Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week One: Nagoya!

One year in Japan. That's 365 days. By my mathematical estimations *pushing imaginary glasses up the bridge of my nose and fiddling with golden abacus* that's about 1,095 meals. 1,095 meals in Japan! That's a lotta ramen slurping, my friends.

This blog is intended to be a well-rounded, multifaceted, look at my year living, and teaching English, in Japan. But being a girl who starts to ponder "What's for lunch?" while still buttering her breakfast toast, it is likely to be fairly food focused. But don't worry, I will be sure to include photos of the much-rumored, used-panties, vending machines as soon as I track one down.

Let's get started, shall we?

It appears the Japanese like everything to be adorable. They give birth to fantastically adorable, chubby cheeked, babies, there seems to be no such thing as too much Hello Kitty and they see no harm in creating cute-as-can-be sweet treats. I squealed with delight upon seeing these cream puff fishies, complete with strawberry tongues. Who knew fish had tongues?

Holy shit! Is that a Japanese taco truck?! Well, sorta. It's more like a crab sushi truck, which is just as awesome. I spotted this sushi-mobile today, right after nibbling a street snack of takoyaki, fried octopus balls, while on my way to a lunch of tonkatsu. Could I really eat three lunches in a row? Probably. Did I need to? Sigh. Probably not. I actually thought I might drop a few pounds in Japan. Pffffft.

I probably should have spent the months leading up to my move learning Japanese. Instead I spent a lot of time mentally preparing myself for a year without cheese. Turns out, not only does Japan have cheese, they have cheese I have never seen before! See those packages? Those are filled with individually wrapped nuggets of white cheese. They are wrapped exactly like a peppermint candy, with a little cellophane twist on each end.

Juice boxes full of juice? Dumb. Juice boxes full of mystery booze? Yay! They taste like shit, but
only cost a dollar and you can drink them while walking down the street.

The Nagoya Train Station is not just a place to catch a lightening quick Shinkansen. It's a multi level shopping extravaganza packed with approximately 9 bazillion restaurants, shops and a giant white lady in a ruffly tutu.

It's also frequented by little old Japanese men who like to prance up to you chanting: "America?! Austrarria?! Engrind?!"

This particular prancer was quite chatty, and it was excruciatingly hard to walk away. Japanese people love to give gifts, and he gave me a photograph he took of the city, and made sure to write his phone number on the back. Smooth. As you can see in this photo, we are already dating.

It seems Nagoya is not actually a city, but rather a massive fashion runway filled with strutting women in thigh high boots and Louis Vuitton purses and men in dapper suits with intricately coiffed hairdos that must have taken hours to tease, feather, curl and spray into place.

It's head to toe high fashion, or at the very least intricate and bizarre, and I have yet to see a woman wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I am told shopping is an actual hobby in Japan, and most women come equipped with a glut of shopping bags dangling off each arm.

Apparently it is a big compliment to ask a fashionable gal for her photograph, so I eagerly approached these pink-happy teenagers this afternoon, waving my camera and making idiotic gestures meant to imply "Hey you! With the giant pink bow on your head! Girl, I wanna take yo pitcha!" They gestured back. There was much giggling and mouth covering involved. I took that to mean: "Ok, white lady. You can take my picture."

Seven days down, 358 to go.


  1. Anyone who's french-kissed a fish KNOWS that fish have tongues (insert picture of W1 kissing large dead fish, WFest2005).

    p.s. He's a little short for you. Not that you're tall. Compared to me. Five nine and a QUARTER!