Had an amusing moment with some level 7 vocab

On my first trip to Japan, I found myself wrapped up in a rather amusing moment while picking out souvenirs at the Tōdai-ji temple in Nara. Imagine me, a week into my Japanese journey, feeling somewhat confident with my basic shopping vocabulary. Phrases like “Do you accept card?”, “I don’t need a bag, thanks”, and the classic “Give me a moment” (as I invariably scramble for coins) had become part of my daily interactions.

So there I was, just outside the temple, in a small shop manned by a kindly elderly lady. As usual, I was rummaging for coins, trying to piece together my payment. In an attempt to communicate, I ended up using a level 7 phrase I didn’t think would come in handy - 内ポケット (inner pocket). With a mix of pride and nervousness, I said, “ちょっと待ってください、内ポケットがたくさんあります” (Just a moment please, I have a lot of inner pockets).

This seemed to tickle the shopkeeper, sparking a curiosity that perhaps I wasn’t just another tourist. When she asked if I lived in Japan, I couldn’t help but feel a little sense of achievement. It was a small, unexpected moment that made me feel a bit more connected to the place and its people.


Now you have me wondering whether any of the deer may give you a 上手 for your efforts.

OK, I haven’t been in Nara for many, many years - and so to be sure, my memories of having spoken with some of the deer may be just a bit jumbled :innocent: