Only in Japan
Only in Japan would you ever see...

...a Pepsi _THIS_ small! This can of Pepsi is 9 and 1/2 centimeters tall! For all the conversion-impaired people out there that's 3.75 inches! True, there are actual human-sized cans of soft drinks here, but in general, the Japanese people drink very little (except when drinking alcohol) when they eat. This can of Pepsi would do quite nicely for a normal meal!  
Definitely not
a Big Gulp!

Look closely at this advertisment for a local pizza parlor. Do you see anything unusual? Yes, that's right! This pizza is topped with corn. When I came here I'd expected squid (live and dead), fish heads, and God knows what else, but not CORN. It seems that no Japanese pizza (frozen or baked fresh) is complete without a healthy spread of corn. It might also be of note to take a gander at the price. A large pizza is 3,400 yen which is in the neighborhood of $28 US.

Directions in English on how to use chopsticks!

Now THAT'S service!!

Upon turning into a gas station in Japan, the customer's car is assaulted by attendants, checking the oil, consulting with the driver, checking the tires, and so on. A stark contrast from service in the States where the service is good if the cashier doesn't glare at you when you give him your money after pumping your own gas. After the car leaves comes the bow. I counted these three gas attendants bowing for 14 seconds towards their departing customer. Truth be told, it is unusual (even in Japan) for attendants to bow this long after a customer has left and already forgotten about his roadside assistants, but there is always a bow at the customer's departure.

This curious exercise is played to music which sounds like it would be good for brainwashing POWs. Its slow, methodical rythm is accompanied by a voice which doesn't exactly say anything... you just have to hear it for yourself. When the whole school is involved in a physical activity, such as "Sports Day" or "Sports Test" day, they warm up using this exercise (including the teachers, principle and vice-principle, everyone is taught this exercise when they are very young). Every movement is exact so the whole group can do it synchoronously. The actual movements couldn't give any person imaginable a warmup; it's more of a socialization exercise.

One of the many things I will truly miss about Japan when I go back to the States is the little towels they give you at restaurants before your meal. Many are cloth, shrinkwrapped, and heated. Here is a moist towel they provide you with at Subway .

An elderly couple getting an early start on the rice-picking. When I pass them on my way to Takatsumi JHS it's another stark reminder that I'm most certainly not in California anymore.


Back         Next