Back

I survived Japan—or, perhaps, Japan survived me. The only thing I completely flubbed was getting back to a normal routine quickly; I caved and took a nap (that turned into a five-hour nap) the day I got back, and that set me back something fierce.

Oddly enough, none of us had trouble getting up at 7:00 am in Japan; the fact that it was equivalent to 3:00 pm our-time didn’t hurt.

While I continue to try and get back to a decent routine (which, you might correctly guess, I wasn’t on when I left for Japan), here are some random observations from my trip:

Many Japanese haven’t figured out that smoking is Bad For You. You can buy cigarettes (and beer) from vending machines for not much more than you would pay for a soda.

Pachinko is a horrible, horrible game. Laughing at gaijin who throw away 1000 yen trying pachinko for kicks, however, transcends all language barriers.

Japanese toilet paper “squares” are twice as long as US toilet paper squares. Japanese toilets frequently have both “big flush” and “little flush” options, and most have a weird seat/device made by Toto that senses when you’re sitting down on the seat and adjusts things (water level, the status of a deodorizer) appropriately.

Akihabara is my home away from home, and my wallet’s worst enemy.

Jeff is right: though the stores might say it’s autumn, it is definitely not autumn. We had ninety-degree heat and ninety-percent humidity for most of our trip, which made for lots of fun.

English karaoke songs are predominantly from the ’80s, which means I actually know most of them. Crazy. Karaoke can actually be fun, too. (Crazier!)

And now, a working hypothesis: Americans are the only people in the world who are well-hydrated. My experiences through Europe and Japan (and those of my comrades) have been that glasses for everything—expect possibly alcohol—are bloody small. Haven’t people heard about eight glasses a day? (Actually, that link might explain the answer of my rhetorical question…)

 

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