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Saturday, August 5

Tidbits to Amuse

First! I have a correction to make to an earlier entry. The car I bought is a Honda Capa. Give me a break... like I should be responsible enough to know what the hell I just spent a couple of thousand on. Sheesh. Anyway, if you tried to google it, you wouldn't have found anything. If you try this correct spelling, you should. Or go the lazy route and try clicking this: http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z5824/default.aspx. If I did this linking stuff right, you should see the box I bought. If I didn't, better luck next time.

On with the show!

There are things that I see on a daily basis that amuse me. These are generally things that I just can't figure out the reason for.

For instance, the other day we were waiting for the car dealer to pick us up. We were on a busy corner in Yokosuka and heard ice cream truck music. As you all know, I took off running in the direction of that glorious sound! I looked everywhere! Up and down the street as the music continually got louder and louder. I saw nothing that resembled an ice cream man or his happy little truck. Moments later, Kimino Hubby, who had just caught up with me, saw the same thing I did... the source of my joy... a garbage truck! The garbage people play the same music that the ice cream man does back home! Now, I don't even know if they have ice cream men here, but I can tell you that THAT... ain't right.

We went with a realtor this afternoon to get her car and go check out another potential residence. The realtor stood by what looked like a huge elevator door and typed in a series of numbers onto the keypad to the side. A few moments later, the elevator doors opened and there stood a single car. Hers! It took us a moment to realize, but this was one of those massive moving garages that we were standing on top of. When you pull your car in, the panel underneath it moves it to a designated space underground where all of the cars are essentially stacked on top of one another. When you want to pick it up and take it out, the car will move on the panel, on the track, to be returned and waiting for you once the doors open. Amazing! Okay, maybe only to small town folk like me.

The language... English that is more Engrish... where the translations sometimes get confused but amuse the heck out of me. Essentially, the Japanese do not have an "r" in their language. When I say my name, it is usually pronounced as "Kalen" back to me. I'm kind of liking it. My menu last night had English under the kanji characters. It read, "these clams are good tasty." Maybe not funny to you but hilarious to me! I walked around all night saying "this is good tasty... that is good tasty." And yes, Kimono Hubby laughed every single time. Stop shaking your head and thinking "simple, simple people." We already did that too. At a sushi bar the other night, on the rotating bar, there was a sign that read "fresh fish change prices daily." And how make I ask, does the fish do this? Does it walk in to the bar and say, "hey, sushi dude! Me thinks my price should now be 340 yen!" and then walk back out? I had no idea that fish were so intelligent!

There is also the issue of to umbrella or not to umbrella. Everywhere you go, the women carry an umbrella here. These are not your average Totes kind either. I have seen silk, rice paper, lace, even damask umbrellas! They are all so incredibly beautiful and colorful. But what in the world for? You see, it isn't raining when you see these umbrellas being carried on the streets. You see them each and every single day, rain or shine. I get that the sun is enough to wilt these delicate flowers but is the fancy umbrella really necessary? Have they not sunscreen? And if a squall they did come upon, would the umbrella handle its original purpose and keep the rain off? Or would they have to switch to one of those silly waterproof ones we Americans haul around? I am so close to buying one myself though. Maybe it would help balance me out. If... scratch that... when I fell again, it would me more of the Mary Poppins style.

I am quite certain that it wouldn't be polite to ask why these things are the way they are. I don't want to be deemed callous or impolite in a society of such extreme regard for others. I just wish someone would volunteer the answers so I could stop walking around with this stupid look on my face.

8 comments:

Jim said...

The umbrellas are just for the sun. Sure sunscreen would work to protect the skin, but it doesn't provide shade! The Nihon-jin know if it will rain or not, and if it does they usually carry the clear umbrellas. I used to get annoyed walking through the sea of umbrellas during a drizzle, but I eventually conformed and got one of my own. Now everyday I check out the weather report and decide whether to lug my trusty friend along or not.

As for it being fancy, the Japanese in general love to buy stuff, like at today's Friendship Day where they bought any and everything. They also like the stuff they buy to be pretty, which explains the choice in design. They're a very fashionable people as I'm sure you've noticed already. As for the Engrish, if you think menus are bad, check out the English phrased shirts they wear. It'll leave you with a nice WTF in your head.

Welcome to Japan!

Anonymous said...

You got a mini van! ha ha

Anonymous said...

wow, this is gleat! I'd like to imagine manhattanites walking alound with fancy umblellas...

and big burly NY tlash man with the ice cleam tluck music playing...i bet the crime rate there must be low...

fun fun fun----aj

Rick and Amy said...

You got to be kidding me! Just when I thought the Toyota/Scion was the ugliest car ever made. Greg, you told me this car was cheap AND cool. Tell me.....how many rat power (rp) does this thing generate at highway speeds (assuming it reaches highway speeds)?

Kimono Karen said...

Let's see... I have made it to 60 kph but I was nervous because I don't think it was an area that I am supposed to be going that fast in. But I know it goes much faster. Just probably won't ever be when I am behind the wheel. And it is a totally cool mini-minivan. You're just jealous. Ha!

Lisa said...

OH NO!!! You're not supposed to move to mini-van/soccer mom status until AFTER you have the kids!! Couldn't you have found a nice mini-cooper or something else instead? This car just makes me want to laugh. Too funny! I think I'll be spending far too much time laughing at the car when I get to see it in person...and with you behind the wheel...well that will make it even better!

Hey - when are you going to grace us with some wonderful pictures on here?

JoLynn said...

I agree, we need pictures!! And ones with you ang Greg, too.

Kristen said...

That's not fair Kalen got a mini van, but I am not allowed!!!