Oh, cool, I updated!

Here in merry ol’ Nondisclosedplaceshire, we have quite a few ethnic supermarkets. I like to hit up the “Middle Eastern” groceries when I’m homesick (although most of them seem to be more like Pakistani supermarkets, or carry mostly Turkish products…still, they do have a few things from the Gulf that I’m more used to), but when I need a Japanese fix, I go- oddly enough- to the little Korean supermarket down the street.

When I walked in, the woman behind the counter barely glanced up. I took my time picking and choosing what I wanted- we’re making maki tonight, and I couldn’t find my preferred brand of shari. A few non-sushi things made it into my basket, too (milk tea, kurogoma, gomashio, black sesame and black bean tea, aburage, and more), and I had quite a haul by the time I hit the cash.

The woman started scanning my items. She seemed detached at first, then a little perkier. When she got towards the bottom of my basket and pulled out a pack of shirataki, she stopped and looked me in the face with a smile. “Excuse me, are you English?”

“No, American,” I laughed, “but I used to live in Japan.”

She got a little friendlier then, and we talked about the English weather before her next group of customers come in- a trio of pudgy weeaboo who made for the Pocky with squeals of mispronounced “Sew-goh-eee!” who drove me out, exchanging a knowing smile with the cashier.

Oh, and yes, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I LOVE BLACK SESAME.

<img src="kurogoma soft Pictures, Images and Photos” alt=”GLAAAAAARGH I LOOK LIKE CEMENT BUT I AM SOOOOOO DELICIOUS” />

Your daily reason to fear the nihonjinron

I just learned about the discrimination faced by Kikokushijo. Please join me in feeling disgusted!

I’m Not Dead

I am, however, married and a full-time student. Maybe more about those things later.

For now, enjoy the following from GaijinPot: In Japan, the Customer is Not King.

Japan has legendary customer service, but this article helps debunk that because it points out the soulless, robotic consistency of the service drones combined with complete and utter inflexibility. The author complains about how he once had to buy Chicken McNuggets just to obtain BBQ sauce for his burger- they would neither give nor sell him the sauce unless he ordered the “right” thing. Fuck, how often does this happen to you, fellow slaves of the Rising Butt? And don’t get me started on what it’s like to ask them to leave meat off of something.

Look to the comment for further lulz from hardcore weeaboos who yell at the author using phrases like “Foreigners like YOU…” and “don’t try and change Japan!” Get bent, freaks. And pass the BBQ.

(Thanks to Andrew for originally posting the link.)

Sayonara Song

This is the day I really kind of though would never come.

In two and a half hours, I collect two suitcases, two backpacks, a duffel bag, and a laptop bag, grab the man I’m marrying in less than a month, and board one final plane out of Narita.

There are so many things I will miss. The parks, the cheerful crosswalk music, the way the train maps look, Mameshiba, Japanese gardens and koi ponds, umeboshi, Harajuku, the ramen restaurant near my erstwhile apartment, Tokyu Hands, Coco Ichiban, Plaza, 100-yen shops, the way Kyoto looks in winter, flowers blooming in December, bamboo, antichikan signage, bento boxes, good coffee, Plaza, crazy fashion, the way Omotesando looks when it’s raining at night, haniwa, fortune-telling vending machines, the Tama river, seeing mountains everywhere, gyaru hosts, karaoke, ema, Ishikawa prefecture, Shinjuku Ginza Kichijoji Koenji Yokohama and Ueno.

There’s plenty of things I won’t miss, but I don’t really care right now.

I’ve done my best to say goodbye to my friends. I have pictures, notes, purikura. A treasured book. A drawing of a fox. I am crying and really trying not to, because I’m getting everything I’ve wanted: a life in England. A person I adore. Acceptance into a grad program. But because I have no real home, this is as much my home as anything can be, and I feel more sadness than I ever expected.

Thank you for everything.

(I will still be updating with old stories- more juicy ones, in fact, now that I can’t be chased down by my old company.

Which was ECC.

And they are FUCKING not fun.

So there!)

America’s Next Top Model

I’m leaving in five days. Five days! Holy shit! I have no idea how I’m going to get everything done; my landlords are stealing another month of rent from me and my apartment is still a mess, but whatever.

I woke up in Bali- specifically, Bali An, a supremely luxurious love hotel in Kabukicho. (English site and official Japanese site) GTAbf suggested we stay at a rabuho since neither of us had before, and without going into too many details, they really are fantastic. Or this one was.

Anyways, I woke up in a big ol’ fancy bed and had a bath and sat in the massage chair and all that good stuff. Got home to our sad, empty, raped little apartment and then went right back out to Harajuku to pick up some things for a friend.

I had to go to the Meiji Shrine, which was okay, because I’ve always been fond of it. The greenery smelled wonderful, the temperature was perfect, and I was walking along and grooving to my iPod when a Japanese man with a big camera ran up to me. “Excuse me! Excuse me!”

I took out my earbuds. “Yes?” I thought maybe he wanted me to take a picture of him, which is cool.

Instead, he said, “Oh, please! May I take your picture?” He gestured to the entrance. “Your blond hair in front of the gate…so beautiful!”

“Oh.” It happens more often than you think. Foreigners are often photographed here, especially blond chicks. I stood in front of the gate and tried to make him happy. I was wearing no makeup, my hair was thrown up in a clip, and I was wearing a bra that’s gone gray over time, the straps of which could be seen underneath my Zara jersey dress that’s my only outfit up until the move. In short, I really didn’t think he was doing anything pervy.

He spent forever adjusting me. “Now like this…okay, this hand here…can you put your glasses on top of your head? So cute! Your eyes…so beautiful!” I complied, but it wasn’t until he asked me to turn to the side and throw my head back that I clued in.

Finally, he came to the point: “Excuse me…excuse me…ahhhh…mmm…excuse me…sexy pose?” He mimed placed his hands behind his head and thrusting out his chest. Typical!

“Sexy pose?” I laughed, but shook my head. “No, thank you!”

“okay,” he readily agreed, and bowed. “Thank you! Thank you very much!

I escaped and bought the gifts for my friend, but despite my nervous caution, he caught up to me as I was leaving. “Oh, please, please! One more? With the sunset?”

It’s cloudy today.

But, he wasn’t rude or mean, so I carefully posed with a sunken chest (what Tyra would call the “broken-down doll” look) until he finally said, “Okay, now push chest OUT!”

“I’m so sorry, but I have to get going…”

“Thank you!” I bleated before running away, my face red.

This is Tokyo

It’s good that I’m leaving

You know how sometimes, it’s like the universe is trying to make decisions for you?

In the past month, I’ve lost:

- My cell phone (and Softbank refused to give me another for less than 250 dollars, and wanted a credit card, so I have no phone now)
- My bank card (which, again, MUFJ won’t reissue. They tell me to use my bankbook. Well, great, except you can’t withdraw money by using your passbook!)
- My sunglasses (prescription and fucking expensive)
- My best friend (don’t even ask)

Yeah, it looks like it’s time to leave.

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