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adventures of a half-chinese yalie in hollywood

Daiso My Gosh! You’ve Died and Gone to $1.50 Store Heaven

Daiso My Gosh! You’ve Died and Gone to $1.50 Store Heaven

In my last post, discussing Deepak’s and my love for Asian cuisine, I was ramping up to this: our discovery of the Japanese convenience store Daiso.

Lately, we’ve been expanding our yen (ha) for Asian goods in general. It was just last year that Deepak became a total devotee of Uniqlo. I’ve rarely see him not wearing a pair of their unforgiving jeans, muscle shirts or progeny-endangering skivvies (we need to talk about this) since.

Who is this man? The wife beater look always throws me off. To be fair, it was hot as a blast furnace in New York last July.
Who is this man? The wife beater look always throws me off. To be fair, New York was hotter than a blast furnace situated at Earth’s molten core last July.
For my part, I got this top at Uniqlo too. Guess how much? Hm? $.90!
For my part, I got this top at Uniqlo too. Guess how much? Hm? $.90!
The more neutral shades are less jarring.
The more neutral shades are less jarring.

Earlier this week, I was delighted to hear that my college friends Lauren and Chang, who now live in New York, would be coming to the L.A. area. Lauren’s family is from here, so I’d seen her once before, just after we graduated, but since then it has been a long, reunion-free spell with them. Making matters worse is the fact that Lauren and Chang both wisely exited Facebook — a surely laudable move — so in this passive-update Zeitgeist, I’ve felt particularly out of touch with them. This is absurd, but it’s almost as though they exist in a parallel universe: both because of the geographical separation and because I can’t conveniently track their peregrinations and publicly mediated life updates (“6:04 p.m. Lauren just took the quiz ‘What City Should You Actually Live In?’ and got Portland”), I feel even more detached.

Blog-appropriate: Lauren is on the left here, standing next to my sister Yee during a 2007 trip. They're hanging out in the courtyard of, appropriately, the Orange Dr. apartment that gives this blog its name.
Blog-appropriate: Lauren is on the left here, standing next to my sister Yee during a 2007 trip. They’re hanging out in the courtyard of, appropriately, the Orange Dr. apartment that gives this blog its name.
Another friend, Liz (left), and Lauren at an awkward house party, same year.
Another friend, Liz (left), and Lauren at an awkward house party, same year.
Digging back even further! In college, here is a throwback Couch of My Faves™: also featuring Rachel and Lexi, elsewhere mentioned on this blog. Lauren is the one taking a photo of my taking a photo.
Digging back even further! In college, here is a throwback Couch of My Faves™: also featuring Rachel and Lexi, elsewhere mentioned on this blog. Lauren is the one taking a photo of my taking a photo.
Throwback as all heck! An adorable photo of Lauren, in college, sending the most delightful SMS of her life.
Throwback as all heck! An adorable photo of Lauren, in college, sending the most delightful SMS of her life.
So we met at Little Osaka
So we met at Little Osaka
This photo was attempted several times. The final version allowed for suitably non-ghoulish lighting, under the klieg-like glow of Sushi Stop.
This photo was attempted several times. The final version allowed for suitably non-ghoulish lighting, under the klieg-like glow of Sushi Stop.
I am intruding ever so aggressively here
I am intruding ever so aggressively here
Of course, we returned to the Asian food well. Ramen, gyoza (and of course beer) were consumed.
Of course, we returned to the Asian food well. Ramen, gyoza (and of course beer) were consumed.

After dinner, it was off to Daiso: the brightly lit, well-organized (though claustrophobia-inducing) convenience store where most things were $1.50.

The tray literally has his name on it.
The tray literally has his name on it.
I'm the shopping angel on his shoulder, popping up to admonish: "We don't need that!"
I’m the shopping angel on his shoulder, popping up to admonish: “We don’t need that!”
We came in for gift wrap. And that's a wrap! We found it. Nope. Time to buy many more things we never knew about -- nor knew we desperately needed.
We came in for gift wrap. And that’s a wrap! We found it. Nope. Time to buy many more things we never knew about — nor knew we so desperately needed.
I tell Deepak this all the time: Food product "Best By" dates are for the weak.
I tell Deepak this all the time: Food product “Best By” dates are for the weak.
... how else do they keep prices down? Certainly by not adhering to widely accepted food safety rules.
… how else do they keep prices down? Certainly by not adhering to widely accepted food safety rules.
Don't miss the adorably translated labels.
Don’t miss the adorably translated labels.
And strangely named products.
And strangely named products.
Admittedly, you can see much weirder stuff elsewhere. But with no offense intended, I always considered "Engrish" bad translations to be more the purview of Chinese, not Japanese translators.
Admittedly, you can see much weirder stuff elsewhere. But with no offense intended, I always considered “Engrish” bad translations to be more the purview of Chinese, not Japanese translators.
Originally, we'd come in for small ice cube trays, suitable to freeze pureed ginger for ease of use in our daily chai-making habit.
Originally, we’d come in for small ice cube trays, suitable to freeze pureed ginger for ease of use in our daily chai-making habit.

2014-01-18 19.44.11

Inexplicably miniaturized, just like many kawaii Japanese items.
Inexplicably miniaturized, just like many kawaii Japanese items.
I don't understand this product. "When you don't want your earrings to stand out!" What? Why? Who -- besides people who just got their ears pierced <30 days ago and need to keep studs in to train the hole -- wouldn't just forgo earrings altogether if the situation called for a "subtle" look?!
I don’t understand this product. “When you don’t want your earrings to stand out!” What? Why? Who — besides people who just got their ears pierced fewer than 30 days ago and need to keep studs in to train the hole — wouldn’t just forgo earrings altogether if the situation called for a “subtle” look?
Inspecting the goods. Low price point notwithstanding, these Daiso items are supposed to be reasonably durable. We'll report back.
Inspecting the goods. Low price point notwithstanding, these Daiso items are supposed to be reasonably durable. We’ll report back.
Totally.
Totally.


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