether Keiko understands the nuance of the manager and Izumi’s reactions, I don’t know, but I think she’s aware that the way they reacted was less than ideal. Maybe it has more to do with “Shiraha said not to let people who know him know,” but I also kind of think she feels embarrassed (私が血相を変えて). If it was just about messing things up for Shiraha, I don’t think she’d be as affected by the reactions as she is. The last sentence, too–sooooo relatable. I remember being embarrassed by something in elementary school, and all the kids except one of my friends laughed at me, and that was the same exact feeling I had.

Anyway, I hate everyone except トゥアンくん, and Keiko should grace a different コンビニ with her work ethic.


Edit: 沢口さん is okay, too, since they worked overtime to make all those signs.

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Yes, this phrase is a sad reveal that Keiko only thought that she’s blending very well at least in konbini, when in fact they were thinking of her as strange all along :pensive:

100% agree :100:

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Catching up with this week, and this has been all kinds of uncomfortable. The party with her friends and the incident at the konbini were things that really aren’t surprising in their outcomes. Keiko is somebody who’s lived her entire life dictated by the pacing and preferences of those around her. Doesn’t help that the one time in her adult life she’s shown to take initiative, it’s in the most startling way possible.

For Keiko, this change in her life is logical and straightforward. She inhabits an EXTREMELY different set of values and mirrors what goes on around her without truly internalizing how they fit into other peoples’ “standards”.

Because of this, I’d say that both sides have some truth to them re: her desperation with the karaage situation. Yes, she’s uncomfortable with people prying into her life and questioning her choices, but at the same time the ONE place that made sense to her is rapidly coming apart because of something that she did. After spending your entire life avoiding risk, the one time where Keiko takes a risk has resulted in severe destabilization, which would just feel awful.

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Honestly I kind of expected something like that ever since they were talking a lot of smack about Shiraha behind his back. Although it was somewhat deserved, it still surprised me that they were going on for quite a bit (I could understand their reactions when he slacked off etc., but IMO you can tell quite a lot about a character by how much he likes to talk behind someones back). I don’t know, if they were also gossiping about Keiko’s “relationship” and maybe it will be covered in the next few pages, but that doesn’t make it any better, since they could’ve just helped with the work.

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Excellent point. She hasn’t made such a bold decision since she first decided to apply at the コンビニ, and for her, that was the most positive life change she’d made. That may have been the only decision of her adult life that was more dictated by a truly personal preference rather than strongly from the desire to fit in with the rest of society. You’re also spot-on about her sense of values and how she mirrors things. She treated the move with Shiraha like any other logical next step to get people to stop questioning her. Ah, if only her sister had been more of a listener than a talker! Maybe Keiko could’ve explained the situation more and her sister could’ve given her some decent advice about choosing “romantic” partners. Then again, this could really help Keiko start to question the relationships she has in her life, and maybe push her to live for herself rather than others. Or it’ll all spiral into a complete mess, but I’m hoping for her happiness, whatever that ends up looking like.

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(take two, in the right thread this time!)

This was one of my favourite weeks so far: I felt like things that had previously just simmered in the background, finally came to a head. I found it interesting to finally see Keiko come to a boiling point - I had expected her to feel this type of frustration when dealing with Shiroha at the convenience store (and he was being generally useless), but as other’s have said, I think it’s all the things accumulated. The other part I found interesting is when talking to her friends, how she notes that they just project all these things onto her, to the point that it’s like she listening to them talk about fictionalized version of herself and Shiroha. What I’m interested in seeing is how her experience at the convenience store will colour her perception of him staying at her place.

Does this perhaps mark the beginning of the end of her love of the convenience store? Can’t wait to read the next part.

This was also one of the easiest weeks reading-wise. My one sticky point was actually the first sentence!

ほとんど、詐欺師をそれとわかっていて家に住まわせるような感覚で白羽さんを家に置き始めた私だが、意外と、白羽さんの言うことは当たっていた。

My attempt to break it down

ほとんど = Practically
詐欺師を = swindler
それとわかっていて = understood (not sure what それと is adding)
家に住まわせるような = Let stay at the house
感覚で = Feeling
白羽さんを家に置き始めた =Leave
私だが = I, however
意外と = unexpectedly
白羽さんの言うことは = Thing Shiraha said
当たっていた。= To be right

“Practically, with a feeling of having let a swindler stay at my house, I started keeping Shiraha at my house but unexpectedly, what Shiraha said was correct”

Bonus round:
すごい、これ、全部作りマスカ
Me when I first read this: wait, what word is that at the end? looks up the word in the dictionary
Me once I read the next sentence: oooooh, it’s supposed to be broken Japanese. Ha.

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These 私-modifying phrases just get crazier and crazier. Is this common in all first-person writing or is it particular to Murata’s style?

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I thought this was a very interesting sentence:

コンビニ店員にとって、いつも130のからあげ110のセールになるということより、店員店員のゴシップのほうが優先されるなんてありえないことだ。

It shows how far Keiko is removed from ‘normal’ people, both because she can’t relate to the fact that gossip is definitely more interesting than 110 yen karaage, and because it suggests once again that she seems to consider ‘convenience store people’ a ‘species’ of people in their own right (コンビニ店員にとって). They are expected to let go of any worldly (human!) desires and let the konbini define their entire identity, wants, needs, etc. Fascinating!

Did anyone ever found out whether this has any significance?

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Perhaps it’s because to the 面識のない人 he’s an 俺, but to the people at the convenience store, he’s a 僕.

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