Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Random Reminiscences from Tokyo

Since I can’t get back to Japan this summer, here’s a post of random thoughts from my last trip there. (We can subtitle this post: MOE Procrastinates on Her Dissertation)

There nothing quite like pushing a stroller through a crowded train station with a 2 year-old sitting in it singing at the top of her lungs.

Spicy Korean Beef and Mayo Pizza. It is always a long ride home with a large pizza on the back of the bike!

Japan: The only country where a red-bean-paste bun named Anpanman can be a super hero! My favorite thing about Anpanman is that he tears off part of his head to feed hungry victims in distress.

There is nothing like a book on Japanese mothers and the obento lunches they create for their preschoolers to make me feel astonishingly inadequate as a parent.

I can't decide which will disturb my son's pre-k teacher more, his claims that the holy spirit blows his hair or the picture he drew in class of a train careening off a cliff into shark-infested waters.

Towelkets are an interesting concept. Is it a towel? Is it a blanket? It’s neither, yet it’s both.

Japanese women don't tend to leave graffiti on bathroom stall walls. This makes the "postings" in the library bathroom about the height of the door hooks particularly amusing. Too bad I'm not an anthropologist. Maybe then I could figure out why the women who are too short to reach the hooks don't just go to the main office and file a request.

Furtively drinking my diet Coke in Japanese university libraries always makes me feel like a wino.

A machine that washes & then dries clothes automatically is a great idea; too bad it only holds 5 articles of clothing and takes 6 hours to finish a load.

I don't want to know what is in that Puccho yogurt candy that makes it so chewy.

"Moo-moo White Fanta" with its low calories, high calcium, and delicious fizz would not sell well in the US. Carbonated milk, anyone?

It will be a long time before the restaurant manager at the Sunshine City McDonalds gets over the guilt of serving my 5 y.o. a bug in his french fries. Upon discovering the bug, he wept (loud enough for everyone in the restaurant to hear), and when the manager came to apologize, he said through his tears, "I don't like bugs. Only stag beetles. Now I can never, ever eat french fries again.”

I hope to never spend another Saturday at Sanrio Puroland. Think Hello Kitty times a million.

With judicious use of tape and staples, my 5 y.o. has been taking origami to a whole new level at his Japanese preschool. Today he made one that sounds just like a beating heart when squeezed.

Dear Korean Tourist Ladies in Tokyo, Though I am flattered you think my kids are cute, please don't descend on them and start rubbing their heads. Frankly, it makes them think you are very, very strange, and I would hate to run over you with the stroller. Also, it is not cool to bridge the communication divide between us by asking via wild hand gestures whether I am pregnant. I'm not.

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