Funny and wierd stuff I've noticed in Japan: random observations
1. A note to those of you who want to travel in Japan and don't read Japanese: the pictures on the labels usually indicate what's in it. If there's a happy dancing crab on the label of a piece of bread, the bread will have crab in it. An eerie thought just on its own.
2. Japanese men will actually stop for directions. It's amazing!
3. I have something called "aohata super fruity" blueberry jelly. It tastes like pie filling. Not that I'm opposed to making sandwiches out of pie filling, and I'm surprised no one has started it in America. It's just a very odd sensation.
4. It's okay to be drunk here. If you're drunk you can make a total ass of yourself and people are okay with it. They do things here that you'd get your teeth punched out for in America.
5. Mitsubishi makes colored pencils. Yes, the car company.
6. here are a variety of very odd bugs here (and a lot of good poisons to use on them, particularly cockroaches and the massive spiders). I like the cicadas. They're big and all different colors, and kind of shiny. I held one. The only problem is they're terribly dumb, and they fly into walls all the time and kill themselves. I hear them banging into my windows at night.
7. I got a pizza menu in the mail the other day. It says "American style pizza" on it, yet all the pizzas have corn or mayonaise or squid on them. Not exactly American... They put corn in lots of stuff here. Maybe it's more of a treat to them since they don't get it all the time like we do in America.
8. Every time you walk into a shop here, the staff calls out "irashaimase!" (welcome!) and says thank you when you leave, whether you bought anything or not. It's a welcome change from America, where usually the only greeting you get is a dirty look from the cashiers since your presence has disrupted a valuble discussion about Dawson's Creek. The only thing is, I always feel like I should say something back. I know I'm not supposed to but I feel really weird not saying anything. I usually smile and wave or something, and get a peculiar look in return. They do seem to think I'm fairly cute, though. Incidentally, they also say it whenever you get remotely close to them in a store, no matter where they are. It's kind of strange.
9. Everyone makes a big deal about how pale my skin is. Apparently, pale skin is a beauty ideal here; I've seen commercials for skin bleach to lighten your skin. Ah, the irony...I'm out there all the time trying to bake myself in the sun to get tan!
10. You're supposed to slurp your food if you're eating noodles. I can't bring myself to, mostly because if I slurp I pour the sauce down my shirt. i don't know how my friends do it and stay dry!
11. I was shopping in a department store, and was listening to the music. First, they played Celine Dion's My Heart Will go on followed by...Eminem. Two of the songs I came to Japan to get away from! You can run, but you can't hide!
12. I saw a girl on the train wearing a shirt that said FRUITIFUL. Which while it's not a word, I think it should be. It's fun to say.
13. A sign on a store near my house reads "My shoes enjoy life!" What? I bet mine don't.
14. All the kids in middle and high school here wear uniforms. The girls wear these short pleated skirts, and I am always thankful that I never had to wear anything like that in middle school. The boys wear slacks and white shirts, usually. Some of the boys in the Komaki high schools have taken up the unfortunate American teen habit of letting their pants sag down at the waist. This is especially wierd on the kids who have plaid pants; it goes from the American "vaguely gangsta wannabe" look to "I still can't figure out how to put my clothes on correctly." I always try really hard not to laugh.
15. There are Japanese people who bleach their hair and wear a lot of make-up, collectively referred to as yanki. Essentially they're trying to look American. It's sort of the equivilent of a white guy with an afro in America; not bad, just...odd. I admit though, I like it on some of the guys.
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