Monday, January 30, 2012

Japan - Part One - Guam/Kagoshima

The bathrooms all have this toilet that's in the ground, not quite sure what that's about.  All the cultural differences are really interesting, they love Americans.. at least, what they know about Americans from the big screen.  It's really quite different here, beyond the obvious translation barriers.  Being a communication major, I feel like what they are trying for is more than just wanting to be an American, more than just chasing their idea of the "American dream".  It goes far beyond people wanting to be whiter (yes, they sell soaps and lotions that make your skin whiter here) and imitating western culture... I think they love the American paradigms and ideals, the idea that you can have whatever you want, you just have to work for it.  So far the trip has been nothing but wonderful, I was able to see my friends in Hawaii, my buddy Kristie in Guam and Caitlin in Kagoshima.  It's great here, everyone is nice and many more people speak English then I thought.  It is, however, the most expensive place I've been.  A nice lunch of Pho or Teriyaki that in the states would be $10 is about $40 here, it's just insane.  And all the portions are smaller.  At the grocery store the largest unit of milk they sell is a liter (3.78 liters in a gallon), and it's about $3 per liter.  All the food we buy in the states they have here, but in much smaller portions and much more expensive.  They sell pound bags of potatoes that are $6, snicker bars are about $2, everything is just much more expensive.  The landscape is beautiful, it reminds me a lot of Costa Rica- at least here in Southern Japan.  I'll be heading up north this weekend; hitting hopefully Fukuoka, Nagoya, Hiroshima, then Kyoto and finally Tokyo.  Looking forward to taking in all I can of Japan.