Tuesday, December 29, 2009


So, I realize that this blog is pretty random. Sometimes I post stuff about my life, sometimes it features Abe's basketball activities, every once in a while, I'll show some people I've photographed.

And lots of the time, I either brag {or gripe} about Japan. Today is one of those days. Random "Japanisms" as I like to refer to them. Things about Japan that I wouldn't know had I not been living here for almost 5 years. For example:

-It's considered polite to wear a mask when you are sick, as to not infect other people. {How considerate!}

-However, I've been the unfortunate victim several times to have been sneezed on while in a public place. Japanese do not acknowledge sneezing {no "excuse me" or "bless you"s are exchanged} so it's pretty aggravating if that happens to you. :(

-There are lots of cool varieties of foods and drinks from back home here in Japan, with a little twist. For example, I went to Costco in Tokyo and found a beautiful octopus. At random stores I've also seen Red Bean Pepsi, Kimchi Freetos, and today, I found Tuna Mayonaise Doritos.

-If you lose something or leave a belonging behind in Japan, chances are you might go back and find it (unless it's money). Case in point: Yesterday, I went to my local Starbucks in the mall for a large bag of coffee beans. I went to the supermarket in that mall and accidentally left my beans at the register while paying, not noticing until I got home. I returned almost 24 hours later with just a pinch of hope that it would still be there, and would you believe the held it for me in the Lost & Found?! {WOW!} That would never happen in LA.

-Drivers use their hazard lights and even bow while driving to thank you for letting them in front of you on the road. I still smile when I get "the bow" :)

Ahhh, as the end of 2009 approaches, I'm glad that I continue to find things that amuse me and continue to make me grateful for the opportunities I have while living in Japan. I'm sure I'll still have those moments when I want to scream in the middle of a supermarket or when the cashier insists of giving me a FORK at the convenience store when I assure him I am capable of using chopsticks. But there'll also be plenty of moments like today when I'll be able to smile knowing I'm in one unique country!

Hope everyone is enjoying their last few days of 2009!


Adrienne Gunde said...

Love this! Having lived in Japan for a year (& visiting on countless occasions), I totally feel you on all of these! And the thought of Kimchi Fritos has me drooling!

Julie Ann said...

Hi Adrienne,
While I'm here in Japan, it's easy for me to make fun of a lot of the foods and things that are here that are just different from back home. But when I go back to LA, I quickly find myself missing things about Japan...mostly the food.

Any plans of coming back to visit???

Charles Abbott said...

I stumbled across your blog searching about basketball teams in Japan but ended up reading several dozen posts. I enjoyed the photos, you definitely have a talent with the camera.

I figured I'd leave a comment about the face masks here. From my experience it seems that many (if not most) Japanese wear them even when they are not sick. Growing up in the US, if you ever saw someone with a face mask you instantly thought they were pretty bad sick. Here, on the other hand, I feel less afraid of them :)

Keep posting, I'll stop by from time to time.

Julie Ann said...

Hey Charles,
Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad my blog is both informative and entertaining :)
If you have any q's about japanese bball, let me know...my hubby and I have been here for a while!
I'll have to check your blog out as well!