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The Events So Far East

September 26, 2015

It’s been a while so I’m going with a top ten list to reboot things. Ok, maybe not top 10, but a list of ten.

10 Things that I’ve Noticed since Moving to Japan

  • 10 – When you order plain frozen yogurt it actually tastes like plain yogurt not vanilla. This was an unpleasant surprise for the kids on our outing the Red Mango in ShimoKitazawa
  • 9 – I am studying kanji diligently and every time I leave the house I figure out how to read a new sign. A few days ago I was giddy when I figured out that 一方 meant “one way”. I already knew from arrows that our street is one way, but being able to read it was very satisfying.
  • 8 – Soda (or at least the sodas I like to drink) does not cost less at the convenience store. With tax it is sometimes more. Coke Zero is ¥140-¥160 in the vending machines and usually ¥154 at the FamilyMart.
  • 7 – At any time during the day there are school children roaming the streets. It’s true. No matter when I am out and about I will see kids wearing school uniforms. Where are they going? Don’t they have school? Also based on when I hear the most kids walk by the apartment school gets out at about 2pm every day. I thought they had MORE school here, but the kids never seem to be there.
  • 6 – Every gaijin (foreigner) I meet has a story about shopping at Costco. I’m glad Kira and I got that out of the way early so we can fit in.
  • 5 – There are no apparent zoning laws. There are shopping streets where stores are clumped together, but other places can be stores or residence without regard to the type of neighborhood. I actually remember this being true from before, but it has more impact as an adult.
  • 4 – Sarah is reading Dune for her English class. They were told to select something to read for extra reading and she grabbed it off the shelf. This has nothing to do with Japan, but I wanted to mention it. I am glad it was one of the books I brought with me and I am excited to discuss it with her. Fear is the mind killer.
  • 3 – Dogs are allowed in our building. At least I think it is a dog. It yaps like a dog, but it smaller than a cat. I’m actually a little glad that there is a noisy dog in the building because it makes me a little less conscious of the noise we make tromping around our apartment.
  • 2 – There are many places that I can travel to which would take 30 minutes by train or 45 minutes by walking. Whenever possible I choose walking. A 30 minute train ride is really the break even point because that means I am usually only on the train for about 10-15 minutes. The rest of that time is usually walking to and from the station. A 35 or 40 minute train ride usually maps out as an hour or more walking so I go ahead and take the train. I may need to look into a bike to increase my non-train radius. Also, it’s possible I have given this too much thought.
  • 1 – At our local SuPa (supermarket) the prepared food often seems to be cheaper than the combined ingredients. I’m not sure how this works, but I’ve seen it with several dishes including tonkatsu, sushi, yakitori, and fish. Tonight we had more tonkatsu than three of us could eat for about $5, but if I bought the pork to cook that much it would have cost more. Plus eggs and Panko. It’s a mystery. I just hope it isn’t mystery meat.



One Comment leave one →
  1. Janet Koplos permalink
    September 27, 2015 1:34 am

    I like #6. And re #2, do you feel much more fit? how are your shoes holding up? And re #1, I think the idea is that it’s economies of scale. I remember learning years ago that a cake mix was far cheaper than making a cake from scratch. The cost of transportation of individual ingredients must be more than moving the “manufactured” product.

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