The Bride of the First House (bride) wrote,
The Bride of the First House

  • Mood:
  • Music:

Trip Report I - Japan

December 27, 2000 - January 01, 2001

We stayed at the Shinjuku Prince Hotel which is about 3-4 blocks away from JR Shinjuku Station. The room was teeny. The twin bed took up more than 3/4 of the room. =P

I really like Japan, I can totally see working and living there. I'd have to learn Japanese, but that's not a big deal. I ordered coffee all by myself at Starbuck's, how bad can it be?!?! =) Well, that's not quite true, Starbuck's stuff is all translated phonetically into Japanese. So, if you say it all in English, they'll understand. The first time though, I said "cafe mocha, sizu gurande, whip-creamu nashidesu". But they responded with "gurande no whip mocha" =D

Their department stores are what Woodward's used to be. They carry everything and they have about 10 floors' worth of stuff. They also have Elevator Ladies who are, essentially, useless except they smile, bow, press the elevator buttons for you and babble really fast. I swear, she was going on so fast that I think she listed everything that was sold on each floor as we were going up and down. W says they're just announcing the floor numbers.

I find that a lot of things we, North Americans, consider "grunt work" and try to find some way to automate, the Japanese actually hire people to do. And these are CAREER jobs; W told me that the Elevator Ladies are there for life. The MacDonald's workers are there for life as well.

Having worked in fast-food before and having the job I do now makes me think that I'd go mental being an Elevator Lady for the rest of my life. But I guess if you believe that there's no other choice for you, you'd make the best of a decent job.

I kept trying to read the kanji on all the signs. Between the kanji and romaji, I understand quite a bit. I just don't know how to say anything. I completely ignore the hiragana ... "bleh-gold-bleh" is "toll gate"; "hmm-hmm-metal-hmm-walla-walla- process" is "copper smelting plant". =)

Japan is all about efficiency. Time efficiency and space efficiency. After you've eaten at a fast-food place in Japan, you'll decide, just like I did, that McD's should not be called "fast-food"... instead it should be called "slow-food-with-no- service". Yes, we take a nine-hour flight half-way around the world and we eat at MacDonald's.

It's really interesting to look at cars in Japan. Some cars are exported to North America with different names and some cars are not exported at all.

One out of every 30 cars you see on the road is NOT a taxi.

I WANT ONE OF THEIR CELL PHONES. But I wouldn't be able to use it on a non-DoCoMo network *sob* The phones are the thickness of a double pack of Wrigley's Extra, but narrower, a bit longer, and they come in the coolest colours and skins including Hello Kitty.

W just about had to straitjacket me from going stark raving bananas with the Hello Kitty stuff. I would have to, if it weren't SO EXPENSIVE. When you look at the prices in Yen, you move the decimal 2 places to the left and that's US$. The prices look like Canadian, but they're in US, so it's bloody expensive. =P

We'll be back in Japan overnight when we come home.


  • Blast from the Past!

    weather : sunny outside : 17°C mood : ... Heh, it'll be interesting to see who reads this journal anymore =) The…

  • My Hermit Life

    weather : sunny outside : 24°C mood : ... Holy tap-dancing Christ on a pogo stick, it's been a really long time.…

  • Latest Nail Art

    weather : sunny outside : 21°C mood : ... I think I understand why I like nail art so much. I'm a Business Analyst by…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded