Saturday, October 3, 2015

When Hubby's Away. . .

Hi there.  Time is flying really fast here and we have already lived in Japan for one month! I can't even believe it myself.  A couple of weeks ago, my husband went on a business trip from Monday through Saturday to Europe.  He went to Rome, Madrid and Paris.  I was not pleased.  Many people have asked why I didn't go.  The bottom line is, I cannot go.  So, I had some new, dear friends that kept me busy while he was away.  I am very thankful for these girls that have reached out to me and included me in so many things.  This post is about only two days of excursions.  

First we visited an Premium Outlet Mall in a nearby prefecture.  The kids were off of school and the place was packed!! It was a great place to people watch.  This "interesting" sculpture was outside the mall.  

If you're interested, search Google.  I did and I still have no clue.  
My friend Sharon and I checked out the Wacoal store. I really like Wacoal bras and so I wanted to see it. Well, bras in Japan are nothing like they are in the U.S.  NOTHING. There are a lot of frills, lace, flowers and ruffles.  Sizes are much different as well, as you may be able to see. There was not a plain bra in sight. 
 There were several strange store names.
This vintage Nissan was parked in front of us. Pretty cute! The next day Sharon invited me over and we ended up running some errands. I was able to check out her grocery store, which is nicer than mine. These are more "normal" prices than some you've seen me post from the specialty food stores.
Four big apples for basically $3.32. They are delicious too.  But you only have a choice of two kinds of apples from what I can tell, yellow and red.
 I can't really tell you how much hamburger this was in weight.  I would guess that it was around a quarter pound.  I think it would've made one hamburger.  The cost is $4.55.

I took a photo of this bread because it had the largest slices I've seen so far.  Usually the bread loaves hold 4-8 slices of bread which determines the size of the slices.  I think it's a pretty great idea.  I have found whole wheat bread but it's pretty wimpy compared to ours. I'm missing my 7 or 12 grain bread.  
I took this photo of Sharon in an attempt to be sneaky and take a picture of these two guys in their huge pants.  Sharon thinks construction workers wear them.  Seems like they'd be in the way and super annoying.  I think he knew I was doing it by the look on his face. BUSTED!

 HUGE grapes!  I was told they taste like wine, and I would agree. 
1280 Yen translates to $10.68.
 $6.66 per cantaloupe.
 I loved the tablecloth (laminated) fabric they sold in the grocery store!  Very cute. 
I was really tempted to buy these cute crocks.  Really, really tempted.
 We then went to Daiso which is a 100 Yen store in Japan and they are also in Los Angeles.  Maybe they are in more places in the US as well.  This is the biggest one I've ever seen.
 Look at these monster hangers.  They are evidently for towels.  HUGE.  Kind of cute, though.
On Instagram I titled this photo, "one of these is not like the other". Everyone BACKS into their parking spaces in Japan.  It's supposedly safer when you leave.  Maybe so.  Either way you have to back up sometime.  Here you can easily see which car is Sharon's.  You may also be able to see that it has a green and yellow "new driver" sticker on it.  We Americans have to put these on our cars.  On that note, I'm taking my driving test this Thursday!  If you think of me on Wednesday evening, breathe a little prayer for me.  Thank you! 

Talk to you soon,

Sunday, September 20, 2015

New Friends!!

I met two new friends recently who's husbands also work for Toyota. They've been really nice and have included me in a couple of excursions. Last week M needed to do some shopping for her daughter's birthday. The main shopping district (downtown) is close to my apartment. I met them in the subway and we walked around downtown. As you can see there are some very familiar stores in the area. She found just what she needed at American Eagle.  

This store is not an American brand, even though the name seems familiar.  It carries many things, with each floor being different.  There is an interiors floor, electronics, travel, etcetera.  My FAVORITE floor is the stationery supplies, journals, paper, pens, art supplies, and on and on.  
Here are some photos of that floor.
 Many, many rows of pens.

 Stickers and washi tape.
 Clips, like crazy.

 Oh yeah, baby. Lots of Copic markers at only $2.60 a piece. These are $7 at home.

 Even Martha made an appearance.
Journals for days!
Then we went to a wonderful Japanese restaurant for Shabu Shabu.

Fortunately these tables had spaces beneath them for our legs. 
Getting up and down was interesting, however.  

