（Contributed by Rintaro)
The other day, I had the pleasure of teaching a group lesson for the first time in a couple of months. Just as I was thrilled to be back, I was worried about at least one thing – internet connection. As it turned out, however, it was the least of my concerns because my headset started giving off a very unpleasant noise whenever I spoke. I had used the headset for more than a year by then, so I knew that I had to get a replacement.
This is where I faced the real challenge: how and where am I going to get a new headset in this city (Jakarta, Indonesia)? By then, I had learned that Indonesia does not have a go-to online shopping website such as the one I always use, and I was reminded how much I had enjoyed the convenient life back in Japan where you can buy just about anything – a 10kg bag of rice? Sure. A dozen refills for your favorite ball point pen? No problem. What’s more, if you have been a shiny premium member of the website, all you have to do is to choose the single-click buying option, and it will be at the front door on the following day.
Ah, how far I have come…here, it is significantly more convenient (and wise!) and takes less time to go visit a brick-and-mortar store and pick up the things you need right then. And, you do not have the luxury of checking out the item in person and later buying it at a lower price online anymore, either. So when it came to buying a new headset, I am not kidding when I say it posed a serious challenge. Eventually, I located a store – almost an hour-long taxi ride away through the busiest traffic – and was able to get my hands on a brand-new microphone. I compared its retail price to that of the same mic in Japan only to get disappointed (because it’s almost always cheaper to get one in Japan). “Let it go, Rintaro.” That’s what I keep telling myself.