The locals LOVE me in Japan

My days in Japan would usually begin at 2 AM, not because I wanted them to only because my sleep schedule was messed up.  Japan is fourteen hours ahead of Iowa time, so ideally it’d be four in the afternoon back home.  I’d wake up, check my emails then roll over and try to sleep until five.  Eventually I’d get up. make a cup of coffee, put in my ear buds, get dressed for the day then sit and catch up on what was going on back home via the internet.  Our daughter has a small apartment so I’m sure that even though I was trying to be quiet I sounded like a bear rummaging through a steel trash can in the middle of the night to Karalee as the walls in her apartment are quite thin.  After I got the hang of shopping at their local grocery store I started buying maple rolls for the next days breakfast.  I’ll say this about Japanese sweet rolls…they’re not nearly as sweet and sugary as ours, but still tasty.   Our trips to the grocery store were one of my favorite things to do, seeing as how I’ve been in that business for close to thirty years.

 

They use a lot of English in their signage in Japan.

They use a lot of English in their signage in Japan.

We didn't visit this store, but you get the idea.

We didn’t visit this store, but you get the idea.

 

Once the sun rose I’d set out on a walk around town.  There was a high school nearby so I’d stop by there and watch the team practice.  They’d practice for several hours each day Monday through Friday, Saturday all day then on Sunday they played a game.  Naturally, being the nosy person that I am, I invited myself to the game…where I stood out like a sore thumb.  One thing that really impressed me about the boys is their absolute hustle.  These kids really busted their butts…doing everything.  After five innings they grabbed rakes and groomed the infield while the host team parents came out into the crowd and served us hot tea and snacks…for free.  Another thing that I noticed is that no one complained about anything during the game.  Nothing…in fact I didn’t hear anything from the parents, cheering or yelling (must be an American thing to yell stuff at the umpire….) I’ve found that the Japanese were abundantly courteous, polite and friendly.  Our American culture could take a few cues from them on that front.

Practice...practice...practice

Practice…practice…practice

The players of the host team rake the infield during a break in the fifth inning.

The players of the host team rake the infield during a break in the fifth inning.

...and there's always that one Mom who wears a crazy hat to the game

…and there’s always that one Mom who wears a crazy hat to the game

At some falls in a gorge with Karalee

At some falls in a gorge with Karalee

 

Menu at a noodle house. Believe it or not...I did a fairly good job at using chopsticks by the end of my trip!

Menu at a noodle house. Believe it or not…I did a fairly good job at using chopsticks by the end of my trip!

I liken this bowl of noodles to a big bowl of chicken noodle soup...with a seaweed thing in it. I didn't care for the seaweed thing so much...true story.

I liken this bowl of noodles to a big bowl of chicken noodle soup…with a seaweed thing in it. I didn’t care for the seaweed thing so much…true story.

I found this small bakery during one of my morning walks. Japan celebrates Christmas, not religiously by more socially

I found this small bakery during one of my morning walks. Japan celebrates Christmas, not religiously but more socially

Inside the bakery. They do a really good job of displaying their goods.

Inside the bakery. They do a really good job of displaying their goods. Language barrier aside…I selected some sweets and continued on.

HEY!! You only get ONE wedding here...so make the most of it. (I love Japanese advertising)

HEY!! You only get ONE wedding here…so make the most of it. (I love Japanese advertising)

My lunch from a 7-11. Noodles in a buttery sauce topped with thinly sliced ham. Delicous!

My lunch from a 7-11. Noodles in a buttery sauce topped with thinly sliced ham. Delicious!!

Road construction signs. "Merge right...wait, no..okay..NOW?!"

Road construction signs. “Merge right…wait, no…okay…NOW?!”

My time is Japan is drawing to a close.  I had a bit of an adventure coming home.  Coming up next time:

  • A night alone in a big city.  Beer me bartender.
  • Colonel Sanders and I.
  • You say toilet.  I say bidet.
  • They can’t find me in their system at the airport
  • How do I find a shuttle ride in Tokyo?
  • Who’s going to help this old man? (Me.  Its me that needed the help)
  • Taxi!!
  • Did someone say “TURBULANCE?!?!?!
  • McDonald’s in Japan (my unbiased opinion)
  • Beer me young lady.
  • Tommy Lee Jones is two-timing us Americans!!

Until next time, God bless and thanks for coming along.

R

 

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