Friday, October 12, 2007

Decorated pumpkin

Sink with soap, water, and dryer

Hello! I realize that it's been almost a week since I posted, and I have a few new fun things to share. I hope everyone is enjoying fall back home. It's definitely cooling off here now, and I'm looking forward to seeing all the leaves start to change colors.

This week we went to IKEA Japan, which is like IKEA at home, for the most part. The signs are in Japanese and things are more expensive, but those are the major differences. We unfortunately made the mistake of going on a Japanese holiday AND Columbus Day, which means that the place was in total chaos and at full capacity. I can take a lot, but this was a bit much for me. I had to bribe Zach with promises of a treat at the end so that we could at least find me a cheap dresser and a few things for the house.

On Wednesday, I went shopping in Sagami-Ono with my friend Carlina. We took the train, and Carlina showed me which trains to take in case I want to go back by myself. We had a fun time exploring the shops. We managed to find ourselves in an incredibly expensive department store, where the average price for shoes was $200! I did not see anything under $150, and the shoe department was as large as Nordstrom's downtown Seattle store. I was good (some of you may know that I have a shoe addiction) and didn't even think of buying anything. Of course, since the sizes only go up to 8 1/2 or 9 at the most, and I wear a 9 or 9 1/2, our bank account is pretty safe here. Or at least when it comes to shoes it is. :-)

While shopping, we found a little store selling tiny pumpkins and I had to get one. I took a picture of it so that you can see. It came with a bunch of stickers to decorate it. The kids don't trick-or-treat here, but the stores take advantage of the opportunity to sell cute Halloween stuff, so right now there are lots of Halloween decorations everywhere.

We also stopped for lunch at Subway, which sounds kind of silly, but Subway in Japan is so much better than Subway at home. They have different kinds of sandwich fillings that I think are more creative. While we were there, I had to use the restroom and snapped the photo of the sink. It had automatic dispensers for soap and water, plus a dryer---all built in. You just move your hands along, assembly-line fashion. Isn't that cool?!

Okay, that's it for today. Oh, by the way, since I've been here, I've felt at least five earthquakes! They've all been relatively small, but I freak out every time I feel one. In fact, I think felt a little one while I was writing this. I suppose I'll get used to them, but do I have to? If I want to be with my husband, and have access to all things Hello Kitty, I must.


wildcardquilts said...

Oh my gosh, FIVE EARTHQUAKES?!? I've felt earthquakes here before and it was very scary to me. That was when we used to live two blocks away from a park and children's playground called FAULT PARK. Nice, huh? :)

What a fun adventure you are on. Keep posting--I love hearing about your fascinating new life!


Ursula said...

WOW! Lots of shoes for small feet (I wear size 5 1/2)--how great is that? Good thing I don't live in Japan. Between the availablity of small shoes and a store like Yuzawaya, I'd be broke!

You'll get used to the earthquakes with time.
Love the pumpkin!

Jennifer Blackburn said...

5 earthquakes is about 6 too many for me! Hey, you know why the Subway sandwich tastes so much better in Japan? Because it doesn't contain raw fish, squid, jellyfish, pickled ginger, or seaweed! When I was there we went to a Denny's on my second-to-last day there and I swear to god it was better than any pricey gourmet meal I have ever had!

You are certainly figuring out the retail store process. How do you conduct business with the language barrier? Like when it's time to pay, do you just hold out a wad of money and hope they take the right amount? Or are you progressing fast enough with the language that you can already understand what they say? Way to go LN!