essentiallylogical

Top 10 things I miss about Japan now that I’m in America

In Adventures on September 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm

The restaurant I lived above. I deduced it's called the Red Raven, but could be wrong.

1) Not being able to read anything.

(The cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima where very large and heavily populated. My personal bubble was never bigger than my umbrella. But despite loud noises, bright lights, and brushing shoulders with people a head shorter than myself on a regular basis, I found the city to be quite peaceful. The fact that million dollar advertising and marketing campaigns, signs in store windows, and flyers on the street were unintelligible to me made life far less stressful. It was quite nice.)

2) Being told I have a pretty face.

(Sounds conceited, I know. But get this: I was told I have a pretty face BECAUSE… it’s small! Yep. My face is gorgeous, not because of my big root beer brown eyes framed with long black lashes, or my Portuguese complexion and curly hair but because I have a face that’s small. If only the definition of beauty was so simple.)

3) The niceties.

(I would say thank you all the time just because it reminded me of the song “Domo arigato mister robato”.)

Tofu 3 ways with rice, salmon & eggplant.

4) The food.

(Everything I had in Japan was delicious. I’m not a picky eater, but I’m a great cook and a self-proclaimed food connoisseur. The morning pastries with fish and corn on top, the neon pink fish cake next to my egg over easy and fried fish skeleton made me a little concerned at first, but beyond the strange lack of visual appeal they were quite delectable.)

5) Umbrellas and sunbrellas.

(Everyone carried clear plastic umbrellas in the rain. At first I thought it was just the fad and latest fashion statement, but I soon purchased one for myself after realizing the convenience of seeing where you’re going in a crowd while still maintaining proper coverage from the rain. When the sun came out so did beautiful patterned sunbrellas.)

Umbrellas are such a big deal that they have umbrella lockers!

6) Taking my shoes off.

(Whether it was in a home or at a public school it was expected that shoes were removed and slippers put on in their place. Who doesn’t love being comfortable?)

7) Perfect curls.

(I thought the curls I had as a toddler had left my head for good until I walked around the most hot and humid part of the earth I’ve ever experienced. The first day I was in Sasebo Japan I left the house with straight hair and returned as an oversized Shirley Temple.)

8 ) Toilets that are labeled “Western Style”

(While I preferred to think it was in case I got the urge to pee like the cowboys in old black and white westerns, I’m pretty confident they were just letting me know it was a toilet I could sit on, instead of the typical bowl in the ground.)

The sleeves are supposed to be long and the bottom is supposed to touch the ground, but this is the best we could do for a 5'8" giant.

9) Not stopping at cross walks.

(In many places the cross walks were like bridges that went over the lanes of cars, eliminating traffic caused by constant use of the cross walk signal.)

10) Having people freak out over my handi-snacks, trident gum & Quaker oats granola bars.

(Enough said.)

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