Rainy Day Miscellany

It’s a rainy day here in Okinawa. Combined with the increase of COVID cases in the Prefecture, I decided to mainly stick around my house (binging Queer Eye). And so I thought I’d share some of the random Japanese things I’ve seen the last few weeks.

I did take a quick trip to Kadena Air Force Base. Two weeks ago when we were restricted to on-base activities, I went to the Kadena arts and crafts center, which has a ceramics shop. I painted a cute little llama, but since I used glaze, I had to wait a week for it to be fired. I forgot to pick it up last week, so rainy today was a perfect day to go fetch it.

I’m super happy how she turned out.

Yesterday I walked south along the sea wall. The sea wall runs right below my apartment building.

I walked about a half-mile and then turned left to head to a shopping area I had seen. While we still have restrictions, we are allowed to go into grocery stores. And going into a Japanese grocery store is always an adventure.

Some things you recognize. Some things you don’t. Some things you go huh and shrug.

Yes, octopus, pre-made pancakes with syrup inside, Japanese Tony the Tiger, Coke Plus (it contains a fiber additive and is marketed as a health drink with a laxative effect), “Beach Party” 2 liters clear, cheap alcohol, 10 lbs bags of rice, weird flavored pretzels, amazing sushi, and so many more amazing and stupifying things.

The Aeon is a grocery store and also kind of like a mall, but there are no walls to distinguish shops from each other. Don Quixote also has a grocery store, like Wal-Mart, but so much better because it’s Japanese. So I *might* have stretched the bounds of “essential” shopping a bit, but check out some of the interesting products I found.

Space frogs, socks for your chair, spam slicers, fake money, American brands, and crazy, curved aisles packed with too much to take in. I mean can you not feel the awesomeness?

And seriously, if you didn’t immediately think “Leeloo Dallas multi-pass” when you saw “multi bag,” then I judge your taste in movies.

Another random thing is soda vending machines can be found everywhere, just randomly sitting by a sidewalk. And yesterday, I found the badest ass one:

YES! Tommy Lee Jones IS the Iron Boss. I mean have you ever seen anything as awesome? It’s so Japan. It’s reminiscent of Joey’s Ichiban lipstick for men commercial.

Other things I haven’t figured out yet.

I did learn that Hand-Off Off House is a Japanese thrift store. But I have no idea why the gnomes are angry or what a House of 66 Cents is. I’m not sure I want to know.

I am having so much fun exploring all things Japanese. And hopefully, I’ll get some answers to some of my “WTF is that?” questions one of these days. But until then, I’ll just keep snapping photos of all the weird Japanese things and keep eating the amazingly delicious food.

Until next time, お元気で (o-genki de = stay well).

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