Saturday, March 21, 2009

Japan - Day Five

Click on this link to see all the photos.

The days are starting to blur together and become full of what is beginning to feel hum drum. I had to ask Joan, “What did we do yesterday?” as I sat down to write.

The morning was the usual coffee and then to the university for Internet access. On the way back, we ran into Kris, who asked us if we wanted to join a bike trip to J-Mart, a hardware/garden center/department store with a little bit of everything. Six gringos (or ‘gaijin’ in Japanese) on bicycles flying down the street. It was liberating!

J-Mart was huge! It feels strange to walk around in a store that doesn’t feel that different from one in America, yet it still feels very foreign. The photos show the puppies that were for sale. Well over a thousand dollars for most of them. The Japanese seem to be really into small dogs. Many of the shoppers had little dogs riding around in their shopping cars; we see many people walking down the street with a small dog in their arms. Joan bought some beet seeds for her balcony garden which is already filling up with parsley and swiss chard.

For dinner, we went out to a sushi restaurant with Steve. It deserves a blog entry all of its own, so look for it in a little bit.

After we finished eating, we took a look in a pachinko parlor (see earlier post) and then stopped by a Family Mart convenience store, where Steve bought a cardboard, milk-carton shaped container of sake. Back at the apartment, Joan had to suffer through Fiji reminiscing as Steve and I explored the his old Peace Corps photos. He also has computer files of the audio cassette recordings he made on a little Dict-a-phone tape recorder he used to carry around in his shirt pockets. To hear us talking about stuff from 18 years ago was weird. Joan said, “You still same the same stupid stuff!” I was offended, I tell you.

We almost made it to 10 pm! Up by 6:30 the next morning – we’re getting better…

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