Top 10 things I missed about America while in Japan

In Adventures on September 23, 2010 at 3:41 pm

1) Being able to read.

(Not knowing what food I was ordering off a menu, which button to press to flush the toilet, how to leave a note for the people I was living with nor being able to utilize mass transit (for fear of not knowing where the bus was headed) made me question if that was what it felt like to be 4 years old; unable to read, only capable of recognizing logos, symbols, and pretty colors.)

2) Taco Bell.

(I would recite my favorite order every now and again just to make sure I was still American: “I’ll have the #3 Double Stuffed Burrito with steak and no fiesta sauce. *Pause impatiently while employee inquires about level of heat desired in my hot sauce* Medium. Thanks.”)

3) My pillow-top mattress.

(When I was shown to my room at first I thought they’d forgotten to give me a mattress. There in my room stood a wooden bed-frame spanned by a board with a 2” thick futon where a mattress would usually reside. Back pain, here I come!)

4) Riding in a car bigger than a Barbie jeep.

(I saw a semi-truck smaller than my brother’s little ranger pick-up. They’d think a mini-cooper was normal and tow-trucks probably couldn’t move a 4-runner without difficulty!)

5) Showering.

(I know it was fluke, but the hot water wasn’t working correctly where I was staying. It would run really hot for about 30 seconds and then go freezing cold and stay there. The solution: I took to filling a bucket with 30 seconds worth of scalding hot water and having a “sponge bath”, at the end of which I would rinse off really fast.)

6) Driving on the right side of the road and the left side of the car.

(Sitting shot gun on the left side of a vehicle is beyond strange and driving on the left side of the road was very uncomfortable. One day, however, it came to fruition as the car I was in yielded to oncoming traffic and turned left at a red light and I shrieked with fear! It’s like an inexpensive amusement park ride, one time is all it takes before you’re shaking your head “no, not again.”)

7) Fruit.

(I had watermelon the first day I arrived and cherries the day before I left… that’s it. I saw one fruit stand and the watermelon was $12 (US) and an apple was $1.25 (US) each! At those prices, I bet the cherries I ate came from right here in Oregon.)

8 ) Air Conditioning.

(I think there’s some law over there that dictates when you get to use your air conditioning because, despite dripping with sweat, no one was using them! Fans became our favorite and most functional fashion accessory.)

9) Shoe shopping.

(I’m not sure what size I would’ve been but they probably didn’t even sell my size unless I went to their version of a Big and Tall store. By the way, I only wear a 7 ½.)

10) Wearing heels.

(I love to wear heels. I wear them whether I’m sporting a dress or a pair of jeans. But in Japan I slipped on some heels, towered over everyone, almost smacked my head on a door jam, and then quickly packed them away for the remainder of my stay.)


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