 Tofu with fish eggs. I tried it.
These sauces are for dipping the meat and vegetables into after they are cooked.  
The left one was not soy sauce, but it was salty.  The right one had a peanut flavor.
This is the thinly sliced beef that you put into the broth.  
On the right are a mixture of vegetables, noodles and tofu.  
This water boils and you put the veggies and meat in to cook. I can't tell you what everything is. The  yellow thing in the front is a mystery to me. But, it tasted okay. There is mushroom, bean sprouts, cabbage, parsley and beef in this photo.
These tables have no spaces for legs!  It was a great day and I'm so grateful for new friends.  If you've seen my "videos" on Instagram and Facebook, these are some of the same photos.  You can just see them better.  By the way, my husband tried the barber in the subway and they did a fabulous job!  This next week is my turn for a haircut! I have an appointment at a salon downtown.  We will see how it goes!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Lost In, Not On the Subway

Things are progressing.  Very slowly in some instances.  Since my last post a couple pieces of our rental furniture arrived.  We now have a sofa and recliner, which makes for much more comfortable seating. 

Our air shipment also arrived this week.  When Japanese movers bring in your boxes, they cover the floors with either pads or paper.  They remove their shoes AS they carry things in!  Think about that for a minute.  It's no big deal for them, but seems incredibly time consuming and annoying, in my mind.  They just use slip on shoes, in and out, in and out.  Customer service in Japan is unparalleled.  
Now we have all of our clothes and our IRONING BOARD!  Sometimes it's the little things that make you happy.  This week, it was finally receiving the ironing board.  I thought that our bedding and towels were included in the air shipment.  But, alas, I evidently did not watch the packers closely enough.  We have purchased two towels each and two wash cloths.  Their towels are very thin and small.  American's are use to oversize everything, I believe.  The little ones do the job.  In fact, I'm wondering if our towels will ever dry out here, at least during this time of year.  

We were told our sea shipment was underway on this ship.  Then low and behold, were notified that the American customs took off our little crate to inspect.  Or to be exact, never let it on.  We are thinking they should be worried about our dishes, lamps, kitchen supplies and of course, my craft supplies!!
 We have been exploring the downtown area of Nagoya.  There is a lot to take in.  We live only a few blocks away and it is an easy walking distance.  My Fitbit miles are increasing, that's for sure.
 This is the sunset view from our apartment balcony.  We have had mostly rainy days here, so this was a welcome sight.  Sunset in the city.
Yesterday, we walked all over kingdom come trying to find this little barber shop. Around and around and around. We knew it was in the subway. There are hundreds of stores in the subway. We knew the area it was in.  Nothing in sight.  When I finally used charades to ask a maintenance man, he pointed down stairs. So, it was two floors down into the subway next to the tracks!  Crazy. You take a ticket and sit in a row until it's your turn.  Then it costs 10 Yen and it takes 10 minutes. We will see if my husband will be brave and try it next weekend.  From what I understand a normal men's haircut includes cleaning your ears, cutting your hair and a massage.  I don't think they do that in this barber shop.  Me, I'm heading to a salon. Which will probably be another huge learning experience.  Then  we had to exit the subway and for some reason, my card wouldn't work.  I was permanently stuck in the subway system!  Thank goodness for men behind windows at each subway entrance.  I still have no idea what happened.  
As we were wandering around the subway I happened upon this art store.  It is tiny.  Sorry for the not so well set up photo.  It is crammed with all the art supply essentials a girl would need.  I'm very excited.  I basically took this picture so I could find it again.
This is a cantaloupe.  This is a very expensive cantaloupe. Basically this translates to $58/cantaloupe.  There evidently is a You Tube video on the 10 most expensive fruit in the world.  A "perfect" cantaloupe is included.  I can never, ever tell when a cantaloupe is ripe.  I wonder who eats the "day old" ones?  Maybe they're priced like ours in the U.S.  Crazy, isn't it?

 My husband loves the little trucks.  I think we need these in Southern California where parking is tight and there are too many cars.  Don't you think?
We have found a great Mexican restaurant called Desperados.  In fact, many found it before us.  The great thing is, it is two blocks from our apartment.  It's a tiny bar.  Basically every restaurant here seems to be a tiny bar.  You walk up some stairs like you're going to someone's apartment.  This has stools along the bar and four tables.  Four square tables with four chairs each.  Sixteen seats in all.  That is fairly typical of most restaurants here.  The food, even though the quantities are smaller and prices are higher, is very good.
Some other time we will talk about the French pastry shops.  


Related Posts with Thumbnails