My name is Mimi. I work at Doutor, a Japanese version of Starbucks. I am proud to work at a Japanese company, even if it is a copycat of the original.
Café latte. Mache latte. Hotto. Shorto. Milano sando, A, B, C. That’s the daily routine.
I am rather “TJ”, typically Japanese. I am a perfectionist. My daily dream is to make the perfect café latte, full to the brim, without spilling a drop. And I then I draw a little cat using the black coffee in the foam. It’s so “kawaii”, or cute as you say in English.
My colleagues are lots of fun. Mainly girls, but there are two young guys who are more feminine than us girls. One of my colleagues is Chinese. She speaks perfect Japanese and English. It’s a bit embarrassing because we Japanese barely speak a word of English, let alone Chinese. She even uses an English first name, “Sandy”.
Sandy came to Japan on a trainee visa. But she is not really a trainee. She does a normal job like us, but gets paid half the salary. It’s not really fair, although she’s not a perfectionist like us.
My father told me to be careful about Sandy. He’s convinced that China is plotting to invade Japan in about ten years, or even less.
I am sure that I could get a better job if I tried. But I am happy here. We have lots of fun. And the customers are great, especially the Westerners who talk with us and flirt with us. From what I can see, Sophia is the only one to be invited out by a customer. I don’t know why.
In fact, there are not many other good jobs on the market. Everything now seems to be temporary work. You get a two month contract, and they renew it if they like you. In fact, I am not working for Doutor, I am employed by an agency that has a contract with Doutor.
My parents are pushing me to get a decent job. After all, I have a Masters degree in sociology from Keio University. Sociology is interesting, but you can’t do much with that.
Anyway, I don’t want to live like my parents. Dad is always at work, I never see him. In fact, I barely know him. When he is not at work, he is drinking with his colleagues. Then on the weekend he sleeps all the time.
My mother is always complaining about the smell of perfume on my father’s clothes. And then the other day, I heard her yelling at him -- something about a Louis Vuitton handbag on his credit card bill. Who on earth could he have bought that for?
Anyway, my parents don’t spend much time together. My mother doesn’t work, she gave up work when she had me. We spend lots of time together as I am the only child. When I was younger, she was really busy because she had to look after both my father’s parents and her parents. What an ordeal! But now they have passed away.
These days my mother goes out a lot with her girlfriends, shopping, restaurants and movies. I think that she spends lots of money. But she runs the household budget, and no-one knows the details. I think that she made a killing by investing on the stock exchange, but she won’t talk about it. She gives my father monthly pocket money -- 50,000 yen a month. That’s a lot, many husbands only get 20,000 yen. But it keeps my father off her back.
My mother also goes to Europe on holidays with her girlfriends. I think that she has lots of fun, although she doesn’t talk to me about it. Do you think that she has a boyfriend?
All things considered, I am happy. Living at home is easy. At the age of 30, may be I am a bit old to be living at home. But I get by quite well. I go out with my girlfriends on the weekends. I don’t have a boyfriend yet. In fact, I don’t like boys much. Japanese boys are so effeminate. Then there are the older salarymen who chase young girls. They’re terrible.
The other day, I went out to the movies with an American boy. He touched my legs when the lights went out. I didn’t know what to do. I am still a virgin. I don’t even feel sexy.
Anyway, he didn’t push. He’s a nice boy. I hope that he calls me again. I would like to get married and have a family one day. Too many Japanese girls wait too long and miss the boat.