Sunday, April 26, 2009

Adventures of Daily Living in Japan Part 1

I have spent the past few weeks showing pictures and experiences from some of our trips. I thought maybe I would share some stories every once in a while of our daily living here.

On Wednesday mornings I volunteer in the CHIC office. After my shift I usually hit the Subway on Rokko Island for lunch (it is my attempt at an American sandwich fix) and then head to the grocery store before coming home. This week the line for Subway was out the door so I just grabbed a few groceries and then came home. After I put away the groceries I decided to venture out, mail a few packages and then look for something to eat for lunch.

We live in a pretty residential area so I decided to go to the post office and then head to the little grocery store about a 1/2 mile from the house and see what they had in their "deli" area. A "deli" area in a Japanese grocery store typically consists of sushi, noodles, rice, salads (not what we would think of salads), tempura, yakitori and other Japanese foods. Not a Sara Lee or Boars Head piece of ham, turkey or cheese in sight.

So after I gave 2 pints of blood and a kidney to the post office I went to the Lifestore. I was looking for some fried rice or yakisoba but they were all out. I noticed a small unmarked shop caddy corner across the street that was full of people. I thought to go check it out. It looked like a bakery/sandwich type place so I went in. As soon as I walked in everyone stopped and stared. It was like they had never seen a gaijin (the Japanese slang for foreigner) before. It had to have been 30 seconds before people moved. Then everyone was greeting me in Japanese.

I quickly realized this store was a fancy bakery with some awesome looking cakes, desserts and pastries with the Patisseries all working fast and furiously at more yummy looking treats. The store had a whole area designated to wrapping purchases in fancy boxes and bows for presents. Needless to say there was not a sandwich in sight. I was so flustered that I grabbed two tiny little muffin like things (I mean tiny) and went up to pay. They wound up being ¥68 each (approx. 68¢) and when they started saying some spiel in Japanese all I could understand was the word "present" so I quickly said "Hai Hai" (yes yes). So they spent the next 5 minutes wrapping these two less than thumb size muffins and I rushed out with a pretty wrapped box and bow.

I have no idea why I got so flustered nor do I have any idea why I grabbed the tiny little muffins instead of one of the amazing looking desserts nor do I know why I had them wrapped as a present. I am sure they were thinking what a cheap woman.

In the end the muffins were quite tasty and I found out that this bakery had been featured in one of the area magazines. Maybe next time I will actually buy something worth wrapping and giving to someone else rather than gifting myself. And from the looks of the yummy baked good I will need to give a bottle of apidexin as well. Ha ha


DeeDee said...

way 2 funny Alexis! I think I would of become flustered also and leave w/somthing so small.

Glad you are adapting too! So happy for is so tough to move a teenager. Looks like she has some sweet friends.

Joy for your Monday.

Spice said...

Aw, I would have gotten flustered too. When Kim B. and I were just in OBX we walked into this tiny pizza place (all 10 of us) and everyone in there stopped and stared at us too. Only they didn't then welcome us. LOL

Patti said...

Those Japanese goodies look yummy!

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