Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Did you ever like a song so much you just kept playing it over and over and over? I'm sure most people have. I have one of those songs right now. Chris and I were in the store "Humpty Dumpty" (yes, it's the name of a store near here) and I heard a song...it was just so catchy. After googling the lyrics I realized it was a... ::embarrassment:: Hannah Montana song. I didn't plan to like it, but it's just so catchy, and I would have never guessed it was sung by a 15 year old. It's called "See You Again" so if you ever hear it, I think you'll think it's catchy too. ...Or maybe just me.

The names of stores and restaurants around here are very interesting (the ones named in English). Besides the "Humpty Dumpty" store we have a "One's Terrace" store, "Ask a Giraffe" restaurant, and many others...which I can't think of right now. Some of the store names just make you want to go inside because the name is so earthy or interesting. Stores with names like "water the grass" or "flying kite" or well, you get the idea. They just sound like they have interesting things, and most often they do have unique gizmo's, fashionable clothes or crafty home accessories.

I think in many ways I am slowly falling in love with Japan (wow, I never thought I would say that). Or maybe I still have such a limited view of it the newness and uniqueness will wear off. I'm not sure yet. There are negative things we notice...it's not all "wonderful" as maybe I make it out to be. So far the negatives get blurred behind the good things though.

Some things...Not being able to communicate easily is not easy--we're slowly using more Japanese, but it's slow coming. At the same time, I think we care less now if we try to struggle through speaking Japanese to people. We care less about being embarrassed by our lack of Japanese. There is this idea in my mind that people expect gifts when you come back from trips you take (well, I guess it is the common gesture in Japan to bring back gifts). I understand the idea that 'it's a nice thought' but unless I see something I know someone will absolutely love or they have a birthday or some event where a gift is needed, I don't like the idea of feeling 'obligated' to give gifts after you come back from a trip and then people thinking you're rude for not giving gifts. That's a bit of a pet peeve for me here...but maybe I'm over-thinking it.

Other things... Japanese food has been just okay; I'm definitely not in love with it. I find it either too greasy, too salty, or not enough variety of flavors to it. But I admit I more often gravitate towards other foods here. Maybe I just haven't had the best-of-the-best Japanese food. Seeing the Japanese flag is strange. Initially it feel so unpatriotic and out of place, but then I realize we're in Japan, that is what we are supposed to see. It's hard to read Japanese people--normally it's easy to read people's faces, but here it is hard. Even though people act super kind when you walk into stores and restaurants...you are reminded that it is most likely just an act much of the time. At least people who are rude or just indifferent in the U.S. are being genuine to who they are right?

So there are things I am just really fascinated with about Japan and things that I would rather not be around. I'm sure I'll develop many new likes and dislikes as we're here longer.