Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Japan is full of quirky little things...

  • My host father has quite the collection of absurd boxer briefs. How do I know this? Every morning (okay, and evening. And pretty much whenever he feels like it) Papa wakes up and parades around the house in his pajamas, which consist of usually a white undershirt and neon orange boxer briefs. It doesn't bother me, I'll say that first. I walk around my house in my underwear too. I just wasn't expecting the rigid and private nihonjin to be so not-private about this. Now, I don't blame him, their room is so small and the bed literally takes up all of the floor space save for maybe a square two feet, so I see the need to get dressed in the dining room daily. And besides, I'd hate to interrupt the daily flow of things in the Ohashi household, and if that means referee striped boxer breifs so be it.

  • Also, my host father likes to mumble. He has a deep voice to begin with that makes him a little difficult to hear but he thinks it's absolutely hilarious when he asks me something and I have to cross the entire room just to try and make out what he's slurring together. And sometimes he'll do the helpful thing of trying to use the English word when he can, thinking that what he's saying is a difficult concept for me. Actually Papa, I've known what the word "michi" means for some time now. However, how about try explaining the word for national highway toll instead of assuming I can rattle that one off. Hooray listening comprehension!

  • Once again, and I can't stress it enough: Stop putting mayo on every thing you eat, Japan. There is a time and a place for mayonaise and on my mashed potato-salad concoction is not it.

  • The cafeteria at school had a pretty boss Engrish menu at the start of the summer. Though I suppose they overheard us talking about the "large height of rice" and managed to fix their poor English and reprint the menus :)

  • So, one day my host sister Risa, who's 13, plops down on my bed, wait, I should preface this. Sometimes I' m sitting at the desk in my room doing homework when Risa just waltzes in and lays down on my bed. This is normally when I'm 10 seconds away from going to sleep myself or just coming out of the shower and need to get dressed. And she just lays there. Doesn't talk. Doesn't really do anything but text people for a good 30 minutes. Yeah, a little awkward in the sense that how do you respond to that? Okay, so one day she waltzes in and plops down on my bed like is more common that you'd think. Though this time, after about 10 minutes she speaks up and starts telling me about these problems she's having with her best friend Saya. Turns out, Risa likes Saya's ex-boyfriend/on-again off-again boy thing Masa. Masa is two years their senpai. Risa's in a rut about this and all worked up because Masa really likes Risa and Risa doesn't want to confront her best friend ever until after their big volleyball tournament. Lo and behold, I wake up one morning and no one's home until Risa come's home from practice. With Masa. And proceeds to tell me not to tell host Mom while she giggles madly. It gets better. Soon after the doorbell rings, in which Risa proceeds to freak out, throw the boy and his belongings on the back patio and pray for her life. It's Saya. What the hell that was really about I'll never know, but a few minutes later and Saya's gone and everything's back to being awkward. Then Mom comes home and it goes from there. I had no idea I'd be a live studio participant of Maury in Japan. I'm curious to see how the rest of this turns out.

  • I've been basically walking around Hakodate with a bag full of trash for 3 days now. It's nearly impossible to find a trash recepticle and when you do, deciding which box that banana peel should go into is harder than you think. I was under the impression that everything as basically covered by the "burnable" and "non-burnable" categories alone.

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