Robert & Roberta Adair



Stories from Robert & Roberta Adair

Part II: A few things I miss about the US and a few things I don’t really get about Jland. (Part I was 10 things that I really like.)

In no particular order (starting with the misses and ending with the “what?!”)…

- Pandora radio.  Oh how I miss thee.  I didn’t realize how I pretty much exclusively listened to Pandora until I got to Japan and couldn’t use it anymore (for copyright reasons or something).

- Qdoba, Panera, and many other restaurants (flavors, atmospheres, and prices).

- Mulch.  I miss the smell and look of fresh, dark, damp, soft mulch.

- The cutsy girl way of saying “oishii!!!” (delicious) while their mouths are half-full.  I see this all of the time on TV, hear it on the radio, and see friends do it.  My suggestion: take bite.  Chew.  Swallow.  Say, “This is delicious!” or something original without expectorating all over the place.

- Sakura tea.  If I wanted to drink salt water, I’d swim in the ocean.  To drink salt water with a few flower petals in it by choice is…not something that I get.

- Grouchy and lonely-looking old men.  I used to think that grandpas, universally, were jovial friends (both in the US and Kosovo).  Here – not entirely friendly.  I have a lot to learn about masculinity in Japan (and the HUGE difference between generations with both genders).

- The sound at game centers and pachinko (“innocent” gambling-esque) places.  Imagine cranked up electronic songs, instructions in high-pitched voices, and noises coming from dozens (if not hundreds) of games.  Add flashing lights, cigarette smoke, and a running-away-Roberta. Seriously, even thinking about that atmosphere makes me wrinkle my nose and slump.

- Pantyhose.  I went to a more formal event and wore nylons for the first time since…10th grade?  Yuck.  I see women just running errands wearing them, and I can thing of few things I would rather wear less.

- Aprons.  I understand the practical side of them.  But women wear them a lot.  (I mean a lot a lot.)  Like they walk around town in them.  Japan has uniforms for everything, and I think some women wear their aprons as a uniform (“my place is in the kitchen”??).  I know I’m overreacting, but I often want to squeak, “Take off your apron!  You make it look like like feminism never happened!!”

As I’ve mentioned before, I wonder which of these will continue to grate and which ones I won’t even think about this time next year.  Hm.

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